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Comms and Internet

Netgear Adds 802.11ad Wifi to Nighthawk X10 Router

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Netgear Adds 802.11ad Wifi to Nighthawk X10 Router

Netgear presents what it claims is its fastest router yet-- the Nighthawk X10 AD7200, a router featuring a 1.7GHz quad-core processor together with Quad-Stream Wave 2 architecture and 802.11ad wifi.

The result, the company says, is wireless speeds reaching up to 7.2Gbps as powered through tri-band wifi radios operating in the 2.4GHz (802.11n), 5GHz (802.11ac) and 60GHz (802.11ad) bands. In addition, MU-MIMO technology adds simultaneous streaming support, a 160MHz radio doubles wifi speeds to mobile devices and four antennas maximise wifi range and throughput.

Another company first comes in the shape of a 10gigabit port with fibre support allowing for fast backups and streaming from NAS devices. A pair of USB 3.0 ports allow the connection of storage devices, while 6 months of free Amazon Drive handle cloud-based backups.

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Better Wifi Through MegaMIMO 2.0?

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Better Wifi Through MegaMIMO 2.0?

MIT researchers propose a means to triple wifi data speeds while doubling signal range and ease increasingly congested wireless networks-- MegaMIMO 2.0, a system able to eliminate signal interference.

The technology uses a processor, real-time baseband processing system and a transceiver board to vary the frequency range of wifi signals within the required spectrum. This allows multiple independent transmitters to transmit data on the same spectrum to multiple independent receivers, without signals interfering with each other.

“In today’s wireless world, you can’t solve spectrum crunch by throwing more transmitters at the problem, because they will all still be interfering with one another,” the researchers say. “The answer is to have all those access points work with each other simultaneously to efficiently use the available spectrum.”

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Netgear Promises Better Wifi With Orbi

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Netgear Promises Better Wifi With Orbi

Netgear is the next company to follow the likes of Luma and Eero with a mesh-based home wifi system-- Orbi, a kit consisting of a router anda "satellites" the company claims cover up to 370 square metres once combined.

Both router and satellite are suitably curvy (as the new trend in home networking hardware dictates), and offer what Netgear describes as a "tri-bend mesh system." Essentially the router sends out three channels, one to extend internet to the satellite and two others to feed the connections of other devices.

The router supports 802.11ac wifi at speeds reaching up to 3Gbps, and ships pre-paired with the satellite fore asy setup. Once the system is installed the satellite can be placed anywhere, and the result is a unified network with a single user-selectable SSID. Also included in the router are a x4 Gigabit ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 jack, while setup options include parental controls with website black/whitelists and time permissions.

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A Plume for a Prettier Router

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A Plume for a Prettier Router

San Francisco-based Branch Creative proposes a nicer looking means for better home wifi-- the Plume, a compact, jewel-shaped  router in a self-contained "Pod" fitting in an electrical socket.

The concept behind the Plume is similar to that behind the Eero router and range extenders. Following initial connection to the ISP's router users simply need to connect multiple pods around the house to create a mesh-like network dubbed "Adaptive Wifi" by the company. The pods work together to ensure the best possible connection and, presumably, provide users with the fastest possible internet.

Further improvement comes through the Plume Cloud, a cloud-based control plane able to actively monitor home networks and continuously adjust signal speed and resiliency. Meanwhile the pods also have an ethernet port in case one needs a wired internet connection.

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How to Hide Smart Home Networking Using Tor

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How to Hide Smart Home Networking Using Tor

The smart devices making the Internet of Things (IoT) can expose sensitive customer data to hackers, the Tor Project says-- and as such it would be best to hide such networking using layers of encryption and network stealth.

How does one hide such networking? Using anonymous onion services, of course, specifically in the form of the "Home Assistant." A free, open-source platform, Home Assistant runs on Raspberry Pi and other smart home hubs, and can control and network the various devices making the IoT as a Tor hidden service, the same system Tor uses to obscure the locations of servers running on the so called darknet.

The result, according to The Guardian Project, is a stealthier and more secure system for the connection of smart homes to the internet. Adding further security is Home Assistant running as an authenticated hidden service, meaning Tor intermediary computers require a passcode (or "cookie") in order to connect to the destination computer.

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Box Updates Against Ransomware, Data Theft

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Box Updates Against Ransomware, Data Theft

Bitdefender updates the Box online security device with Vulnerability Assessment and Active Threat Control, allowing to further protect all connected devices.

Vulnerability Assessment identifies security weak links to bolster defenses against data theft, malicious attacks and other intrusions. Meanwhile Active Threat Control monitors processes and system events via machine learning and behaviour-based threat analysis to identify malware.

Customers can access the Vulnerability Assessment by opening the companion Box mobile device app and pressing the Vulnerable Devices button. The service proceeds to scan the network and identify all vulnerabilities.

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HomeGrid Forum Updates on G.hn

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HomeGrid Forum Updates on G.hn

One technology can fulfill the broadband needs of the home, the HomeGrid Forum says-- G.hn, a means to leverage on existing wiring to create a gigabit networking backbone.

According to the forum, despite many devices currently using wireless connections, wired networks still have a "major" role in the home, be it in the interconnection of fixed devices to providing a high-speed backbone for wireless access points. G.hn promises to fulfill such connectivity, delivering 1 millisecond backhaul to wireless video using existing infrastructure, be it powerline, coax, phoneline or fibre.

The technology is still in fairly early days, even if the HomeGrid Forum is pushing G.hn silicon and system certification. One company working on G.hn products is ARRIS, who is working on a router/gateway able to establish a high bandwidth network via electrical wiring and a wifi extender.

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Wifi Alliance Details 802.11ac Wave 2

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Wifi Alliance Details 802.11ac Wave 2

The Wifi Alliance expands the 802.11ac wifi standard with "Wave 2"-- essentially a means to boost current wifi bandwidths while retaining backwards compatibility.

According to the alliance Wave 2 doubles the bandwidth per channel to double performance should conditions be favourable. It also has four spatial streams, wider 5GHz channel support and MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input multiple output) support.

“In today’s world, people have more wifi devices per person and per household, and those devices require significantly more bandwidth,” the alliance says. “Wifi Alliance updated the wifi ac program to meet increasing user demands and to stay ahead of emerging applications, while preserving interoperability.”

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BT Claims No More Black Spots With Smart Hub 6

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BT Claims No More Black Spots With Smart Hub 6

BT promises to have a better wifi solution with the Smart Hub 6-- a router the company says is able to improve connections and boost speeds even in harder to reach rooms.

The Smart Hub 6 features 7 antennas, more than most routers supplied by UK broadband providers. A 3x3 array supports the 2.4GHz band, while the 5GHz band comes through a 4x4 array. The result is a signal range BT says reaching up to 500m, depending on obstacles around the home.

Further connectivity comes through x4 gigabit connectors and a USB port.

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