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Intel, Cisco making WLANs easier

Sep 07, 20042 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworkingWi-Fi

* Intel and Cisco team up to make WLAN configuration easier

Intel and Cisco – via its Linksys division – recently worked together to make it easier for users to set up, secure and operate their wireless LANs.

Linksys is the small office/home office WLAN arm of Cisco, which Cisco acquired last year. It also announced its technology and marketing partnership with Intel last year.

The result is called Intel Smart Wireless Solutions, and involves a new version of Intel’s PROSet/Wireless software, Intel’s Centrino mobile chips for notebook computers and certain Linksys wireless routers and access points.

Cisco and Intel say the aim of all that is to make setting up a wireless network even easier than it is now, so that a novice could get up and running quickly. The new technology eliminates or simplifies some setup operations, like enabling security settings, typing passwords on the router and on a PC and setting up SSID names, the companies said.

The new software includes a Wireless Network Configuration Wizard to simplify configuration to three steps. The wizard can simultaneously configure both a Linksys wireless router or access point and an Intel Centrino-based notebook. The wizard automatically pops up on a notebook when the software senses the presence of a new and unconfigured Linksys wireless router.

Meanwhile, the Intel PROSet/Wireless software analyzes the WLAN’s operations, identifies connectivity problems and suggests fixes. And the Security Assistant feature of the software scans the WLAN for required security settings, and displays only those input fields that a user needs to enter to connect to that network, based on the settings.

The new features are expected to supported by Centrino by year-end, while the configuration wizard will be supported this fall on the Linksys Wireless-G VPN router and Wireless-G Router (others will follow).