Proxim intros new 802.11b gateway, USB adapter

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Wireless networking company Proxim Inc. has announced the availability of two new products that work with 802.11b, the wireless networking standard utilized by Apple in its AirPort products. The Skyline Wireless Broadband Gateway is designed to share a high-speed cable or DSL connections with both wired and wireless networked computers, and the Skyline USB Adapter is designed to provide USB-based computers with wireless networking capability as well.

The Skyline Wireless Broadband Gateway is a four port, 10/100baseT Ethernet switch with an integrated 802.11b wireless access point suitable for connections with computers that use AirPort cards or other 802.11b-compliant interfaces. If you're worried about wireless networking security, Proxim said the Wi-Fi compatible gateway supports 64-bit and 128-bit Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP), as well as access list security, which limits wireless network access only to those wireless devices whose addresses are specifically listed.

The Skyline Wireless Broadband Gateway utilizes a Web-based management system that works with any device that can run a Web browser, according to Proxim. The device supports PPPoE and DHCP for client connections. The gateway can also support DHCP serving and Network Address Translation (NAT), simplifying the installation process for new computers and providing firewall security as well.

The gateway sports advanced routing features for "Special Internet Applications" like video streaming and online games; "Virtual Servers," which allow users to install Web, e-mail or other TCP/IP based servers on the local network while making it accessible from the Internet as well, and "Exposed Computer," which provides an unencumbered two-way Internet connection for a locally connected computer.

The Skyline USB Adapter provides a wireless networking interface for computers that have a USB interface but lack any other way of supporting a wireless networking interface. And like most devices, this product is Windows compatible only, but Proxim has great news for Mac users -- they expect to add support for Mac OS by the end of the year. The device will work with access points like the Wireless Broadband Gateway described above (or Apple's AirPort Base Station), as well as Ad Hoc peer-to-peer connections with other 802.11b-equipped computers.

The Skyline USB Adapter features a 3-foot USB cable to enable users to place the unit a fair distance from their computer, and it's bus-powered, eliminating the need for an external power supply. The Skyline USB Adapter also supports both 64- and 128-bit WEP for data encryption.

Both products are available immediately. MacCentral will bring further news when the Skyline USB Adapter is ready for the Macintosh. They cost US$299 and $149 respectively.

This story, "Proxim intros new 802.11b gateway, USB adapter" was originally published by PCWorld.

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