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Linksys Cloud Manager, First Take: Affordable wi-fi administration for multi-location businesses Review

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Netgear’s Orbi Pro provides a simple and affordable option for small businesses that need to set up both an internal office wi-fi network for their staff, along with a public network for visitors, or clients in locations such as hotels and restaurants. However, the Orbi Pro is aimed at small businesses that operate in a single location.

The new Cloud Manager system from Linksys represents the next step up for SMEs that need to manage wi-fi networks in multiple sites. Linksys Cloud Manager is primarily aimed at managed service providers (MSPs) requiring remote access to and control of networks that they manage on behalf of their small-business clients, and fills a market gap beneath enterprise-level solutions from vendors like Meraki and Aruba.

The Linksys LAPAC 1200C, 1750C and 2600C 802.11ac access points come with a 5-year licence for the Cloud Manager service.


Image: Linksys

The Cloud Manager software provides an online ‘dashboard’ that can be accessed via a web browser on any type of computer or mobile device, and provides tools for remotely setting up and administering networks using the company’s own range of access points. Use of the Cloud Manager service requires a licence, which is currently included in the price of the company’s 802.11ac dual-band LAPAC 1200C, 1750C, and 2600C routers, which respectively cost £119.99, £159.99 and £209.99 (inc. VAT, or $199.99, $329.99, and $499.99). Those prices include a five-year licence for the Cloud Manager, with subsequent renewal fees depending on the number of access points and locations using the service.

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Network administrators can remotely setup, configure and manage access points, once connected to the internet.


Image: Linksys

All three access points support Power Over Ethernet (PoE), providing easy installation with a single cable. Once connected to the internet, the access points automatically connect to the dashboard service using a secure SSL connection, and the network administrator can then remotely setup and configure the new network without needing to visit the site in person, or sending along an engineer.

SEE: IT pro’s guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)

If you need to manage multiple networks in different locations, the dashboard can display a global map of all locations in use around the world. Administrators can then zoom in on individual networks to monitor network performance and traffic, and even individual devices that are connected to the network.

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The Cloud Manager dashboard offers a map view showing networks, sites, devices and clients.


Image: Linksys

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It’s also possible to specify the maximum number of client devices that can use the network, to set bandwidth limits, or use ‘client isolation’ to provide internet access while restricting access to the rest of the network. To reduce costs for service providers, the Cloud Manager provides a number of diagnostic tools that allows the network administrator to remotely detect faults, such as a ping test to check internet access, an environment scan to detect radio interference in a particular location, and a ‘rogue access point’ option that can detect faults in individual routers. Administrators can also set up email or text notifications to alert them when problems arise.

The Cloud Manager and dashboard don’t have the sheer simplicity of Netgear’s app-based Orbi devices, but its browser interface does allow administrators to connect from any device in any location. Linksys also allows potential customers to set up a demo account in order to view the dashboard and see if it meets their needs and their level of technical expertise.

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Incredible and iconic 1970 Porsche 917 K race car heads to auction

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RM Sotheby’s is auctioning some incredibly expensive, rare, and iconic vehicles in Monterey, California, starting on August 14. One of the highlights of the show is an extremely rare and perfect 1970 Porsche 917 K racer. The car was delivered new in 1970 to Porsche Works team JW Automotive Engineering.

The car was driven by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours. This car is also the same vehicle used as the winning car in the Steve McQueen classic Le Mans. The vehicle was rebuilt to 917 Spyder specification at the Porsche factory in 1971. It currently wears one of the most iconic racing liveries in history with the blue and orange of Gulf.

The car was raced in Interserie in 1971 through 1973 by Jürgen Neuhaus, Team Shell Heckersbruch, and Gelo Racing. Subsequently, it was owned and raced in historic events by the late Michael Amalfitano for over 20 years. The vehicle was restored to its original 917 K specification but is accompanied by the original Spyder body.

This racing car may be decades old, but it’s incredibly fast, reaching 220 mph. The vehicle is chassis number 917-031/026 with engine number 917-031. The sale comes with numerous spare parts, additional hardware, tools, and ancillary components. The vehicle has an extensive racing pedigree with multiple drivers and multiple racing series.

It also finished in first place in many of the events it entered. The car is rare enough, and with such an extensive racing pedigree coupled with the fact that it was used in the iconic Steve McQueen film, it’s expected to bring a huge amount of money. The action estimates the vehicle will sell for between $16 million and $18.5 million when the gavel drops.

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Mercedes S 680 Guard 4matic is a rolling safe room

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For some people in some locations, personal safety is a significant issue. Mercedes has been producing armored vehicles for celebrities and heads of state who might be the target of kidnappers or others that wish them harm. The automaker announced previously that it would rely solely on its S-Class for its factory armored vehicles.

The latest model is available only with a long wheelbase and the Maybach 612 PS V12 turbocharged engine. The new armored model also gets all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the S 680 Guard 4matic is a model focused on people and their safety. It also says no other series sedan fully meets the highest protection class for civil vehicles.

The car is available as a four or five-seater and has a maximum payload of 660 kilograms. The vehicle weighs in at 4.2-tonne making it very heavy. Occupants ride in a protected cell that is unnoticeable from the outside. One of the only clues that this vehicle is fully armored is the centimeter-thick windows and special tires from Michelin featuring Pax emergency running system. The windows are fitted with a polycarbonate splinter protection system on the inside

The material and thickness of the side panels meet VR10 classification. The window regulators have a hydraulic emergency function, and their optional equipment including a fire extinguisher system and emergency fresh air system to protect occupants from smoke or irritant gases. Vehicles can also be fitted with flashers, signal systems, or radio.

These vehicles are built on order and take 51 days to complete. Exactly how much the vehicles will cost remains to be seen, but it’s expected to be around €500,000. Typically, royalty or government officials use vehicles of this type, but it seems anyone can purchase the vehicle if they desire.

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Rivian is in talks for a UK factory

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Of all the start-up electric vehicle manufacturers, one of the most anticipated is Rivian. The company has shown off very interesting and appealing SUV and truck models so far that are completely electric. Rivian is backed by Amazon and Ford, among others. A new report is circulating claiming that the electric vehicle maker is in talks with ministers in the UK to build a factory there.

If the talks work out, it would be the first Rivian factory outside of the US. The report also indicates that the site of the factory in the UK would be near Bristol. According to the report, Rivian and ministers in the UK government have been in secret negotiations for weeks for the construction of the new plant.

Reports indicate that the talks aren’t in an advanced state at this time. Building the factory in the UK isn’t guaranteed at this time. Other European nations are also in consideration, including Germany and the Netherlands. Whichever country is ultimately chosen, likely depending on tax breaks, among other items. The investment in the new plant would be worth more than £1 billion.

Rivian has been busy raising money, recently raising another $2.5 billion from investors earlier in the month. The total the company has raised since 2019 is $10.5 billion. Rivian currently plans to begin deliveries of its R1T electric truck this fall. The electric truck is expected to begin selling for $67,500.

It’s worth noting that Rivian has experienced unexpected delays in the past, and it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for the vehicles to be delayed again. The current talks with ministers in the UK are focused on a manufacturing facility for the vehicles themselves rather than batteries. However, sources claiming to be familiar with negotiations have said they are fluid and could shift towards a battery manufacturing facility.

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