Wireless Systems Design

All-In-One Device Delights Travelers

Today's business travelers have to be connected at all times. Unfortunately, their destinations aren't always equipped to help them-especially when it comes to wireless access. To keep travelers and SOHO users wirelessly connected, SMC Networks (www.smc.com) has come out with the EZ Connect g 2.4-GHz, 802.11g Wireless Traveler's Kit (SMCWTK-G).

In a convenient, easy-to-carry case, this kit houses everything a traveler needs to convert a wired-hotel broadband or visiting-office connection into a wireless connection: a USB cable, Cat-5 Ethernet cable, power cord, and an all-in-one networking device. That networking device can operate in any of five different modes: access point, Ethernet bridge, repeater, point-to-point bridge, or point-to-multipoint bridge.

Now, business travelers can work on their wireless-equipped notebooks in places that offer only wired connections. If it's connected to a wired-hotel broadband connection, the SMCWTK-G becomes a personal access point. Back at home or in the office, that same device can be used as an Ethernet bridge. That bridge will instantly convert any Ethernet-device gaming console, printer, set-top box, point-of-sale terminal, desktop, or laptop computer into a wireless-network device.

Conveniently, this kit doesn't require drivers to be installed. A user simply needs to plug it into the Ethernet port of any Ethernet device with the included Cat-5 cable. That Ethernet device then becomes wireless, giving users the freedom to wirelessly locate printers where they're most needed, play multi-player networked games, and more. To further enhance simplicity and placement flexibility, the kit can be powered via a standard electrical outlet or USB.

To expand a wireless local-area network (WLAN), the SMCWTK-G also can be configured as a repeater. Its built-in support for the Wireless Distribution System (WDS) facilitates the connection of 802.11b and/or 802.11g clients to the wireless network. In addition, it extends the coverage of a home or office WLAN. Essentially, the kit's repeater capability forwards the wireless signal between a wireless client and another SMCWTK-G that is connected to the wired network. In doing so, it extends the range of an existing wireless network and overcomes the obstacles that block wireless signals. Plus, the unit's point-to-point and point-to-multipoint bridging functions make it a great solution for connecting multiple networks. For example, to connect a network in the garage to the main house, one just needs an SMCWTK-G at each end.

Because the SMCWTK-G is plug-and-play and platform independent, it can be easily installed via the EZ-Installation Wizard. To ensure secure transmissions across the wireless network, users can enable the device's 64-/128-b Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access, (WPA), and MAC-address filtering. They also can disable SSID broadcast.

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