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    Product Info
    Name: Netblaster II
    Company: Sohoware
    Price: Click To Find Lowest
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    SLCentralHardwareReviewsNetworking Sep 30th, 2020 - 10:06 AM EST
    Sohoware Netblaster II 802.11b Wireless Networking Kit
    Author: Chris Oh
    Date Posted: August 17th, 2001
    Rating: 8/10 SystemLogistics

    The Kit

    Well, this is a "kit" but in actuality, it's just the hub and the PC Card in their own boxes thrown together into a bigger box. There is no "kit" manual or "kit" software, just the own individual documentation and software that came with the separate items. Let me start by telling you a bit about the Hub. The wireless hub is the base station for administrating all the activity within a wireless network. Although in some cases you might not need a hub, if you plan on having more than 2 computers or expanding your computer farms in the future, a hub is the way to go. When you use two wireless adapters in ADHOC mode, they can just talk to each other without going through a hub but that would post a few problems: 1) When a computer that has the internet connection and printer is off, the other computer cannot access either the internet or the printer 2) You don't have the room to upgrade in the future and the rage of the wireless network is shortened. 3) The burden of distribution of broadband goes to one computer, draining resources. The Netblaster II is basically a transmitter and receiver. Computers on the network talk to each other through the hub and usually, DSL/cable access goes into the hub so the hub can distribute it through to all the computers connected in a 300ft+ radius. Very convenient if you have a big place or your computers are farther apart, a hub right in the middle of the physical network means a farther range of the signal. Don't get the wrong idea...Internet access isn't what the WLAN kit is all about. There are also other ways the kit can be of use. It can replace the many feet of Ethernet cable in your house or office, it can give you true portability in a laptop, it can perform every task that a wired LAN does. It's a great and easy alternative to wiring. The great thing about the system is that it's compatible with an existing wired network. Lets say you just set up a nifty -computer 100Base-T network in your living room (switch and 3 Ethernet cards) and you want to connect the lonely computer in your sister's room to the network and also give it the fast Internet access it deserves. Since the room is 250 feet away and you don't want to run a wire all the way through the wall, a wireless solution is ideal. You buy a kit, plug the AP into of the ports in your hub/switch, then install the adapter card in the lonely computer and voila! You have the lonely computer connected to the 3 other computers to share files, printers, and most importantly.. the Internet. The lonely computer isn't so lonely anymore. There is no need to replace your current LAN if you don't need to, it's just great to add computers that are isolated or add newfound portability to a laptop. Going wireless sure has its perks. The NetBlaster II hub is auto detecting and plug and play. As soon as the hub detects an internet connection, it obtains a DHCP IP and then it sends IP's to all the computers connected to the network. That's basically it's only job and it performs it well. If you think about it, this hub is just like a standard Ethernet hub in the way that it gives IP's to all the computers connected and allows for internal connectivity within the bounds of the networking range. With default settings, 11Mbps transmit and receive speeds are normal but you can set them to: 11Mbps, 5.5Mbps, 2Mbps, 1Mbps or auto through software included with the kit. Running on a 2.4Ghz frequency, it can transmit up to 100meters with typical indoor obstructions and up to 300meters outdoors with no obstructions. In the case that there is a huge area that the wireless network needs to cover, multiple hubs can be employed to relay signals to each other to form a larger radius. Now what can I say about the PC Card that could be mildly interesting? Well, it has a orange LED visible from the protruding, unattractive block antenna it has. As a PC Card (note: write about the signal failure), it performs just like any ethernet card. It is detected as a network adapter and then it starts receiving signals from the hub.

    >> Installation/Usage

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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction/IEEE 802.11b Networking In A Nutshell
    2. Specs
    3. The Kit
    4. Installation/Usage
    5. Performance/Benchmarks
    6. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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