Items tagged with Networking

With the massive uptick in people working from home due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines in place, the load on our broadband infrastructure has skyrocketed. Here are some tips – mostly free – to maximize and optimize your Wi-Fi and broadband performance so that you can get work done more quickly and efficiently, with better quality video conferences and virtual happy hours. Also these, these tips should help with your online gaming performance when you need some [well-deserved] downtime during this chaos as well. First up, there are a number of things that you can do that won’t cost you a single penny… Update Your Router’s... Read more...
Over the past few months, we have seen a spattering of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) routers enter the fray, including the ASUS ROG GT-AX11000 and Netgear Nighthawk AX8, both of which we recently put to the test. There was a caveat to our testing, however—we had to benchmark them using Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) hardware, because at the time, Wi-Fi 6 had not yet really permeated the marketplace on the client side. That's to say, practically every modern device with Wi-Fi connectivity is sporting a Wi-Fi 5 adapter. In a sense, companies like ASUS and Netgear had put the cart before the horse. It is not that these companies are obtuse. Rather, they recognized where the market was headed and essentially got... Read more...
Government intelligence agencies in the United States have held firm that Huawei's products present a security risk and could be used as conduits of sensitive information to China. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims, but is there any truth to it? Well, as an interesting twist to the situation, it's being reported that a major telecom had previously found "hidden backdoors" on Huawei's networking equipment. In security parlance, a backdoor is a means of bypassing authentication or encryption in a product or service. Technically, it is not the same thing as a vulnerability (usually), but can have the same consequences. That is the reason why Apple refused to build a backdoor into iOS for the... Read more...
ASUS's new RT-AX88U WFi router is now available from purchase from major retailers in the United States. This router supports the new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard, which enables ultra fast data transfer speeds and is set to become the new standard for high-end networking devices. The new RT-AX88U is the latest addition to ASUS's wireless router product line, and its design closely follows that of its predecessors such as the RT-AC86U and RT-AC88U. It has four large external antennas that support AIRadar beamforming technology that helps to strengthen the connection to devices at longer distances. Built with a new Broadcom chipset to support the new RT-AX88U network protocols, this router is able to... Read more...
Huawei is a Chinese company that makes smartphones and networking equipment, and has close ties to the Chinese government. A new report has surfaced that claims a deal between Huawei and the Washington Redskins NFL team was axed after a U.S. government complaint. The deal would have reportedly seen fans at the stadium where the team plays home games get free Wi-Fi. The deal fell through, in 2014, after the NFL team was warned that Huawei posed a cybersecurity threat according to a source familiar with the matter. So far, the U.S. government and its agencies that have been issuing these warnings have offered no concrete proof that Chinese intelligence agencies have infiltrated Huawei phones... Read more...
It's not often that the US Justice Department or FBI pleads with the public to do something, so when this happens, it's worth paying attention. This past week, the agency managed to thwart a botnet called VPNFilter by deactivating a domain that would have sent further instructions to routers belonging to ordinary folk like you and me. A problem still remains, though, and it's the one the these agencies want help with. Even though the malicious domain was killed off, thousands of home routers remain infected with the malware that made them susceptible to that kind of attack to begin with. Because the bug is severe enough, router vendors have been issuing firmware updates to remedy the... Read more...
Most of us have had a love-hate relationship with wireless networking. It’s a wonderful technology when all your devices remain connected and perform well in every room of your house, but that’s not always the case. When your devices intermittently drop off or can't find a strong enough signal strength for reliable web browsing, or even if you're suffering through endless video buffering, there isn’t much you can do in that moment, but accept you’re at the mercy of your wireless router. Networking companies sought to fix that with wireless network extenders, but most of those early devices were a messy affair that required separate network names and manually selecting... Read more...
Earlier this week, we talked about Huawei's deal with AT&T falling through, with the America's second-largest wireless carrier backing away from selling the Mate 10 Pro smartphone. The reason the deal fell apart according to sources familiar with the deal was pushback from the House and Senate intelligence committees who feared a Chinese company gaining major inroads in the U.S. Huawei has now announced its plans at CES 2018 for rolling the Mate 10 Pro out in the States. Odds are that this big announcement at CES 2018 was supposed to be done in conjunction with AT&T, but we digress. What Huawei has announced is that the Mate 10 Pro will be offered in the U.S. via major retailers... Read more...
