Tag Archives: Wireless

Can Christmas Lights Really Play Havoc With Your Wi-Fi?

Because your wireless network is much less powerful than a big FM transmitter and its waves are weaker, where you place the router and what you have in your house will have an impact. Home electrics, microwaves, steel girders, concrete cladding and foil insulation all can have an effect. Older properties with their thicker walls make a difference, too, as the lower-powered, high frequency Wi-Fi radio waves struggle to penetrate them. – Andrew Smith, Gizmodo

AT&T Testing Wireless Home Broadband In At Least 4 States

photo: Jetsetpress/Flickr, Consumerist

WLL [Wireless Local Loop] customers get a dedicated receiver and antenna in their homes that connect wirelessly to nearby AT&T towers. […] FierceWireless reports that testing of WLL has begun in parts of at least four states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Virginia — and that users there are reporting seeing data speeds of 15-25Mbps. […] Most home broadband plans include data limits of at least 250GB a month. AT&T’s largest LTE data plan tops out at 50GB and costs $350. That’s $7.50 per gigabyte. The company can’t charge anywhere near that amount — or, conversely, try to limit use to only a few gigabytes per month — and hope to win over the 13 million home broadband subscribers it said it would try to reach. – Chris Morran, The Consumerist

Report: Google Wireless cellular announcement is imminent

Google will have a hard time being “disruptive” when it’s only reselling someone else’s service. Any Sprint and T-Mobile MVNO would be at the mercy of… Sprint and T-Mobile. Google Fiber is disruptive because Google is using a different data delivery technology—fiber optic—and doing all the hard work of ground-up network building, which gives it full control over everything. By owning everything, Google can sell high speeds for low prices, and shake up the competition in cities it offers service. Reselling service on Sprint and T-Mobile’s existing networks doesn’t leave that much room to be different. Some customers might have a lower bill, but we don’t see how it will be the “10x” improvement Google usually shoots for. – Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Despite A Year To Prepare, Wireless Carriers Struggle To Adhere To Weak And Voluntary Cell Phone Unlocking Guidelines

Interestingly it’s Verizon Wireless and AT&T, arguably the worst of the major carriers when it comes to attempts to stifle openness over the years, that come out ahead in adhering to all six guidelines (though your mileage may vary, and since the rules don’t require much, this may not mean much). For Verizon, that’s in part thanks to the Carterfone conditions placed on its 700 MHz spectrum, though that hasn’t stopped the company from fighting openness in general tooth and nail in other ways. As I’ve noted previously the conditions have plenty of loopholes — and anti-competitive behavior is allowed just as long as companies ambiguously insist that what they’re doing (like blocking Google Wallet, or locking bootloaders) is for the “safety and security of the network.” – Karl Bode, Techdirt
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Need storage for your Chromecast? Toshiba’s AeroCast Wi-Fi hard drive does that

The AeroCast is only available with 1TB of storage, which is slightly disappointing, but its complete PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone compatibility more than makes up for the lack of capacity options. You may have to limit your digital hoarding, but at least you know accessing and sharing the content will be as easy as pie on all mobile and computing platforms. […] Even better, the tiny contraption can wirelessly pair to a separately sold Google Chromecast and beam your home movies and pictures on the big-screen living room TV via Toshiba’s proprietary Google Cast Ready app. – Adrian Diaconescu,Digital Trends
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The Bridge Is Over: Sonos Adds Simpler Wi-Fi Setup to All Its Speakers | Gadget Lab

Sonos just announced a firmware update that eliminates the need for the Bridge, which had to be physically connected to a router with an Ethernet cable for any Sonos system to work. Now, you can connect to one or more Sonos speakers directly via Wi-Fi, with no hard-wired connection. During configuration, a speaker will form an ad hoc connection with your mobile device. You can set up one of the speakers to act as a wireless bridge for multi-speaker setups, although there are some limitations as compared to a Bridge setup. […] For the Wi-Fi-only setup, all speakers will need to be in range of your Wi-Fi router, which means you are limited in terms of speaker placement. And although the Wi-Fi feature will work with the company’s Playbar soundbar by itself, a hardwired Bridge is still required for 5.1- and 3.1-channel Sonos home-theater setups. – Tim Moynihan,WIRED
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The GAO finds a few problems with broadband data caps

The GAO conducted eight focus groups and interviewed several experts (I was interviewed by the GAO as part of the report) to try to understand why data caps exist, what effect they have on the consumer and how they might influence innovation. The study covers both wireless and wireline, although already it seems a bit dated given that the findings only mention one wireless carrier throttling speeds, when all carriers now do so. But it’s the wireline side that concerns me, mostly because data caps aren’t a good tool for managing network congestion but are an exemplary tool for getting consumers — especially heavy users — to pay more for data. – Stacey Higginbotham, Gigaom

Samsung Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device review: Slightly buggy

Samsung’s wireless hard drive holds 1.5TB of files and streams most of them well. But there’s no iOS or Windows Phone app, and it choked on our high bit-rate MKV test. […] The Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device (WMMSD), streams audio, images, and video via its integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. Stream around the campfire, as it were. Unfortunately, the firmware exhibited some rough edges during my hands-on that need to be smoothed before I can recommend it. – Jon L. Jacobi, PCWorld  http://ift.tt/1mk4WwY