Linksys launches faster 802.11g line

News

New Linksys Wireless-G Products with SpeedBooster provide enhanced performance by up to 35% and compatibility with other 802.11b/g Products

Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, and the leading global manufacturer of broadband, wireless, and networking hardware for home and SOHO (Small Office/Home Office)
environments, today announced a new line of next generation 802.11g products - Wireless-G with SpeedBooster. These new products provide home and small office users with more wireless throughput and enhance network performance by up to 35%.

Designed to be backwards compatible with the existing installed base of 802.11b/g products, they include additional security options and the industry’s most advanced parental
control service to further protect computers and users on the network. In addition, users can see a significant performance enhancement when these products are used in mixed-wireless networks using standard 802.11g products. The SpeedBooster line includes a Wireless-G Router (WRT54GS), PC Card (WPC54GS) and PCI Adapter (WMP54GS).

"Our customers worldwide want more performance but they also want currently installed products and future wireless products added to the network to work well together.
It is highly likely that users will have a mixed network of Linksys clients, game or media adapters, and also laptops with embedded wireless clients like Intel’s Centrino", said Steve Troyer, Linksys’ director of product marketing. "Our SpeedBooster products can provide the fastest wireless
throughput in real-world environments without negative impact on the performance of nearby wireless systems."

SpeedBooster features

 Real-World Wireless Network Performance Enhanced by Up To 35%* when using
SpeedBooster products
· Designed for Complete Interoperability and Significantly Enhanced
Performance with all Standard-Compliant 802.11g Products
· Designed for Complete Interoperability with all Standard-Compliant 802.11b
Products·
‘Good Neighbour’--Designed to Limit Interference to other nearby Wireless Networks

Wireless-G Router with SpeedBooster Provides Additional Value with More Security Features such as the new Linksys industry leading Parental Control

Service, WPA, SPI Firewall and 802.1x Authentication and Authorisation

Increases Real-World Performance By Up To 35%*

SpeedBooster, built on Broadcom’s Afterburner technology, is desiged to help increase "real world" wireless network throughput performance by up to 35%.
SpeedBooster can also increase the aggregate throughput performance of a mixed wireless network of 802.11b/g by up to 70%.  This means that no matter what wireless device is running, the overall performance of a network is enhanced.  SpeedBooster products minimise overhead communication between data transmissions which enable the boost in performance.

Unlike other proprietary speed-enhanced products, a SpeedBooster router is designed to associate with standards-compliant 802.11b/g products on the
network and conform to the speed of that device. SpeedBooster adapters communicating with the SpeedBooster router will continue to perform at enhanced speeds whilst
802.11b or 802.11g products, including Centrino equipped notebooks, will gracefully downshift to their designed data throughput.

Interoperability with all Standard-Compliant 802.11b/g Products

SpeedBooster is the first speed-enhanced technology designed to offer complete 802.11 compliancy with products that are fully standards-compliant. The SpeedBooster product line is currently the only speed-enhanced 802.11g products that are compatible and interoperable with other vendors’ 802.11b and 802.11g compliant products.

Designed to limit interference

The IEEE specification for certified 802.11g products require that the products stay within 20MHz (on Channel 6) of the 2.4GHz frequency band.
Adhering to this specification limits interference with devices and other networks in the 2.4 GHz band. Since Linksys SpeedBooster products conform to this 802.11g specification, they are expected to be the first speed-enhanced technology products in selected countries worldwide starting in May.  Several countries currently restrict the usage of wireless products that exceed the 20MHz rule.

Troyer said, "It is our commitment to continue providing additional value to our products and services.  In addition to all the award-winning features found in our standard Wireless-G products, we are also offering additional security features to our Wireless-G SpeedBooster Router.  Linksys offers as many security options as possible to give customers the choice if they require them."

Security features

The Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster includes new features that enhance not only the performance of the home network but the security levels as well.   Besides the SPI (stateful packet inspection ) firewall, Linksys has added WPA (currently being tested for certification) which offers improved encryption security beyond standard WEP. SpeedBooster also includes the IEEE security protocol 802.1x which uses a handshake protocol to pass data to authentication servers such as RADIUS.

Linksys is also announcing its new Parental Control Service, designed and developed with Netopia, Inc., which makes it easy for users to keep their family safe on the Internet.  Users can set individual profiles for time of day and day of week access restrictions for all major internet applications including browsers, email, chat, and Instant Messaging.  Through the 16
different web content categories, users can control website access for each member of the family. Web site filtering based on millions of URL classifications within over 50 separate categories including, pornography or violence, for example, which are updated on a daily basis by an independent rating service. The email and Instant messaging filters let users decide who in their family can send and receive messages. Online reports for the family network are viewable at any time.  The Parental Control Service will be available early Summer.

Pricing and availability

The SpeedBooster line is scheduled to be available starting in May through major retail, online resellers, distribution, direct mail resellers, and VARs.
Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster (WRT54GS)
Wireless-G Notebook Adapter with SpeedBooster (WPC54GS)
Wireless-G PCI Adapter with SpeedBooster (WMP54GS)

External Links

Linksys