Networking peripheral maker
today introduced the latest generation of wireless networking devices that conform to the HomeRF 2.0 standard, an alternative to the Wi-Fi standard, or IEEE 802.11b, upon which Apple’s own AirPort technology is based. The products introduced today will ship initially for Windows, but Proxim told MacCentral that Mac OS support is planned as well.
Proxim said that HomeRF 2.0 offers some tangible benefits compared to the IEEE 802.11b standard. The company claims its Symphony HomeRF products are less susceptible to interference from devices commonly found in homes like cordless phones, microwave ovens and baby monitors. Proxim consumer product marketing director Ken Haase indicated that Symphony HomeRF is presently the only wireless solution that is specifically designed to resist and avoid interference.
While previous HomeRF implementations were plagued with slow speed compared to IEEE 802.11b, the new 2.0 technology operates at up to 10Mbps — almost parallel with the 11Mbps of current 802.11b devices, and consistent with the performance of a conventional wired 10baseT Ethernet network — faster than cable and DSL modems, noted Proxim.
The technology also provides four levels of security, which Proxim describes as “the most secure wireless networking available in a consumer-friendly solution.” Proxim also notes that Symphony HomeRF technology has been developed for future voice and home entertainment applications.
Proxim’s product offerings include a USB adapter that retails for $99.99, a $99.99 PC card, and a standalone base station that costs $199.99. Support is currently available for Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows 2000. Windows XP support should be available by the end of the month, with Mac OS support planned for the first calendar quarter of next year.