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Wireless Routers Enjoy Smooth Reception From Market

2004 could turn out to be the year of the wireless router. With the devices rapidly penetrating the home, home office and small business market, router vendors continue to refine their offerings.

D-Link has taken the wraps off of a router that lets travelers access and share hotel Internet connections or connect Ethernet-capable devices wirelessly. The company is positioning the device as a security solution that gets around the drawbacks of unprotected public connections, such as Internet hot spots. The approximately $100 device features three operating modes: router/firewall, access point and wireless client modes.

San Diego-based Lightpointe is moving ahead with its laser communication technology strategy. The FlightLite 100 device offers Ethernet connectivity at speeds up to 100 Mbps. Designed for LAN-to-LAN bridging applications, the LightPointe device incorporates 802.af-compliant power over Ethernet technology. The company is targeting its technology for building-to-building connectivity, as well as LAN-to-LAN connectivity. The company says that remote buildings can be wirelessly connected for about the same price as with 802.11 solutions, but at four times the speed.

Looking down the road, Chinese router vendors are eyeing the market for IPv6 wireless/mobile routers. Scientists at Beijing Communications University were recognized by a technical panel last week for developing what is touted as the first wireless/mobile router for the next version of the Internet. Some industry analysts believe the development could position Chinese manufacturers as major players in the coming market for Ipv6 routers.