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D-Link, Buffalo Beef Up Their Networking, Storage And Entertainment Lines

Posted by iNext - 2006-01-09

D-Link rolled out a new network security product and Buffalo Technology unveiled additions to its home wireless networking line and upgrades to its storage product line at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Designed to protect home and small business networks, D-Link's SecureSpot Internet Security Device installs between the broadband modem and the wireless router and performs a wide range of security functions that were previously handled by multiple applications, says Rocky Rosas, technical marketing engineer at D-Link, Fountain Valley, Calif. These include anti-virus, parental control, pop-up and spam blockers and anti-spyware technologies developed by Bsecure Technologies, a Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-based security vendor.

Home users can use the SecureSpot device to set up virus scans and other security preferences using a browser-based interface. Plus, the device automatically updates information on virus definitions, spyware and spam servers, Rosas says. The SecureSpot will be available at the end of January and is priced at $99.99 with four client licenses. Additional licenses are available for $19.99. The yearly backend subscription fee for the device is $79.99.

D-Link also showed off home entertainment products such as its MediaLounge High-Definition Wireless Media Player with DVD, which Rosas says the company will have made compatible with Intel's Viiv technology by the end of the year. It also unveiled its MediaLounge High-Definition Wireless Media Server which comes with a 100-Gbyte hard drive.

Meanwhile Buffalo Technology took the wraps off a couple of new additions to its home wireless networking line, including the AirStation Wireless A/G High Power Smart Router and the AirStation Wireless A/G High Power USB Adapter with Antenna. These are designed for streaming video, music and photos in the home and use Atheros' SuperG chipsets, according to Morikazu Sano, senior vice president of global marketing at Buffalo, Austin, Texas.

Buffalo has added a proprietary amplification technology to the chipset that extends the products' range and speed, giving them actual throughput in the neighborhood of 100 mbps, or about twice as fast as other 802.11a/b/g products, says Sano. Both products will be available in February priced at $99 for the router and $79 for the USB Adapter.

Buffalo also upgraded several of its network attached storage (NAS) products with compatibility with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), an interoperability standard for home networking products. These include Buffalo's TeraStation Home Server, LinkStation Home Server and LinkTheater Mini. The three devices are all designed to make it possible to view digital content on devices on home networks. The interoperability that makes these products DLNA-compliant comes from software called NAS Media Server developed by Mediabolic, a San Mateo, Calif.-based ISV for the home market, Sano says.

Nathan Hufford, sales engineer at Computer Connections, a Greensburg, Pa.-based commercial and residential integrator, sells Buffalo's TeraStation NAS products and says home users are mainly interested in using them as a repository for digital content such as photos and video.

Hufford says he's familiar with the interoperability benefits of DLNA products, but thinks it will take some time for DLNA to be a factor in the home integration market.

"The concept's there, but everyone seems to be headed in a different direction, and there needs to be more people on the bandwagon before it becomes big in the home," said Hufford.

Available in January, the TeraStation Home Server is priced at $899 and LinkStation Home Server at $399 for 300 Gbytes and $549 for 400 Gbytes. The LinkTheater Mini will ship in January and is priced at $99.

The vendor is also aiming to make a strong push into the SOHO and SMB storage market with the introduction of TeraStation Pro, a product that includes features such as swappable hard drive capability, locking case, and an LCD screen. Sano says Buffalo saw that SMB customers were buying the TeraStation Home Server and decided to address that market. 

"To get deeper into the SMB market, we needed to provide reliability and easy access to the hard drives, as well as support for Active Directory," Sano explained.

Meanwhile, although Netgear didn't announce any new home networking products, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor did grab headlines with the revelation of a Wi-Fi phone and router that runs Skype voice over IP service in hotspots and areas with Wi-Fi coverage.



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