by March 1, 2005 0 comments

This combination of 802.11g-compatible wireless router and USB adapter gave us very good performance. The wireless adapter can connect in both ad hoc and infrastructure modes. There is an optional USB desktop stand or extender to connect the adapter. It has a wireless LAN monitoring utility to scan the wireless network and give its details. The utility gives information such as signal strength, link quality and encryption. Plus you can select the data transfer rate for both the 802.11b and 802.11g modes. 

The router comes with an optional vertical stand, which helps to provide it a better base. It has four LAN ports to connect your computers to it, and one port to connect to your
cable/DSL modem. It supports the basic 64/128-bit WEP (Wired Encrypted Privacy) encryption. 

Additionally, it also supports WPA (Wireless Protected Access) security with provision to choose from either TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) or AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. The router has a NAT (Network Access Translation) firewall, which uses SPI
(Stateful Packet Inspection). 

It allows you to bridge with other access points in order to extend the network. When used in bridge mode, you can optionally specify a maximum of four access points to connect to the router. Plus, you can disable all clients from connecting to the router. In this case the router would act as a relay between other access points. But the downside of this feature is that the secondary access point can connect to a Belkin access point only. 

The router can be configured to work only in 802.11g/802.11b or in 802.11g mode. This router has a ‘virtual server’ feature that allows remote clients to access a local client provided it is running an appropriate service (Web and FTP).

A utility of interest is that of Parental Control. This is a Web content filtering feature, which most network administrators would find useful. All that needs to be done is to enable this feature and choose as to which categories need to be blocked.

On the performance front, the router and the wireless adapter managed to give us an average throughput of 12.5 Mbps, 2 ms response time and 998 Kbps streaming rate. We did find resistance to interference slightly low. 

When we introduced a Bluetooth adapter in the vicinity of the router, the throughput dropped to just 2 Mbps. 

The Bottom Line: Though the router is a good buy, it’s a little expensive, especially if you consider the price and feature pack of the MSI wireless router and adapter.

Sushil Oswal with Rupin Vij

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