The CP-2W Connection point allows you to build a home network consisting of up to 4 ethernet and multiple 802.11 wireless computers all connected to a common internet port. Set-up was a snap. The quick start guide walks you through the process of plugging in the cable or dsl modem for the internet, connecting the ethernet lan and setting up the client computers etc.

Your internet browser is used to access the various settings etc. of the CP-2W. From this simple interface you can set up your internet connection (multiple options), wireless SSID and WEP Encryption security setting etc. There is a built in NAT firewall that when tested using “Shields Up” came through with flying colors.

iPAQ 11 Mbps Wireless PC Card $99.99.For the wireless network we tested using the PC card on a laptop computer. Again, setup only took a few minutes … installing the card, software and drivers. Clear instructions help you get the network up and sharing the internet, files and printers etc. An icon in the windows system tray shows you when the signal is strong enough etc. and opens a small application which gives you more details on signal strength etc. and allows you to change configurations and settings. USB adapters are also available.

My only problem with this and other 802.11 networks that I have tried is range. Granted … we have a 2.4 GHz phone system and lots of electronic gear running around here … but I am still disappointed that I can’t get the signal from one end of the house to the other … about 75 feet on one level. On the plus side … the freedom of wireless networks is something that once experienced will not be forgotten. It’s like magic to old DOS hackers like me 🙂

Here are the details:

Standard Features

Share a Single High-Speed Internet Connection

* Network Address Translation (NAT) allows a single public IP address to be shared across many devices
* DHCP server automatically provides up to 253 IP addresses on the local area network
* Supports dynamic IP, static IP and PPPoE connections via an external DSL or cable modem, providing high-speed Internet access (up to 50 times faster than a 56K modem)

802.11b Wireless Networking

* 802.11b wireless is high-performance, industry-standard wireless networking for use with IEEE 802.11b-compatible networking cards
* Range up to 300 feet, transmission rates up to 11 Mbps; high-speed coverage of most home or small office environments
* Access point roaming to work in conjunction with other 802.11b access points, increasing coverage area

Ethernet Networking

* Built-in 4-port Fast Ethernet Switch connects up to four PCs with Ethernet cables for highspeed data transmission, enhancing gaming and audio/video streaming
* Auto-sensing 10/100 ports automatically configure to 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps Ethernet transmissions
* Auto-sensing MDI/MDI-X cabling automatically configures for use with normal or crossover Ethernet cables
* Ethernet to wireless bridging automatically combines an 802.11b wireless network and an Ethernet network into one local area network

Security and Advanced Management

* NAT firewall hides local PCs from external hackers by translating IP addresses from public to private local addresses
* MAC address verification lets you block or allow network access based on the physical MAC address of a device
* 64-bit and 128-bit WEP encryption delivers the highest available level of encryption technology for an 802.11b wireless network
* Secure VPN pass-through allows users to tunnel into a corporate network from behind the Connection Point CP-2W fire
* Internet protocol and port filtering enable you to block or allow data based on individual protocols or parts
* Web DMZ allows an IP address to be set up outside the firewall for Web page serving or other services
* Virtual server enables a virtual port for such services as FTP, while the host device remains behind the firewall
* Internal Web-based management pages allow you to manage and configure the Connection Point CP-2W through a Web browser for easy access and navigation

This should be all you need to set up a comprehensive and secure home network. The CP-2W retails for about $200 and the PC and USB adapters are in the $100 range.