US Robotics has used the WLAN Event at Olympia to launch its first business-specific product, but paradoxically the device is not actually wireless. Instead, the £299 USR808200 is a combined broadband router, firewall and NAS box that adds VPN support.
The ability to have up to 253 IPSec VPN connections means that even smaller businesses can have teleworkers and mobile staff connecting safely to the office network from outside, said USR sales manager Lee Marsden. "It can also be a fileserver," he said, adding that a version with a built-in wireless access point is on its way.
USR does have wireless Ethernet innovations on show though. It has new firmware for its accelerated 802.11g products which it claims boost their maximum speed from 100Mbit/s to 125Mbit/s.
Marsden said that the key benefit of the Wireless Turbo technology used by USR is that it provides higher speed on a single channel. Rival speed-up schemes work by bonding two channels together which limits the number of networks in a given area and cannot propagate across a wireless bridge, he added.
"Turbo uses larger packets and limits the gaps between packets," Marsden said. "We developed it with our silicon supplier Texas Instruments. The new firmware will be available to upgrade existing products in June, when we will also start shipping it in our new products."
However, USR currently has no intention to go into the enterprise market. "We are bringing out more business products, but we won't go head to head with the enterprise guys," he said.
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