Farallon announced new wireless products at Macworld Expo, New York - including the SkyLine Access Point and its PCI wireless Ethernet card for Macs - as well as the NetLine Broadband Gateway. All should ship this autumn.
The Access Point is a wireless ethernet solution, capable of supporting up to 30 users at connection speeds up to 11Mbps, at distances of up to 150 feet. The speed can also be dropped, in certain instances, to improve link quality or distance. The Access Point is built to work with Wireless PC Cards, such as Farallon’s SkyLine 11Mbps card, or Apple’s AirPort cards.
Mac challenge The SkyLine PCI card offers an 11Mbps connection for all PCI Macs. Ken Haase, Farallon’s vice president of marketing, said: "The development of this card is a challenge. The Mac OS doesn’t really like the idea of a network bridge through its PCI set-up, it doesn’t come naturally to it." He added the card’s price would be similar to its Wintel equivalents.
The NetLine Broadband Gateway is aimed at DSL and cable modem users, and links a broadband connection to an Ethernet network. The solution offers both DHCP server and Network Address Translation (NAT) support. It is built to allow a single IP address to be shared by multiple computers simultaneously over a network. It includes Web-based management features, can support Macs and PCs, and provides firewall features for "always-on" Internet connections.
Wireless broadband The Gateway can be used with Farallon’s SkyLine wireless solutions to create an Internet-connected, wireless network for school, home and small-business users. It will support up to 253 addresses, and will be a plug-&-play solution, automatically configuring the machines on the network with their own IP addresses.
Of Apple's new G4 Cube, Haase said: "The Cube puts the Mac at the centre of an entertainment system." He seemed excited by the possibilities the Cube has to offer home entertainment and domestic networking. Hinting at future products, Haase said that Farallon is watching the emerging standard from HomePlug, for network connectivity over existing electrical networks, very closely.