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Access Points:

D-Link Pocket Router/AP

WiFlyer

Palm OS:

Enfora Wireless Portfolio

PalmOne SD WiFi Card for the Tungsten T5, Tungsten T3, Tungsten E2 and Zire 72

SanDisk SD WiFi Card (Zire 71 only)

Sony WL100 WiFi CF Card for Clié

Windows Mobile, Pocket PC:

AmbiCom WL1100C type I CF card

Belkin type II CF card

D-Link 650W type II CF card

Linksys WCF12 type I card

Linksys WCF11 type II CF card

Mobis Just Mobile 802.11b/g SD card

SanDisk SD WiFi Card

SanDisk SD WiFi Card + 256 megs RAM

SanDisk Connect Plus CF WiFi + 128MB memory

SMC 2642W type II CF card

Socket P300 Go WiFi! SD card

Socket Communications LAN type I CF card

Socket SDIO WiFi Card

Spectec miniSD WiFi Card new!

 

Socket SDIO WiFi LAN Card for Pocket PCs supporting SDIO Now!

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Where to Buy

Posted Nov. 13, 2003 by Lisa Gade, Editor-in-Chief

Socket, long in the business of making Pocket PC networking cards has released an SD WiFi card just a few months after SanDisk. This card was released in the Fall of 2003 and works with Pocket PC2002 and 2003 PDAs supporting the SDIO Now! standard (Dell Axim X3, iPAQ 3900 series, iPAQ 5000 series, iPAQ 1930/40/45, iPAQ 2220 series, Samsung i700 and the ViewSonic V36).

The card protrudes 7/8" inch from the Pocket PC and has a green LED connection indicator. Its consumes 280mA peak when transmitting and a mere 15mA when idle. Since SD slots aren't as fast as CF slots, pages do take a little bit longer to download compared to CF WiFi cards. The card is the same size and shape as SanDisk's SD WiFi card, and the driver software is also quite similar, hence you'll notice similarities in the reviews of these two cards.

Socket SD WiFi 802.11.b network card

Socket SD WiFi card in iPAQ 1940

Above, the SanDisk SD WiFi card and the iPAQ 1945

 

Installation and Drivers

The Socket card comes with Pocket PC 2002 and Pocket PC 2003 drivers. The included CD includes installers for both operating systems, though you may want to check Socket's web site for the very latest drivers. The CD also contains a PDF document that covers configuring and using the card in both operating systems. Once the driver is installed, soft reset your Pocket PC and you're ready to insert your card and do any necessary configuration.

On Pocket PC 2003 models running Windows Mobile 2003 OS you'll use the new Connection Manager to configure your connection to WiFi networks. When the card is inserted in the Pocket PC's SD slot, Socket's utility will appear in the system tray on the bottom of your Today screen. This utility allows you to turn the radio on and off, get network status (link quality and strength, channel, view your IP address, renew IP address, Ping, view current TCP/IP values and BSSID name). The Advanced Configuration menu item allows you to set power save mode, preamble mode (auto, short or long) and Authentication algorithm. It's nice to have both the Windows Mobile 2003 Connection Manager configuration and a utility that allows you to view all the details and change several connection and power settings! I tested the card with the iPAQ 1945 connecting to both encrypted and non-encrypted networks and it was reliable and stable.

Configuration on Pocket PC 2002 PDAs is similar to most other WiFi cards. You'll set DHCP and DNS info (if necessary) in the Pocket PC's Connection Manager under the Settings group, then use the Socket WiFi utility to set WEP encryption, SSID, check link strength and etcetera. The Socket installer puts a connection status icon in the taskbar that tells you if you're in range of a WiFi network access point, and shows you a graphical representation of signal strength. The utility works the same on Pocket PC 2002 as it does on Pocket PC 2003. One additional feature for Pocket PC 2002 models is the access point browser (commonly referred to as site survey or war driving) which lists all access points within range. The AP browser tells you the name, channel, encryption status and signal strength of each access point. Since this functionality is built into the Pocket PC 2003 OS in a basic form, it is not included on the Pocket PC 2003 version.

Conclusion

Socket makes robust cards and drivers, and updates their drivers frequently. You can generally count on them for a solid networking experience on Pocket PCs. The card had good range, reliably picked up access points and integrated well with the Windows Mobile 2003 connection manager. This is a great card if you own an SDIO Now! Pocket PC.

List price $129

Web Site: Socket

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