Gives It All
After you experience
the benefits of high speed internet access, it’s like you’ve
totally forgotten what life was like without the net. Instant page
loads, fast downloads, music, and even on-line videogame adventures
are the new norm, but if you have another computer in the house, reality
comes to a screeching crawl, or in most cases, a complete stop.
Networking as easy as AOL?
Many who pay
the high prices to experience broadband DSL or Cable internet service
can only use it on one computer in the house. We’ve all heard
of the term “Home Networking”, but anyone you know who
has it, had it professionally installed (very expansive) or has
done it themselves after hours of phone troubleshooting. In the
end, the dream of home networking usually ends up in the return
line of your local Staples or Office Depot. Why can’t it all
be as easy as AOL? Well, Actiontec says it can be easier,
in fact, as easy as “1-2-3”.
We decided to take
the Actiontec challenge and set up our own “home network”.
Would we succeed; would we end up tangled in a mess of wires? Well,
in the first place, Actiontec has done away with the need
for long cables that people used to have to lay like pipe in order
to build a network, instead they use air. Wireless networking at its
finest, Actiontec tells the user that all you need are two
basic parts: a box (router) to send and receive information between
your modem and all the other computers in your house, and a little
part that attaches to each computer (USB wireless adapter or PC card)
in order to “talk” to the box. Sounds simple on the surface,
but let’s dig in.
Your ticket to broadband internet on ALL your computers,
without the wires!
Upon first opening
the packaging, things looked extremely simple, much more simple
in fact than even Microsoft’s “friendly” solution
to wireless networking. Each connecting part was labeled in a friendly
fashion, saying what it was and what it does. The connection cable
for instance has a picture of where it connects and the power adapter
even says, “Plug this end into a Power Outlet.” Talk
about simple! But a bright pink flyer in the box grabs our attention
and says, “Start here”.
Pop this into the side of your laptop and take your work outside
to the backyard or the front porch.
All we have
to do is make sure we can view any web page before we start. Check.
Next we insert the CD-ROM and it starts right away. Like an AOL
install, the installation program asks simple questions and does
all the dirty work. Complete with photographic images, the unplugging
of one cable and the plugging in of another is seamless. Finally
the install is done and checks up. Things are ok and we are done
setting up the little box. Putting Disc 1 away, we use Disc 2 to
set up the little USB adapters and laptop PC Cards which connect
our other computers so they can get internet access too.
done and squared away, the overall install process is painless and
seems to work with any broadband internet provider. We did however
notice that everything can go seriously wrong on some installs if
you have a firewall installed. On one install attempt, the automation
didn’t work because ZoneAlarm was interfering. Also, after the
install is finished a restart of the computer may be necessary to
get the internet flowing. Other than remembering to uninstall your
firewall software and re-install it after you are done setting up
your router, everything should be fine. And if you ever get into a
real pinch, the toll-free tech support line is displayed at all times
during the automated install.
About the size of four credit cards, this little device is a
snap to install on each desktop computer you have in the house.
For those who
want to make their internet experience better by using your laptop
on the porch or if you have to wait your turn in line in order to
use the net or play your favorite on-line game, Actiontec
presents the idea of home networking again, but this time it’s in
reach even for those who have difficulty programming their VCR.
Got kids and are worried about what they will see? Actiontec
lets you use your router to block sites, but they also have come
out with a premier product that melds the idea of kid safety software
with office spyware.
newest product "Kid Defender" not only blocks the vast
majority of pornographic content and sites kids shouldn’t
see, but it keeps kids safe from on-line predators and allows parents
to keep track of what their child is doing on-line. It’s almost
like having on-line security team protecting your child’s
internet adventures, but even better you can remotely shut down
internet activity that your child may be viewing instantly.
you can view a particular chat session that your child is having
with an on-line “buddy”. Let’s say this summer
you see a conversation start between your child and a fellow 5th
grader on an on-line chat. But you have to go to work and haven’t
had a chance to check out this new buddy. Actiontec solves
this issue of rightly concerned parents. Actiontec’s
remote monitoring subscription service will allow parents to view
their child’s activity from work via the net.
You can check
out a great demo of Kid Defender at Actiontec’s website or
get a Free trial: Here
a complete internet package or Kid Defender alone visit Actiontec: