Wi-Fi Alliance simplifies home wireless networking

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Wi-Fi Alliance simplifies home wireless networking

Group promises easier and more secure set up.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has certified the first products that comply with its new simplified method for configuring home wireless networks.

The group's "optional" certification is dubbed Wi-Fi Protected Setup, and is based on a specification developed by Alliance member companies to make it easier for home users to set up secure Wi-Fi networks.

The first release of the programme supports the use of a push-button technique or entry of a Pin to network Wi-Fi devices.

Support for methods using Near-Field Communication, in which a user touches a token or card to a device, as well as USB Flash drives, is planned for later in the first half of 2007.

"Wi-Fi has quickly become one of the most pervasive wireless technologies, but consumers have told us they want it to be easier to set up and protect," said Wi-Fi Alliance managing director Frank Hanzlik.

"Wi-Fi Protected Setup reduces by half the number of user steps required to set up a network, enabling Wi-Fi to be more easily installed across a range of consumer devices."

Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at research firm Parks Associates, added: "Having an industry-standard approach to simplified network set-up will be a big help, as new users adopt Wi-Fi and more experienced users want to connect a wider array of devices.

"We expect 90 per cent of networked homes to include Wi-Fi by 2010, so it is critical that manufacturers make it as easy as possible to configure."

The first products to become certified for Wi-Fi Protected Setup are:
  • Atheros AR5006X 802.11a/b/g Wireless Network Adapter
  • Atheros AR5002AP-2X Concurrent 802.11a and 802.11b/g Dual-band WLAN Access Point
  • Broadcom BCM94704AGR 54g Dual-band Access Point Reference Design
  • Buffalo AirStation Wireless-A&G High Power Access PointWHR-HP-AMPGV
  • Buffalo AirStation Wireless-A&G High Power Notebook AdapterSTA: WLI-CB-AMG54
  • Conexant CX94515 ADSL2+ Gateway
  • Intel PROSet/Wireless Software Version 11.1
  • Marvell 802.11a/b/g Wireless USB Client
  • Marvell TopDog Draft 802.11n Access Point
  • Ralink Technology RT5201U (802.11a/b/g USB)/Packet Overdrive
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