Items tagged with wi fi

Spending time in a busy airport terminal is not something that many of use enjoy doing; it’s something that we have to do. With that in mind, most of us will hop on whatever free Wi-Fi option available, battling it out with other travelers with whatever table scraps of bandwidth are available. For everyone else, there’s always paid options which often provide a faster, more stable connection. Boingo has both options covered with its Secure, Multiplatform, Analytics-Driven, Responsive and Tiered (SMART) Network. Although Boingo doesn’t give us any indication of connection speeds, it says that it will now be offering all passengers free Wi-Fi access. This will be enough for folks just looking to... Read more...
Shortly after we published our AC3200 router roundup, Linksys contacted us and wanted to throw one of its routers into the ring. We agreed, and the company sent us its Linksys EA9200 Tri-band Smart Wi-Fi router, which like the others in the roundup is a tri-band router that uses the Broadcom XStream 5GHz platform, throwing out dual 5GHz networks along with a 2.4GHz network for older devices. Like the other routers, it's capable of pushing data at 1,300Mbp/s on its 5GHz bands, and 600Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band. It is also able to pair both 5GHz channels together using Smart Connect technology, or you can run them as two separate networks if you prefer. This router was one of the first to appear on... Read more...
We get it, you're the king of the block when it comes to Christmas lights and decorating for the holiday season. Everyone in the neighborhood knows it, everyone except Bob from across the street. He's new and he's been stocking up on strings of lights and glowing yard stands. Now you have to up your game and put Bob in his place, but in doing so, don't be surprised if your wireless network suffers.That's the warning from Ofcom, the communications regulator in the U.K. Ofcom released a new mobile application designed to test in-home Wi-Fi connections and in the accompanying announcement, U.K.'s communications regulator lists several examples of products that could interfere with and degrade wireless... 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...
In another generation or two, fliers who take to the skies will take for granted Wi-Fi access on airplanes. For JetBlue, that reality will come a lot sooner as it aims to be the only U.S. carrier to offer high-speed wireless Internet access on every aircraft by around this time next year, if everything goes to plan. JetBlue said it's already completed installation of its cleverly named Fly-Fi service on its fleet of more than 150 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. In addition, its first Fly-Fi enabled E190 lifted ground this week. That leaves 59 more E190 aircraft to go, and JetBlue expects to have them all equipped with Fly-Fi by fall 2016. "Soon every JetBlue customer will step onboard knowing... 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...
It’s interesting to see how quickly a company changes its tune once its nefarious deeds, or rather “public trials,” are brought to light. Earlier today we brought you a story detailing AT&T’s rather sloppy and risky behavior regarding inserting ads into webpages for users that connected to its free Wi-Fi hotspots. Computer scientist Jonathan Mayer determined that AT&T was using a service called RaGaPa that used JavaScript to inject adds into all non-HTTPS webpages. How AT&T managed to hookup with this small startup is beyond me. As Mayer describer, “Their video pitch features “MONETIZE YOUR NETWORK” over cascading dollar signs.” Mayer went on to describe why such behavior on the part... Read more...
There are a lot of positive uses for drones and other unmanned aircraft. Amazon envisions a day when packages will be dropped off on your doorstep courtesy of a drone, and Facebook wants to use them to bring wireless broadband to remote regions. Good stuff, though as it goes with just about all technology, somebody's going to find a nefarious use for it. In this case, there may be a day when drones are used to drop malware from the sky. The foundation is already being laid, though not specifically for that purpose. There's a company called Aerial Assault that modded a quadcopter with a Raspberry Pi computer running the Kali Linux penetration tester software. It's also equipped with alpha radio... Read more...
