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UTILITY: Socket Communications releases Wi-Fi Companion software for Pocket PCs with built-in W-LAN
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 02.05.05 - 17:51:31 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 10730x
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Socket Communications, Inc. today announced the Socket Wi-Fi Companion, designed for Pocket PCs with integrated 802.11 W-LAN. The Socket Wi-Fi Companion is an intuitive, graphical software application that greatly improves the user's experience detecting hotspots, setting up and monitoring a connection, performing basic site management functions, viewing access points and determining the strength of a wireless connection.

"The growing presence of W-LAN access points and hotspots is creating demand for smart mobile devices with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity," said Shail Talati, product marketing manager, W-LAN and Ethernet Products at Socket Communications. "With an intuitive graphical user interface and the ability to quickly determine a Wi-Fi network's parameters, the Socket Wi-Fi Companion empowers the mobile user to easily go immediately from detecting available networks to configuring a connection."

Socket's Wi-Fi Companion software improves the built-in Pocket PC W-LAN by providing an intuitive graphical user interface, along with tools to improve the user's experience with W-LAN connectivity. Integrated Profile Configuration Capability enables users to quickly identify available networks and configure for connection. Socket's Wi-Fi Companion determines the presence and level of wireless coverage, whether security is enabled and the type of security used. With ping and trace route diagnostic tools, troubleshooting to determine where network issues exist becomes effortless. In addition, connection persistence capability continuously manages and maintains the user's connection. The Wi-Fi Companion also automatically manages the W-LAN power save setting to maximize the Pocket PC's battery life.

Socket's Wi-Fi Companion is compatible with HP, ASUS and Dell Pocket PCs with built-in W-LAN capability. It also efficiently integrates with all of the W-LAN security protocols supported by Windows Mobile (WPA, WPA-PSK, 802.1x, 40/128-bit WEP, Open).

It is available immediately in CD-ROM format through Socket's North American distribution channels with an MSRP of US$ 24.99. The Wi-Fi Companion is also available for download from Socket's website and Handango. In addition, Socket also offers a 14 days trial version.

Existing Socket CF and SDIO Wireless LAN Card customers can download the Wi-Fi Companion at no charge beginning May 16.

I've tested the Wi-Fi Companion over the past weeks and seriously it improved my W-LAN experience with Pocket PCs. It works similar to Socket's previously released "WLAN Tools Mobile Edition v2 for Windows Mobile 2003" which is designed for Socket own CF and SD cards only. However, Wi-Fi Companion works with inbuilt W-LAN modules also. During my tests, I've used it with O2's Xda III/IIs and IIi so it might also works with other Pocket PCs than the approved one, however - before you buy it you should test it first.

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by MadTxn on 02.05.05 - 18:22:11

Interesting... does this mean that I can install this on my iPAQ 5555 and use WPA pretection on my network?  I don't have that ability with the built in software.

Posted by Arne Hess on 02.05.05 - 18:36:35

At least it is listed as supported device: hp iPAQ h555x
However, not sure if it also supports WPA but you can try the free trial version and share your experience with us here. I would be interested to learn more too.

Posted by MadTxn on 02.05.05 - 19:08:01

After doing a little research, HP released a driver update that is supposed to enable WPA.  It involves doing one or more hard resets, so it'll take some time.  Plus, I have to get my router firmware updated.  And all my machines at home.  Yikes.

Posted by Arne Hess on 02.05.05 - 19:50:09

Hehehe... Same here - the real tech stuff is at home - not in the office... wink

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