Tmobile now has a piece of software that you can run on your laptop that will manage Wifi connections for supported cards. I downloaded and installed the connection manager today, and so far it looks pretty exciting. It will manage profiles and auto connect to networks that you configure manually for your home or office network, but the features that I am most excited about are its ability to auto connect to a Tmobile hotspot if you store your username and password and its ability to search for Tmobile hostpots with an integrated database of locations for the US.
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While browsing around in the world of wireless, I found a company offering a product that advertises the ability to create redundant wireless mesh networks unlike the current standard implementation of wireless networks. The idea here being that you can deploy a LAN backbone over a wireless infrastructure that is self-healing and self-configuring.
If this product turns out to do everything it advertises, it promises to have a huge imact. In traditional wireless networking, a wired backbone is used to connect the wireless clients to the rest of the network and, eventually, the Internet. In the Firetide scenario, their Hotpoint wireless routers are used to form the backbone of the infrastructure, and then traditional wireless access points are used to provide wireless access to clients or othe traditional wired hardware is used to connect wired clients.
Obviously, I can’t recommend this product at this point, having never seen it in production, but it is definitely a technology (and company) to watch.
Here is a good article over at eWeek that outlines some of the future and current products to support voice over WIFI. The bottom line is that there are a lot of things that need to be addressed before this technology will be widespread, but the future is definitely looking bright.
Here is a link to the download location for the Windows XP WPA client. This client is necessary for Windows XP to support the new WPA protocol for wireless security. If you would like to read more from the Microsoft Knowledge Base about the download, you can follow this link. I will try and post some more information on the WPA protocol in a future post. I do recommend that any user who actively uses wireless networking download and install this patch as well as the appropriate patch for your wireless access point’s firmware, if one is available.
I can’t even begin to tell you how widespread the issue of open home wireless networks is. I have been to three different clients recently to assist them with issues they had and discovered multiple open access points allowing me the use of their neighbor’s Internet access. In several of the cases, I was able to determine the model of router they were using and log in with the default password.