Intel unveils wireless gateway for SOHO market

Intel on Tuesday at PC Expo extended its reach in the small office/home office (SOHO) networking segment by announcing the Intel Wireless Gateway, a wireless base station that will allow multiple users to connect to a LAN.

The Wireless Gateway will roll an access point, a router and a firewall into a single device, Intel said in a statement. The device will support up to 32 computers on a network, which will communicate with the wireless base station using the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.) 802.11b protocol.

The device will come with an embedded firewall and 128-bit encryption to repel network intrusions, the statement said. The device can be set up and configured in minutes with the help of a Web browser, Intel said.

The device will plug into existing LANs that have WiFi-certified devices. WiFi certification was introduced by the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance to ensure interoperability of equipment on a 802.11b wireless network.

Intel has made a number of movements in the mobile networking space since announcing in January that it would acquire mobile networking gear maker Xircom Inc. for US$748 million. In May, Intel announced its first product resulting from the Xircom buyout: A wireless Ethernet adaptor for Handspring Inc.'s Visor handheld computer.

The Wireless Gateway device belongs to Intel's family of wireless LAN base stations, which include the Intel PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN Access Point and Xircom Wireless Ethernet Access Point for small businesses.

The device will be available in August priced at US$299, the statement said.

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