Luckily, gadget-makers understand the cruelty of travel, and are always creating new devices that help the mobile worker/road warrior ease the pain of a hotel room with few outlets, or expensive in-room Wi-Fi. Here are three gadgets I've recently tested that can help you on your next trip:
Encryption is one of the best ways to prevent the type of terrible headaches that many high-profile companies have experienced with stolen data. Even if experienced hackers are able to penetrate a system, having the data encrypted can mean that nothing useful is taken.
The latest release of Fedora, nicknamed "Heisenbug," is a step towards making Fedora a player in the mobile arena. Fedora 20 also includes more support for cloud, and this is also the first release that supports cheap, low-power ARM processors as a primary architecture, in addition to Intel and AMD chips.
Everyone needs a Wi-Fi spectrum analyzer, but there are times when analyzing cellular spectrum is also essential. Fluke Networks' new AirMagnet Spectrum ES provides a broad range of capability at a very attractive price. Spectral analysis, a longstanding fixture in electronics and manufacturing test, and, more recently as a valuable tool for understanding coverage, interference, and other elements of Wi-Fi, is the art and science of extracting meaning and insight from wireless systems at Layer 1 -- radio waves.
Over the past few weeks we've been snowbound several times, which also included a school vacation week. With my kids asking me for the one-millionth time "What can we do, Dad?", fortunately I had two technology-related items for the column to test out, and they would also appeal to the youngsters as well as adults.
Erickson Living, a company that manages 16 Continuing Care Retirement Communities in nine states, faces a unique challenge when it comes to installed a wireless network a each retirement community has common areas where residents share available bandwidth, but there are also individual residential units where end users have their personal phone and Internet connections.
Gigabit Wi-Fi is starting to appear in mobile devices, so we got our hands on three smartphones and two laptops running the 802.11ac standard and put them to the test. Though you won't see anywhere near Gigabit speeds in real-world environments, our testing proves that 802.11ac can offer increased throughput over 802.11n.