Items tagged with wi fi

You might have really fast Internet service, but if your wireless router stinks, you will still be hampered by subpar performance, at least for your wireless devices. Unfortunately for Google Fiber subscribers, using their own Wi-Fi router was not an option...until now. So, if you are a Google Fiber customer and want better wireless range than what the provided box offers, you can now have it. Not that Google's own equipment stinks. Still, for Google Fiber customers who are stuck with the company's older "Google Fiber Network Box," they may find that their wireless signals are not all that great in certain spots. Likewise, they are unable to take advantage of the benefits of the more recent Wi-Fi... Read more...
Windows 10 is back in the news again, and no, we're not talking about another delay for Windows 10X. Instead, we have yet another bug to report for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, which has had its fair share of problems ever since it was first released two months ago. The May 2020 Update has introduced a bug (thanks to a recent Patch Tuesday update) that affects the Wi-Fi status icon, which erroneously reports that there is “No Internet Access” even though a user’s internet connection is working just fine. For example, one user reports that they were still able to perform a ping command and browse the internet using their internet browser. However, where the problems... Read more...
If you're reading this article from home, it’s likely that you're connected to a consumer-grade Wi-Fi router, either wirelessly or via hard wired Ethernet. And if that's the case, you should probably take this time to upgrade your router's firmware ASAP. That is if an update is even available from the manufacturer. We say this because the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication (FKIE) in Germany recently performed test of 127 home routers, to probe them for their resistance to security threats. Of the routers the researchers tested, 91 percent of them were found to be running some version of embedded Linux, which isn’t surprising. What was surprising, however, was that the researchers... Read more...
A team of researchers warn that combo chips that implement multiple wireless technologies in PCs and mobile devices are susceptible to a side-channel exploit called Spectra. Not to be confused with Spectre (or Meltdown), this side-channel vulnerability affects chips that combine Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and sometimes cellular bands as well. "We are the first to explore side-channel attacks on wireless coexistence. We specifically analyze Broadcom and Cypress combo chips, which are in hundreds of millions of devices, such as all iPhones, MacBooks, and the Samsung Galaxy S series. Note that other manufacturers also rely on coexistence and similar attacks might apply," the researchers say.... Read more...
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...
A jury has awarded $1.1 billion in damages to the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) after finding Apple and Broadcom guilty of infringing on its Wi-Fi patents. Apple bears the brunt of the penalty, as it has been ordered to pay $837.8 million in damages, while Broadcom is now legally compelled to fork over $270.2 billion (barring an appeal). Coming off a $91.8 billion quarter, it's best ever, Apple will be just fine after writing a check (if it comes to that). After paying the bills, Apple was left a massive $22.2 billion profit in the three-month period ended December 29. Meanwhile, Broadcom is coming of a quarter in which it earned $5.78 billion in revenue for a profit of $874 million.... Read more...
River Networks is injecting a bit of artificial intelligence (AI) into is Killer Intelligence Engine to bolster wireless connections. The general idea behind this is to constantly monitor and "score" Wi-Fi access points in order to ensure a user is connected to the best available one, thereby resulting in a stronger, faster, and more reliable connection. According to Rivet Networks, simply moving to a better access point can have a dramatic impact on the wireless experience, reducing latency by up to 50 percent and increasing throughput by over 100 percent. I'm not sure where Rivet Networks plucked those specific figures from, though the company is correct in asserting a stronger access point... Read more...
Did you know that you could create and use a QR code to better facilitate using stronger security on your wireless network? A QR code is not in and of itself more secure than manually typing in a passcode, but if you want to use a long string of 63 characters and symbols, you would otherwise need an exceptional memory. Let's be real, who has time to remember a unique set of 63 characters? For the most part, it is not really feasible. At the same time, using a long passcode can help defend against brute-force attacks. The thing about WPA and even WPA2 is they are vulnerable to password cracking attacks, and the weaker the passcode, the easier it is crack. That's where using a QR code comes into... Read more...