The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that it has added new enhancements and features to WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) that will make the feature more secure. The new features include configuration, authentication, and encryption enhancements across the portfolio to ensure that Wi-Fi Certified devices are using state of the art security protections. The Wi-Fi Alliance wrote, “WPA2 provides reliable security used in billions of Wi-Fi devices every day, and will continue to be deployed in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices for the foreseeable future. Wi-Fi Alliance will continue enhancing WPA2 to ensure it delivers strong security protections to Wi-Fi users as the security landscape evolves. New testing enhancements... Read more...
Netgear is showing off some of its new gear that will be on display at CES 2018 and among that gear is a new Siri-enabled Arlo Baby camera that looks like a bunny. Arlo Baby Camera is the world's first smart baby monitor according to Netgear and integrates with the Apple Homekit. The Arlo monitor is paired with an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad and offers a live video stream of the baby via the Arlo Baby camera feed. There is two-way audio for talking and listening to the baby along with other people near the camera. Parents can also quick view the most recent snapshot recorded by the camera. With Homekit integration, the camera stream can be launched using voice commands. There are also Arlo... Read more...
Anyone around back in the '80s when rabbit ears were the main way of tuning in to your favorite shows will know that foil improved reception. A group of researchers has now found that we can apply similar tech to our WiFi routers. The team of researchers used a 3D printer to produce a cheap and customized reflector that directs wireless signals in the direction you need them most. The solution might be just what is needed for enhancing signal strength in certain areas of a home or office. "Through this single solution, we address a number of challenges that plague wireless users," said Xia Zhou, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. "Not only do we strengthen wireless signals,... Read more...
We’ve been covering technology here at HotHardware for close to two decades, and although we’re pretty well seasoned, last week we got to experience something new – we participated in a company’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Aquantia (NYSE:AQ), makers of multi-Gigabit networking technology, went public on Friday and Marco was the sole tech journalist allowed to tag along.We first covered a couple of Aquantia’s products earlier this year – the AQN-107 and AQN-108 multi-Gigabit add-in boards. But since then the company has scored numerous design wins and their chips have found their way onto enthusiast motherboards, and into gaming notebooks and multi-Gigabit network... Read more...
When many think about the security of their devices, it's easy to look at the obvious targets: desktops, notebooks, mobile devices, and of course, the software on all of them. In reality, one of the most vulnerable pieces of digital equipment in our homes can be the router - an effective entry point that gives access to all of your connected devices. In a support page update, NETGEAR says that its high-end NightHawk R7000 will begin recording specific information, although it is currently unclear on if the feature can be disabled. On one hand, NETGEAR could be commended for not keeping this under the radar, leaving people to learn of it the hard way, but does the company really need the information... Read more...
Gigabit Ethernet has been a long-running standard on desktop PCs and in mainstream networking gear. In fact, it’s been almost two decades since gigabit network controllers appeared on desktops systems. Aquantia Corporation is looking to muscle into the space, however, with a pair of brand new network interface cards that offer multi-gigabit network speeds – and they can do so on existing wiring.“Historically, networking capabilities, such as Gigabit Ethernet introduced in PCs in 2000, defined a significant stepping stone in the PC evolution. But for the past 17 years, that Ethernet port has stagnated at 1 Gigabit, and become a bottleneck for IT professionals, gamers, and performance users at... Read more...
Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, our PCs are now scarily efficient compared to those from just a decade ago, and of course, performance is much-improved. That is, unless we're talking about wired networking. While SATA-based solid-state drives can easily peak at 500MB/s, the Ethernet connections we use today are the same we used a decade ago: 1Gbps. If you're one of those who are fed up with not having faster Ethernet in our humble abodes, then you might like what the IEEE has just completed. A new standard, called 802.3bz, has been ratified for upcoming 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps speeds giving a boost of up to 5x over our current networks. It's worth noting that 10Gbps networks... Read more...
