Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway ships in the UK

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Actiontec Electronics' new Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway is now available in the United Kingdom.

The gateway, which is compatible with Mac OS 7.1 or higher, allows desktop and notebook computers to be online simultaneously, and in some cases even eliminates the need to pay for multiple IP addresses, according to the folks at Actiontec. All personal computers equipped with the proper wireless network adapter can share the same Internet hookup from any inside location up to 330 feet away from the gateway or any outside location within 990 feet of the unit.

The Actiontec Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway also allows users to create home networks incorporating both wired and wireless devices. With a built-in four-port Ethernet router as well as wireless capabilities, up to 35 notebook and desktop computers, printers, scanners, CD-ROM drives, handheld computers and other devices can be connected to the network, enabling users to share resources.

The gateway plugs into a power outlet on one end and the cable or DSL modem on the other. Users then install Actiontec's new 802.11b-compatible PCMCIA Wireless Network Card in the first of two PCMCIA slots, and start surfing. The second slot gives users the option of adding new capabilities to their home network. What kind of options? Actiontec is currently developing ones that are expected to include a printer server, and a Voice over IP card enabling voice phone calls over the Internet.

The Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway offers anti-hacking protection via Network Address Translation (NAT), an Internet standard that makes it possible to use one set of IP addresses for internal traffic and a second set for external traffic. This provides a type of firewall by hiding internal IP addresses from potential intruders, according to Actiontec. There's support for Virtual Private Network (VPN) clients, allowing remote users to access their VPN-based corporate networks securely.

The gateway also has support for the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), a dynamic IP address assignment system that's designed to simplify network administration by eliminating the need to assign a unique IP address to every computer on the network; and DNS Proxy, a standard that simplifies configuration by handling translation of domain names into the corresponding IP addresses. Plus, there's a built-in Manager interface for advanced configurations that's accessible by the embedded Web-based management tool.

The Actiontec Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway will carry a manufacturers suggested retail price of (Pounds) 129.95 and include the gateway, AC power adapter, a six-foot Ethernet cable for connecting the gateway to the cable or DSL modem and a user guide. The Actiontec PCMCIA Wireless Network Card will retail for (Pounds) 99.95 with a rebate when purchased with the gateway.

This story, "Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway ships in the UK" was originally published by PCWorld.

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