There are a lot of new features coming to iOS 9, the latest version of which is currently in the hands of developers in beta form. Some are pretty ho-hum, like more wallpapers (not dynamic ones, mind you, just a collection of static images), but there's one upgrade that has the potential to be awesome, albeit subtle. It's called Wi-Fi Assist.The thing about iPhones, and smartphones in general, is that they're stubborn devices. They'll hook into wireless connections just fine, but if the connection is poor or otherwise appears strong yet isn't working well for whatever reason, if at all, the iPhone will stay connected. It's a 'for better or worse' kind of deal, and at times it can be frustrating.In... Read more...
Leave it to a couple NASA scientists to develop technology that supercharges their smartwatches. NASA announced this week that it has applied for a patent on a technology that lets wearable devices reflect wireless signals instead of using traditional transmitters and receivers. Once the new tech is implemented, it should speed up data transmission over Wi-Fi networks while simultaneously reducing power costs – dramatically.Image credit: NASA“The idea is if the wearable device only needs to reflect the Wi-Fi signal from a router or cell tower, instead of generate it, the power consumption can go way down (and the battery life can go way up),” said Adrian Tang of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory... Read more...
Thanks to a new technology partnership with ViaSat Inc., Virgin America is about to upgrade its in-flight Wi-Fi service in a big way. How big? In vague terms, Virgin America says the partnership will bring "significantly faster" wireless connectivity that will allow its passengers to stream video content from the web. Good stuff, though let's talk numbers. Virgin America will pull Wi-Fi service from the ViaSat-1, the highest capacity Ka-band satellite in the world offering 140 gigabits per second. What this means for passengers soaring 35,000 feet about ground is the ability to enjoy Internet service that's typically 8 to 10 times faster than any other in-flight Wi-Fi system currently available.... Read more...
With the "Internet Of Things" supposed to be a major part of our future, there are a number of challenges to conquer. For wearables, such as smartwatches, the issue of power isn't a serious one, as people can just plug them in at night and have them ready-to-go in the morning. But many consider that adding a smartwatch to their list of devices to keep constantly charged is challenging enough. What's going to happen when other wearables come along, or IoT devices, such as surveillance cameras? Believe it or not, it might be possible to help keep some of these devices alive with the same Wi-Fi signals we've been using for so long. This is a solution being evaluated by Vamsi Talla and others at... Read more...
If you’re at all interested in the wearables, things are really starting to get interesting as Apple has entered the fray with the Apple Watch and numerous vendors in the Android Wear camp release compelling designs to eager tech geeks. The wearables market is about to get even more competitive thank to a new software announcement by Google, which will bring perhaps the biggest single update to date for the Android Wear platform. The biggest update, at least to my eyes, is the addition of Wi-Fi support. Like previous feature updates which added GPS and offline music support, Wi-Fi support will allow you to maintain a useable device without the short Bluetooth leash to your smartphone. The update... Read more...
When I think of camping, I think about loading the family (including the dog) in my station wagon and hitting the Blue Ridge Mountains to get away from the stress of daily life and embrace nature. There’s nothing like hiking trails in the wilderness and popping up a tent after a long day without worrying about answering emails or checking up on Facebook. But according to a recent survey conducted by Kampground of America (KOA), it appears that our overwhelming desire to be “connected” at all times is even intruding into our desire to reconnect with nature. The association surveyed 3,000 people and the results were rather interesting. KOA found unsurprisingly that 50 percent of respondents looked... Read more...
While Cuba’s rapidly-warming relationship with the United States is dominating headlines, Cubans are also enjoying some smaller, but important changes. One of those changes is Cuba’s softening of its grip on Internet access. Cubans can now access the Internet through a single free Wi-Fi hotspot. Until recently, Cuba kept Internet access out of the hands of ordinary Cubans. Government officials had some limited access, but citizens had few options. Cuba recently softened its stance just a little, letting ordinary citizens access the Internet for exorbitant fees, not unlike the characters in Hugh Howey’s “Wool.”  Image credit: Google MapsNow, the Cuban government seems to have loosened its... Read more...
