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Comms and Internet

AVG Crowdfunds Chime Router

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AVG Crowdfunds Chime Router

AVG takes to Indiegogo to launch a consumer mesh network router-- the Chime, a device the company says differs from the likes of the Luma router through the addition of backed-in security.

Like other mesh network routers found in enterprise environments, multiple Chime units work together to cover the house in "strong and reliable" wifi. The 802.11ac router features dual-band 2.4/5GHz radios, together with a dual-core CPU, x1 USB 2.0 port and x2 ethernet port, and AVG claims a single Chime handles up to 50 devices.

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Bluetooth Gets More Range, Speed

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Bluetooth Gets More Range, Speed

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announces the features Bluetooth will be getting in 2016-- including range and speed improvements, as well as the addition of mesh networking.

Bluetooth Smart speed is set to increase by up to 4x, while speed will be up by 100%-- without, crucially, an increase in energy consumption, even as critical applications get faster data transfers, increased responsiveness and lower latency.

The addition of mesh networking also allows Bluetooth devices to work together in order to cover an entire area or building, opening home and industrial IoT applications. The Bluetooth SIG has a group working on the technology, the imaginatively named Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group.

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The Luma "Surround Wifi" System

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The Luma

A startup named Luma presents a means to ensure home wifi installations do have any connection dead spots-- a "surround wifi" system consisting of multiple routers.

Luma routers are available as a 3-pack, and form a single network once set up. The company claims the routers "always offer peak performance and speed" by automatically tuning signals according to user position, making it sound like a consumer version of the mesh networks found in large enterprise environments.

Each router carries two dual-band 2GHz and 5GHz radios using 802.11ac Wave 2 wifi.

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A Disney Means to Secure Family Internet

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A Disney Means to Secure Family Internet

Customers worried about the contents kids can access online? Circle Media offers a solution-- the Circle With Disney, a small cube providing parents with home network control.

First introduced through a failed 2013 Kickstarter, the Circle device wirelessly pairs with home routers. A companion iOS app allows parents to filter web content, set "bedtimes," block adds, view usage history and even simply block the internet entirely for specific devices. Four age-appropriate filters make such controls as easy as possible.

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Linux Light Bulbs for LED-Based Communications

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Linux Light Bulbs for LED-Based Communications

Disney Research presents a means for enable gadgets to communicate with each other inside smart indoor environments-- the Linux Light Bulb, an LED flashing out data using visible light.

The technology, dubbed Visible Light Communication (VLC) is not actually new. What the Disney researchers add is an IP stack and other networking protocols inside a Linux-based VLC system-on-a-chip (SoC) one can integrate into existing LED lamps.

Such a means of communications bypasses other wireless channels used in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), such as ZigBee, wifi or Bluetooth, and can be supported by any device able to switch an LED on and off.

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Home Network Security via Cujo

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Home Network Security via Cujo

A company formed by a number of industry security veterans presents a means for customers wanting secure home networks-- the Cujo, a small device combining firewall, antivirus and malware protection.

According to the makers the device is fairly easy to use, as one simply needs to connect it to the router before setup via companion app. Once installed the Cujo scans incoming traffic for potential threats such as intrusions, malware and viruses.

In addition the app lets users know when home networks are under attack.

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Asus Claims "Fastest Wifi" With RT-AC5300

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Asus Claims

IFA 2015 sees Asus reveal what one can describe as the complete opposite of the Google OnHub take on wireless connectivity-- the RT-AC5300, a spiky router claiming to push the fastest wifi yet.

Looking somewhat D-Link ULTRA series router on steroids, the tri-band RT-AC5300 is capable of 1Gbps connections over the 2.4GHz band and up to 2.167Gbps on two 5GHz bands, for a total wifi bandwidth of 5.3Gbps. Pushing such bandwidth are 8 "ultra-wide area coverage" detachable antennas.

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Google Redesigns the Router

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Google Redesigns the Router

Google claims to have an easier way for customers to manage and connect to home networks-- the OnHub, a "different kind of router" promising quick and stable wifi connectivity with setup based around a mobile app.

The result of a collaboration with TP-Link, the OnHub does not like a regular, antenna-equipped router. Instead it is an Amazon Echo-style cylinder featuring 13 (six 2.4GHz, six 5GHz and one congestion monitor) internal antennas, 4GB internal storage and "subtle, useful lighting."

Wifi speeds clock at up to 1900Mbps, with smart device support including 802.154i, Bluetooth Smart Ready and Weave.

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Samsung Proposes "Space Internet"

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Samsung Proposes

Samsung proposes a means to provide the world with an additional zetabyte of data transfer capacity every month-- a "Space Internet" system consisting of 4600 tiny Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

In a paper titled "Mobile Internet from the Heavens," Samsung R&D president Farooq Khan forecasts global demand for mobile demand will reach 1 zettabyte per month by 2028, and as such companies need to gear up now if they want to provide the bandwidth required.

Enter the Space Internet. The system consists of a network of so-called micro satellites (weighting less than 500kg) at 1500-2000km altitude. Such satellites cost relatively less to manufacture and deploy, and can essentially blanket the world with faster mobile internet (providing 200GB/month for 5 billion users worldwide) following the widespread adoption of 5G technology.

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