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Netopia Introduces 3-D Reach Wi-Fi Starter Kits for DSL and Cable Subscribers

[December 16, 2003]

Netopia Introduces 3-D Reach Wi-Fi Starter Kits for DSL and Cable Subscribers

Netopia, Inc. today announced two new 3-D Reach Wi-Fi gateway starter kits. Intended for use by both cable and DSL broadband subscribers, the Netopia Wi-Fi starter kits incorporate a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 3-D Reach Netopia gateway, Wi-Fi PC Card, and Netopia's WEP Configuration Wizard. Available for shipment with WEP security features auto-configured and enabled by default, the Netopia 3-D Reach Wi-Fi starter kits provide total security out of the box.

With Wi-Fi security under scrutiny, Wi-Fi has come under fire for being an "insecure" technology. Robust Wi-Fi security measures are widely available, but many are complicated to install and ineffective when not deployed properly. Most Wi-Fi equipment vendors today ship their products with security features turned off, leaving users vulnerable to wireless hacker attacks or "Wi-Fi mooching" from neighbors or other casual wireless users. To limit these risks, Netopia ships its 3-D Reach Wi-Fi Gateways with security features turned on, along with an easy-to-use wizard for automated WEP configuration.

"Wi-Fi's enormous popularity has been driven in large part by a group of early adopters that are technically savvy. Nonetheless, Wi-Fi networks to date have not been trivial to deploy or secure," said Aaron Vance, Industry Analyst at Synergy Research Group. "Therefore, ease of set-up and use will be critical for Wi-Fi's growth among general users. Netopia's products are incredibly easy to set-up and secure and can be managed remotely for support purposes -- products like these should encourage further adoption among an entirely new set of residential and small business users."

The Netopia WEP configuration wizard is delivered on a CD-ROM and installs the necessary drivers for the Wi-Fi PC Card and automates the installation of 128-bit WEP security on the wireless laptop or desktop PC. The user enters nothing more than the gateway's serial number -- the wizard takes care of the rest. Since Netopia's Wi-Fi gateways also come pre-configured with WEP on, the user is securely up and running in minutes -- all over a Wi-Fi connection. This streamlined installation approach is unique in the industry and eliminates at least three installation and security configuration steps generally needed to secure products from other vendors. With the Netopia solution, the user eliminates the gateway configuration step, WEP key generation process, and the equally daunting step of configuring WEP on the wireless client.

Both the Netopia 3387W Cable/DSL Wi-Fi Gateway and Netopia 3347W ADSL Wi-Fi Gateway utilize Netopia's proven 3-D Reach Wireless technology to extend wireless reach. With other products, customers often experience a drop-off in coverage if their gateway is located on a different floor from their PC (for example, the gateway is in an upstairs office when the user is trying to access the Internet from the den downstairs). In a wide range of tests, Netopia's 3-D Reach gateways demonstrated superior wireless range and greater receiver sensitivity than the competition. A copy of these independent lab test results is available at The Netopia 3387W Cable/DSL Wi-Fi Kit is designed for customers with an existing cable or DSL modem. The Netopia 3347W ADSL Wi-Fi Kit is a "one-box" solution incorporating the ADSL modem into the gateway's design.

"The lack of built-in security is a barrier to mass-market adoption of Wi-Fi," said Jeff Porter, vice president of marketing at Netopia. "Netopia solves the problem by treating security as a default condition and supplying installation wizards and support utilities to streamline and simplify the setup process. We can enable security, while still using standards-based technology and certifications, such as 802.11x and WEP standards, along with Wi-Fi compliance."

The Netopia Wi-Fi Starter Kits will be generally available from distributors, eCommerce stores, service providers, and select retail outlets worldwide in January 2004.

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