Wireless and Networking
D-Link recently announced the availability of the first 802.11ac router in its cloud-enabled line of home routers. Designed to deliver speeds matching those of the fastest wired networks (around the 1 Gbps mark), the new D-Link Cloud Router 5700 is one of the first routers available using this new WiFi standard.
Apple has released two new versions of its AirPort Utility software: version 5.6 and version 6.0. The former is merely a minor update that aims to resolve an issue with network passwords stored in the Keychain, while the latter is a complete redesign of the software to match its iOS counterpart. The reason behind the release of both versions is that AirPort Utility 5.6 is able to support older 802.11g-only base stations, while the more advanced 6.0 version is not.
The current range of Apple products—such as the Macintosh, AirPort and iOS devices—all utilize the current standard of 802.11n specification, but if rumors pan out we will soon be seeing a new network of 802.11ac chips that would feature better range and power efficiency than the existing chips.
At CES in Las Vegas this week, Griffin Technology is showing off an audio amplifier that uses an Airport Express to capture your AirPlay stream, decode it, then send the lossless, amplified sound through your speakers that otherwise aren’t AirPlay enabled.
The N-30 ($499) and N-50 ($699) are equipped with AirPlay and DLNA 1.5 wireless technologies, allowing access to music stored in a variety of different sources, including Macs and Apple’s iOS devices. The networked audio players feature vTuner Internet radio, iPhone and Android control apps and a 2.5-inch full-color LCD display.
We’ve seen a few leaks this week on Apple’s annual one-day-only Black Friday sales event. The savings on Apple products were accurately slight, but as in years past, Apple is offering significant savings on compatible third-party products. Save over $100 on Bowers & Wilkins speaker docks and various laptop bags, and you can get fun accessories like the Parrot AR.Drone for under $250.00.
Some third party hardware telephone modems do work with Lion, so there is a workaround, but it irks me mightily to have to buy a new one to replace a less than three-year-old unit that still works just fine with OS X 10.6. More arbitrary forced obsolescence from Apple. I’m sure the very notion of dial-up Internet seems quaint to the folks at Cupertino; not so much in this rural Nova Scotia backwater I call home
Apple has released the Airport utility application for those who use the AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule base stations. Launching the app, you are immediately greeted with a diagram depicting the Internet and any base stations on your network. After that, you can just tap any specific base station with which to begin and enter your password. From there, you are already set-up and ready to manage your networks.
Pioneer has already embraced Apple AirPlay with some of its products, and it’s now expanded support with the launch of two networked music systems called Music Tap. With the Pioneer and Elite branded models, users can access, control and play back their iTunes music library throughout their home or apartment regardless of where the music is stored.
Let’s say you want to watch some movies on your iPad, but you don’t have enough space to store them. Or perhaps you just want to browse the web on your iPod touch, but all you have is an ethernet cable in your hotel room. G-Connect’s got this. It’s a hard drive in a box that not only can stream media to your iOS device (with a free app) but it can take an ethernet cable and make Wi-Fi.
Apple has updated their Time Capsules by introducing a 2TB model for $299 and a 3TB model for $499, replacing the 1TB and 2TB models for the same price. Apple has also updated the Airport Extreme, which has improved signal strength with six internal antennas versus the three it had before at the same price of $179.
So, what did you do today for Memorial Day? See the parade? Visit a gravesite? Use a Handy Calculator or visit Paradise Beach 2? Today’s updates would have helped with the latter two. In fact, you could have also played some Dawjuh Ball and built some beautiful diagrams with minimal effort. If it’s hardware you’re after, check out the iCON 461 3G surfstick from Nova Media.