At this point we've reviewed quite a few high-end AC routers, including tri-band routers, flagship dual-band models, and even the latest MU-MIMO devices too. However, the one portion of the market we haven't covered much is the one that exists on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum. We all know there are quantifiable differences between a $100 GPU and a $300 GPU, but is that also true for 802.11ac routers as well? After all, they're all branded as AC routers, and have similar features and specifications.  This time around, we'll be taking a look at the $75 Tenda AC15 AC1900 router. Tenda is a lesser known brand in the US, but its AC router looks the part and is less than half... Read more...
ASUS crafts some of the highest-performing and best-looking wireless routers on the market, but as far as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned, it's also crafted some of the most insecure. The FTC alleges that ASUS put "hundreds of thousands" of users at risk because they were oblivious to some serious security holes that plagued the most important piece of equipment on their network. Some of these issues were tied to cloud software bundled with the router, but that's not all. The FTC mentions that bugs in some router control panels would allow attackers to change settings without the consumer's knowledge, and last April, a security researcher found an exploit campaign that actually... Read more...
We’ve all heard about Wi-Fi — the ubiquitous wireless networking standard is commonplace in just about all of our gadgets (smartphones, tablets and notebooks) and even our cars, as well as some home automation and IoT products. It’s hard for most people not to go a day without using Wi-Fi at some point, and with technologies like 802.11ac, we’re transferring data over the air at fantastic speeds (or so we thought). However, Professor Harald Haas, hailing from the University of Edinburgh, has invented Li-Fi, which uses visible light communication or VLC, to transmit data wirelessly at high speeds. In its current iteration, Li-Fi uses LED lights, which flicker at a rate that is imperceptible... Read more...
PC gamers and longtime HotHardware readers will no doubt be familiar with the Killer series of network controllers. We’ve taken a look at a number of the add-in versions over the years, including the original beast with the massive “K” heatsink. Many of today’s gamer-targeted motherboards also feature Killer networking technology, like this Gigabyte motherboard we recently looked at, for example.Though at their core Killer NICs are network controllers, that function just like more basic, mainstream solutions, they offer additional features designed to enhance performance and potentially improve the gaming experience. How the Killer NICs work their magic isn’t quite clear to gamers, however, so... Read more...
Wireless routers are going through somewhat of a renaissance right now, thanks to the arrival of the 802.11ac standard that is "three times as fast as wireless-N" and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices in our homes and pockets. Whereas before we merely had a handful of laptops and PCs connected to the internet at various times, we now have homes with many devices connected all the time, including our phones, tablets, computers, smart televisions, game consoles, and smart home devices. Though wireless N wasn't bad at the time, it's simply not ideal when dozens of devices are connected at the same time, and certainly not in a larger home or office. That's where 802.11ac comes in, as... Read more...
On the lookout for a router with obscene specs? With its AC5300 Nighthawk X8, NETGEAR has got you covered. Seriously - most people might not get as excited about a piece of networking equipment as they do the latest graphics card, but this is one router that deserves some close attention. Last month, ASUS launched its RT-AC5300 router, one similar in specs to NETGEAR's latest. But, there is one major difference: ASUS' router has a wall of antennas; 8 in all. NETGEAR's doesn't. Instead, the Nighthawk X8 has just 4 external antennas. Does that mean that ASUS' implementation is more for show? It's hard to say, but NETGEAR's "Active Antenna" technology certainly gives some explanation to things.... Read more...
It won't be long (hopefully) before Intel's newly launched Skylake processors for the desktop will find their way onto retail shelves (they're already available through system builders). If you've been waiting for Skylake, you'll soon be able to proceed with your new build. In the meantime, you can get started with other parts, including the motherboard, some of which sport Rivet Network's all-new Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller. Rivet's new flagship controller introduces something called "Advanced Stream Detect 2.0," which is a collection of technologies and algorithms designed for superior network data detection and network optimizations. The E2400 automatically detects and prioritizes... Read more...
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