With Christmas right around the corner, many Americans are traveling (or about to travel) to spend time with friends and loved ones. And when away from home (or the office), many Americans are tempted to hop onto any available, unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot with their smartphone, tablet or laptop in order to avoid using previous cellular data. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning Americans about falling into that trap. As part of its Tech Tuesday column, the FBI's Oregon office is presenting a number of tips to keep your devices safe from potential hackers when traveling. While most of these suggestions are practices that many techies always adhere to... Read more...
As Black Friday bargains start to arrive, you may want to shop for a new wireless router, depending on old your current one is and whether it supports WPA2 (or later) encryption. Otherwise, you may soon find yourself unable to connect. Microsoft posted a list of features it plans to deprecate in Windows 10, and one of them is the older (and much weaker) WEP protocol. "Since the 1903 release, a warning message has appeared when connecting to Wi-Fi networks secured with WEP or TKIP (which are not as secure as those using WPA2 or WPA3). In a future release, any connection to a Wi-Fi network using these old ciphers will be disallowed. Wi-Fi routers should be updated to use AES ciphers, available... Read more...
In medicine, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. The same goes for Windows, unfortunately, as we have seen many times in the past. More recently, Microsoft's Patch Tuesday roll out from last week has been causing problems for some users, such as busting Wi-Fi connectivity on certain NEC systems running Windows 10 1903. The issue lies with KB4515384. After installing the update, some users noticed that their Intel wireless network adapters were no longer functioning. Microsoft acknowledged the issue in a support document, noting it affects certain wireless adapters. "Microsoft and NEC have found incompatibility issues with Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards when... Read more...
We are no longer on the cusp of Wi-Fi 6 (otherwise known as 802.11ax) connectivity -- it has arrived -- just not in earnest yet. It will take some time before the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard is truly shoved aside in favor of the new kid on the block, the one that is faster and more adept at juggling multiple wireless devices simultaneously. Nevertheless, early adopters who want to live on the bleeding edge have options. One of them is the beastly ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 we will be showing you here. As you might have surmised from the ROG branding, the GT-AX11000 is geared towards power users and gamers. That is also evident by the physical design, which we will discuss in a bit. In terms... Read more...
There is a fledgling wireless standard that effectively renders the vast majority of home networks out of date -- don't panic though, your stuff isn't necessarily obsolete. It is called Wi-Fi 6, if using the simplified nomenclature that the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced last year, or 802.11ax if you want to stick with the more technical (and potentially confusing for the average consumer) description. Either way, what we have is a bleeding-edge standard that router makers are just now starting to adopt, one that is better equipped to handle the growing number of wireless devices that are commonly found in our homes (PCs and laptops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, smart speakers, and so forth).... Read more...
"You're holding it wrong" was a popular refrain when the Apple iPhone 4 was lambasted over complaints of poor cellular reception. Just holding the phone in your hand like a normal human being could result in your phone call being dropped or reduced internet speeds. It appears that Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S5e has been afflicted with a similar problem, but it affects the tablet's onboard Wi-Fi. Galaxy Tab S5e owners have discovered that holding the tablet in your left hand in a landscape orientation can cause the Wi-Fi signal to drop low enough to cause an interruption in connectivity. When held in this particular horizontal orientation, the selfie camera is situated on the left. This... Read more...
It’s becoming harder to know which apps to trust these days, and that’s readily apparent with the disclosure of a vulnerability in the popular Android app “Wi-Fi Finder.” The purpose of the app is to make it easier for individuals to locate free public Wi-Fi hotspots that they can use on-the-go rather than digging into their cellular data. However, a password sharing feature of the app has been compromised according to security researcher Sanyam Jain. The feature allows users to upload Wi-Fi passwords stored on their devices so that they can be shared with others. However, this information – which should be separated from the public Wi-Fi hotpots that the app is... Read more...
