Networking products manufacturer
Proxim, Inc. today introduced Mac support for a USB-based device that enables older Macs not equipped with AirPort card slots to work wirelessly via 802.11b, the same networking protocol used by Apple’s AirPort products. The company also introduced support for products that use an alternate wireless networking scheme called HomeRF, as well as high-speed products that operate at up to 100Mbps.
The Skyline 802.11b USB Adapter connects to the Mac’s USB interface and provides up to 11Mbps of transfer speed over a wireless network. Proxim explained that the device is suited for use on older Macintoshes that don’t have their own built-in support for AirPort, as all new systems do.
Proxim is showing off 10Mbps HomeRF wireless networking solutions for the Mac, as well. Marketed under the Symphony HomeRF brand, the products operate at a similar speed to 802.11b hardware using what Proxim bills as “an interference-resistant” networking system. HomeRF is specifically designed to support voice and streaming media in addition to regular data transfer.
An exhibitor at this week’s Macworld Conference & Expo (in booth 1137), Proxim is also showing off new 802.11a-based wireless networking products that operate at up to 100Mbps. The new devices support the 802.11a standard for up to 54Mbps transfer speed, and they also feature Proxim’s own 2X mode, which boosts speeds up to 108Mbps. The products are slated to be available for the Macintosh this spring.
The Skyline 802.11b USB Adapter is available for about US$150, and Mac drivers will be available for free download from Proxim’s Web site this week. HomeRF PC Card, USB Adapter and Base Station are available for $99, $99, and $199, respectively, and they, too, will have free drivers available for download.
In the company’s statement issued today, Proxim did not specify Mac OS X compatibility, but in past discussions with MacCentral, the company indicated that these products would debut first with compatibility for older Mac OS versions. MacCentral will bring readers more details as available.