Networking and Telecommunications
Wired networks are established and in place for the most part, although companies
like Yipes are working to close the gaps that remain. The word in networking
now is wireless: moving beyond landlines to connect people and networks via
radio frequencies, beams, and satellites.
Apple Airport Extreme
Airport extreme has two components: the Airport Extreme Card and the Base Station.
With both of these components installed, AirPort Extreme, based on the 802.11g
wireless standard, delivers data rates at 54Mbps, nearly five times faster than
the 802.11b standard. The AirPort Extreme Base Station also features a compatibility
mode as its default setting that supports all 802.11b-compliant products. In
this case, the connection is at data rates up to 11Mbps. The AirPort Extreme
Base Station can serve up to 50 Mac and Windows users simultaneously. The AirPort
Extreme Base Station comes equipped with a built-in firewall to help prevent
access to sensitive data on the computer and the ability to secure over the
air transmissions with 128-bit WEP encryption. Bridging, allows one AirPort
Extreme Base Station to connect to another AirPort Extreme Base Station, eliminates
the need to run expensive cables to extend a network. Previously, all AirPort
Base Stations required a physical connection to the Internet. With wireless
bridging, two or more AirPort Extreme Base Stations can be connected wirelessly
and effectively, increasing the range of a network. The Airport Extreme Base
Station also comes with a USB port allowing users to connect to a USB printer
and share it wirelessly.
Contact: Apple Computer, Cupertino, CA; (408) 996-1010;
Colubris Networks develops secure, wireless LAN solutions for enterprise networks.
Their turn-key solution includes a firewall, router, and other functionality
needed to completely implement a wireless network. Colubris products are designed
to integrate seamlessly into an enterprise security framework and leverage investments
in existing network infrastructure. Colubris’s robust, VPN-caliber security
mechanisms eliminate the need for external devices to ensure wireless security.
Enterprise management features make the wireless LAN completely manageable from
within existing operations framework. Colubris interoperates with existing software
and systems to deliver a cost-effective solution and leverage existing investments.
Two of Colubris’s products are in use at higher education institutions
throughout North America. The CN1050 provides secure Wi-Fi service to authenticated
users. It uses encryption technology to protect data from eavesdroppers. The
CN3000 provides user authentication, but d'es not encrypt data traffic. It provides
a service that is very similar to a public hotspot, such as an Internet café.
Contact: Colubris, Waltham, MA; (781)
fSONA Communications was founded in 1997 to deliver simple wireless solutions
for carrier, service provide, and enterprise networks around the world. The
SONAbeam series of free space optical (FSO) networking products use an unlicensed,
wireless technology operating at speeds up to 2.5Gbps and distances up to 5km
(3 miles). SONAbeam avoids the cost of digging to lay fiber and licensing for
radio frequencies. SONAbeam is operational in 24 countries around the globe
and was named Product of the Year by Network Magazine.
Contact: fSONA, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; (877)
RoamAbout Wireless LAN
RoamAbout R2, from Enterasys Networks, is a customizable and expandable enterprise-class,
indoor and outdoor wireless platform. The RoamAbout R2 is designed to provide
institutions with advanced networking features, an upgradeable architecture,
advanced security features such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and 802.1X support,
and support for multiple standards-based 802.11 radio technologies. These features
create a smooth technology migration, eliminating the need to upgrade an entire
infrastructure or discard previously purchased PC radio cards. It also supports
Enterasys’ User Personalized Networking, a unique policy-based system
that enables resource allocation based on individual users and their roles,
to provide additional security, bandwidth management, and access control. The
RoamAbout PC card uses radio frequencies instead of a LAN connection, seamlessly
switching access points as the user moves about the network. Enterasys’s
higher education customers include Oberlin College, Sinclair Community College,
and Tulane University.
Contact: Enterasys Networks, Andover, MA; (978) 684-1000;
Symbol’s local area networking, Spectrum24, is a wireless classroom solution
that relies on handheld devices. The goal is to overcome insufficient or inconvenient
data drops, provide students with ready access to technology tools, and simplify
technology use for teachers. Administrators, teachers, and security personnel
have instant access to student records. Symbol uses bar code laser scanning
to facilitate the creation of a completely mobile and interactive classroom.
Contact: Symbol Technologies, Holtsville, NY; (631) 738-5451;
Yipes Communications IP
Over Fiber Networking
Yipes Communications uses the Ethernet and IP networking to link businesses
and campuses to the Internet via high-speed optical fiber. Yipes sells bandwidth
on demand. Users pay as they go only for what they use. Yipes connects directly
to the end users, covering the "last mile" that carriers typically
do not cover.
Because Yipes operates via Ethernet, no translating hardware and
software, and thus no hardware purchases are required between its Gigabit routers
and the customer. With Yipes’ managed optical IP networks, customers can
scale their bandwidth use up or down in 1MB increments up to one gigabyte, with
three hour's notice. Yipes products feature unique IP over fiber networking.
Yipes MAN (Metro Area) provides LAN-to-LAN connectivity to increase local area
network connection speeds on demand. Yipes also offers Yipes WEB, a collection
of managed hosting options, network design, and implementation services.
Contact: Yipes Communications, San Francisco, CA; (977)
Campuses that need to network PCs and Macs together may want to turn to PC MACLAN,
a connectivity solution that allows institutions to make the most of both platforms.
With PC MACLAN, network users can utilize all existing AppleShare resources;
create a seamless, Peer-to-Peer network of Windows PCs and Macs over a LAN,
WAN, the Internet or remote dial-up; transfer files between PCs and Macs over
IP or over AppleTalk; share printers by printing directly from a PC to AppleTalk
or PostScript printers attached to the Mac network, or printing from a Mac to
PostScript or to non-PostScript printers attached to a PC; and use a PCs as
AppleShare (Mac) File Servers. PC MACLAN version 9.0 now supports files over
2GB in size and longer file names, offers expanded printer support, provides
full support for OS X 10.2, supports network drives.
Contact: Miramar Systems, Santa Barbara, CA; (805) 966-2432;
Contact: Kensington, San Mateo, CA; (650) 572-2700;
So you’ve decided to go wireless. Your thoughts are full of visions
of conducting your business from cafes, airports, and train stations. But
how do you know you’ll be able to connect once you get there? One
way is to boot up your laptop and search for a signal. Or you could get
the Kensington Wi-Fi finder, a little device that tells you, with the touch
of a button, whether your location is a hotspot or not. Three lights indicate
the strength of the available signal. The little Wi-Fi finder, which fits
into a pocket, detects 802.11b, and most 802.11b/g signals from up to 200
feet away and filters out other wireless signals, including cordless phones,
microwave ovens, and Bluetooth networks. The Kensington product is the only
such device on the market. It retails for under $30.
Wave Three Software uses the Session Initiation Protocol—communication
software with a real-time IP-based communication solution optimized for use
by researchers, medical practitioners, and higher education professionals. Wave
Three provides users with exceptionally high quality collaboration tools that
combine voice, video and data applications in one suite. The SessionT product
provides users unmatched flexibility supporting Voice over IP, Video over IP,
application sharing, and media sharing in a single application. Moreover, Session
is a SIP-based network solution is cross platform compatible and can run over
standard desktop or laptop computers, using Windows 2000/XP or Mac OS X.
Contact: Wave Three, San Diego, CA; (858) 404-5500; www.wave3software.com.