Most of the security vulnerabilities we write about at HotHardware fortunately won't affect the vast majority of readers. Either these exploits require user interaction to kick-start, or you have to be of particular interest as a target for someone to go through the effort of executing more complex attacks against you or your devices. But then there are those vulnerabilities that could impact any of us at any time, and worse, can be exploited with the ultimate of ease. Embedi is a security firm that focuses on embedded devices and operating systems (hence the name). Through its research efforts, the company discovered some serious issues with the firmware of the widely-used ThreadX RTOS... Read more...
Belkin has announced a barrage of connected products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), not the least of which is its new Linksys MR8300 mesh Wi-Fi router. Before we get to the actual router, though, let's talk a bit about the Belkin and Linksys brands, and where things currently stand (it can be a little confusing). Linksys started off as its own company way back in 1988 (first as DEW International, then later renamed Linksys), founded by Victor and Janie Tsao, a couple that had immigrated to the United States. The company built a reputation for itself, and in particular its WRT54G was a popular router model among home users. Networking stalwart Cisco acquired LInksys in 2003 and held onto... Read more...
Qualcomm on Tuesday announced a new family of 60GHz 802.11ay Wi-Fi chipsets that promise to significantly improve wireless performance. Raw speed is part of the deal, with 802.11ay delivering 10+ gigabit-per-second (Gbps) network speeds, but Qualcomm is also claiming latency on the level of a wired connection. It's a somewhat confusing addition to the wireless space with the Wi-Fi Alliance recently announcing new nomenclature designed to simplify things. Wi-Fi Alliance is phasing out all of the different 802.11 designations and replacing them with terms like 'Wi-Fi 6' (next-generation 802.11ax) and 'Wi-Fi 5' (current generation 802.11ac). It seems Qualcomm is not yet ready to kick 802.11 designations... Read more...
As video and image files grow with higher resolution cameras and sensors, it takes an increasing amount of bandwidth to transfer those files around a wireless network. To support the need for faster transfer speeds, the Wi-Fi Alliance is working on ever faster Wi-Fi technology. It has announced Wi-Fi 6, the designation for devices that support the 802.11ax standard. The introduction of Wi-Fi 6 marks the beginning of the Wi-Fi Alliance using generational names for certification programs for all major IEEE 802.11 releases. That means instead of devices being called 802.11ax compatible, they will be called Wi-Fi Certified 6. The new numerical naming convention will be applied retroactively to previous... Read more...
Stronger wireless security is headed to homes and businesses. That's because the Wi-Fi Alliance this week formally introduced Wi-Fi Certified WPA3, the next generation of Wi-Fi security with new capabilities to bolster personal and enterprise wireless networks. The new standard builds upon and ultimately replaces WPA2, which has seen widespread adoption over the past 10 years, enabling more robust authentication. No small upgrade, WPA3 delivers increased cryptography strength for highly sensitive data markets. There are two modes, WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Etnerprise, both of which use the latest security methods and disallow outdated legacy protocols. Both also require the use of Protected Management... Read more...
Apple is discontinuing its line of wireless routers, including its AirPort Extreme base station and AirPort Express, both of which support simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and can be configured and managed through an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. It's a somewhat surprising move when there is so much focus in the tech industry on the fast growing Internet of Things (IoT) market and connecting homes, though the writing has been on the wall for more than a year. In late 2016, Apple dismantled its AirPort division and reportedly reassigned employees who had been developing the company's branded routers to other projects. Once Apple disbanded the AirPort team, it was really... Read more...
Do roaming charges have you feeling down? Good news—Google has begun beta testing Wi-Fi calling on its Google Voice service for Android devices and on the web. As for iOS, Google says support is coming soon, but did not offer up a specific date. This is especially helpful for people who own more than one mobile device, such as a personal phone and a separate one for work. Through the beta program, users can make calls over Wi-Fi on any compatible device that has Google Voice installed, or on the web. Not only could this potentially reduce roaming charges (if that is something you contend with), it can also help you keep in touch in places with poor cell service, provided there is a Wi-Fi... Read more...
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