Eyefi has announced the latest addition to its family of Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards. The Eyefi claims that its 32GB Mobi Pro is “the most powerful WiFi SD card ever” and will be a welcome addition to the arsenal of professional photographers everywhere. The Mobi Pro supports Selective Transfer, which allows users to tag individual images for syncing instead of transferring every photo stored on the card. However, this functionality is a bit cumbersome to use as each photo that you do want to sync has be marked as write-protected from the camera. The Mobi Pro also supports the wireless transfer of RAW files, and can connect to wireless networks via infrastructure or direct mode. What this means that... Read more...
Google may be moving into the wireless carrier arena a little sooner than you might have expected. The company reportedly plans to take the wraps off project Nova at the end of this month. When the service launches, it will support only one phone according to The Wall Street Journal: Google’s own Nexus 6.  What makes Google’s service interesting is that it will switch between wireless networks and Wi-Fi hotspots, depending on which can provide better service to the user at the moment. The Wi-Fi/carrier switching is meant to make for both better data transfer and higher-quality calls. Because Google is operating as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), it’s relying on established... Read more...
Remember that low-cost Wi-Fi mobile phone service we told you about a week ago? Well, it's here -- Cablevision has begun taking orders for its Freewheel Wi-Fi calling and data service, which runs $10 per month if you're a Cablevision Internet subscriber and $30 per month if you're not. Either way, it's an affordable alternative to traditional wireless services, provided you often have access to Wi-Fi. "Cellular was built for voice and Wi-Fi was built for data, which is why Wi-Fi is the preferred choice for data usage today," Cablevision COO Kristin Dolan said in a statement. "Freewheel integrates a high quality device backed by the strength of our professionally maintained carrier-grade Wi-Fi... Read more...
Cablevision is taking exception to Verizon's claims that its Wi-Fi service is the fastest available, claims the wireless telecom has made in television, radio, and Internet ads. The way Cablevision sees it, Verizon is making "deceptive" claims intended to "mislead consumers," so it went and filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York. "Verizon's claim that it has faster Wi-Fi than Cablevision is false, deceptive, and designed to mislead consumers," Cablevision said. "Verizon has no public Wi-Fi network. In addition, Verizon’s in-home routers are not faster than Optimum Smart Routers and cost Verizon customers hundreds of dollars while Optimum’s are... Read more...
Give Marriott International a half-hearted gold star for finally committing to leaving Wi-Fi hotspots alone. Bruce Hoffmeister, Global Chief Information Office for Marriott, issued a statement saying the hotel chain has decided to withdraw its petition seeking "direction" from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on what legal Wi-Fi blocking efforts might be at its disposable. "Marriott International has decided to withdraw as a party to the petition seeking direction from the FCC on legal Wi-Fi security measures. Our intent was to protect personal data in Wi-Fi hotspots for large conferences," Hoffmeister said. "We thought we were doing the right thing asking the FCC to provide guidance,... Read more...
After being hit with a $600,000 fine by the Federal Communications Commission over its Wi-Fi blocking efforts, the Marriott International thought better of its ill-advised policy and vowed to no longer block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of its managed hotels. Score a point for consumers, and kudos to the FCC, which has now taken things a step further by outright prohibiting people and businesses from intentionally interfering with Wi-Fi hotspots.In an FCC Enforcement Advisory issued this week, the FCC noted a "disturbing trend" by hotels and other commercial establishments whereby they've taken it upon themselves to block wireless users from utilizing their own Wi-Fi... Read more...
Watch out wireless carriers, here comes Cablevision with a tantalizing offer that's sure to lure some subscribers away from traditional mobile phone plans. Beginning next month, the cable company will roll out a low-cost mobile phone service called Freewheel that works by piggybacking on millions of Wi-Fi hotspots. The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data and runs just $9.95 per month for Optimum Online customers, and $29.95 per month for everyone else. Either way, there's no annual contract to lock yourself into, though it does require purchasing a Motorola Moto G from Cablevision for $99.95. This particular Moto G comes with special software that's been optimized for Freewheel, allowing... Read more...
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