Level One's latest broadband wireless router supports 802.11n draft specification, and we received it with Level One's USB, PCMCIA and PCI wireless adapters. The draft N specification supports throughput of up to 300 Mbps and is also backward compatible with 802.11b and g specs.
The router itself has a web management interface allowing you to manage it from any machine on the network. One good management feature here is that it lets you create user groups based on IPs and then implement different policies for each group. Policies include URL filtering, Internet access control, etc.
The router also supports all the regular wireless security features like WEP, WPA or WPA2. Another useful option is QoS (Quality of Service), which lets you set priorities for different kinds of traffic like HTTP, FTP, SMTP, VoIP, IPSEC, etc.
The router has a built-in firewall, DHCP server, DMZ support and even a virtual server. The last feature allows users on the Internet to access servers that reside on your LAN. It also supports multi-DMZ, so you can configure this router to let PCs on your LAN communicate with a server or another PC on the Internet. Another useful option for offices is 'Scheduling,' whereby the policies set for a URL filter and a firewall can be scheduled to be active at certain times. For example, if you want to block Yahoo during office hours and unblock it for the remaining period, then simply create a rule to block Yahoo in URL filter and schedule it to be active during office timings and remain inactive otherwise. The only disadvantage with this device is that its ports work at 10/100 Mbps, which means that if you are copying any file from a server connected to its DMZ port you, will get 100 Mbps speed even though your wireless network is capable of data exchange at 300 Mbps.
We tested the router by connecting it to a machine directly with a cable. We then accessed this machine over the router's wireless network. We used the wireless cards that came with the router for this purpose. We first tested for wireless throughput, for which we ran the QCheck benchmark. This gave us a TCP throughput of 47 Mbps while transferring 1000 kb of payload, which is an average throughput for an N draft router. The D-Link RangeBooster N650 WiFi Router (reviewed in August 2007) gave us 76 Mbps . The router gave a response time of 1 ms which is excellent. We then transferred 50 MB of data, consisting mainly of documents, presentations, spreadsheets and music files. The process took 26 secs which is pretty good as compared to the earlier g compatible routers that take 48 seconds on average for the same. It's also slightly better than the D-Link Range Booster which took 30 seconds.
Bottomline: Given its features, the router is a good solution for small offices wanting to build a small wired as well as a wireless network.