802.11 ACCESS POINTS
Linksys dominated the awards for network infrastructure products, winning in four out of five categories. Our readers gave Linksys' Instant Wireless Access Point the nod for Best 802.11 Access Points.

The Instant Wireless Access Point enables wireless notebook and desktop PCs to connect with Ethernet networks for sharing files, resources, and high-speed cable or DSL Internet connections. The Wireless AP's two high-powered dipole antennas enable connection speeds at up to 11Mbps in indoor or outdoor environments. Advanced user authentication and 128-bit Wireless Equivalency Privacy (WEP) encryption reinforces data security so other non-authorized wireless devices are blocked from your network.

With its Windows-based diagnostics and statistics tools, wire-free installation is simple. Multiple APs can be cascaded to extend the operating range and improve data transfer performance.


INSTANT WIRELESS ACCESS POINT (WAP11)
Linksys
Irvine, CA
(949) 261-1288, (800) 546-5797
www.linksys.com
Price: $139

802.11 NICs
Linksys earned its second Readers' Choice Award for its 802.11 Network Interface Cards (NICs). The Instant Wireless Network PC Card is a PCMCIA Type II Card. The PC Card and the Instant Wireless PCI Adapter work directly with other wireless 802.11b NICs in peer-to-peer environments or with Wireless AP infrastructures to connect with wired Ethernet resources (e.g., high-speed Internet access or wired local area networks).

Compliant with the 2.4GHz, Wi-Fi, and IEEE 802.11b standards, the Wireless NICs feature 128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) data encryption for secure wireless data transmissions at up to 11Mbps (depending on environments).

Linksys has shipped wireless cards for the Windows environment since February 2001, and the company currently owns 60 percent of the total wireless retail market, according to NPD TechWorld.


INSTANT WIRELESS PC CARD (WPC11)
INSTANT WIRELESS PCI ADAPTER (WMP11)
Linksys
Irvine, CA
(949) 261-1288, (800) 546-5797
www.linksys.com
Price: PC Card, $79; PCI Adapter, $99.

ROUTERS
Linksys routers also are popular with our readers. The company captured its third Readers' Choice Award for its EtherFast 4-Port Cable/DSL Router, the first broadband router specifically designed for the home and small business user.

With more than three million units sold, Linksys is a leading provider of router devices. The company owns 64 percent of the retail market and 40 percent of the business market. The router's wide adoption can be attributed to features such as sharing a single high-speed cable or DSL Internet connection using just one IP address, a NAT firewall for added security, and a built-in 4-Port 10/100 switch. Other features include IP Sec Pass Through, PPTP support, PPPoE, port forwarding and filtering, IP filtering, remote administration, DMZ hosting, MAC cloning, logging, and DHCP.


ETHERFAST 4-PORT CABLE/
DSL ROUTER (BEFSR41)
Linksys
Irvine, CA
(949) 261-1288, (800) 546-5797
www.linksys.com
Price: $79

SWITCHES
In addition to being noted for the best access points, NICs, and routers, Linksys also earned our readers' votes for Best Switches. The EtherFast 5-Port 10/100 Workgroup Switch lets every user on a network simultaneously run at the maximum speed available (up to 200Mbps per port at full duplex).

Delivering a fast, easy, and cost-effective boost to network performance, the Linksys switch supports demanding applications such as Internet sharing, multimedia, desktop publishing, video, database, and multi-user gaming programs. The Linksys 10/100 switch is a favorite for its simple setup and low cost. A stackable design lets you add more users and devices instantly by connecting additional switches together. With millions of 5-port switches sold to the home and business, Linksys is a leading provider of low-density hubs and switches.


ETHERFAST 5-PORT 10/100 SWITCH (EZXS55W)
Linksys
Irvine, CA
(949) 261-1288, (800) 546-5797
www.linksys.com
Price: $49

AUTHENTICATED NETWORK TIMING DEVICE
For keeping time among networked computers our readers chose Spectracom's NetClock/Network Time Provider (NTP). The NetClock/NTP derives its time from atomic clocks on-board GPS orbiting satellites and provides secure authenticated Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) time via its Ethernet output port.

Using Network Time Protocol, the NetClock/NTP synchronizes the time clock of computer clients or servers for time-sensitive network operations and applications. Supported OSs include Windows NT, Windows 2000, Novell, UNIX, Linux, and AIX. NetClock/NTP is designed to deliver secure split-second timing for a variety of organizations.


NETCLOCK/NTP — NETWORK TIME PROVIDER, MODEL 8189
Spectracom Corporation
East Rochester, NY
(585) 381-4827
www.spectracomcorp.com/netclockntp.html
Price range: $2,135 to $2,815
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