by February 22, 2006 0 comments

This is an HSM 125 Mbps router, meant for SOHO users and
small networks. It offers a four port 10/100 Ethernet switch, as well as one
10/100 WAN port. As is the standard for Buffalo wireless products, this Air
Station also supports AOSS (Air Station One-touch Secure System) for security.
The unit can be set up to work both as an access point and as a router. In AP
mode, it can be used both in ad-hoc as well as infrastructure modes. It can also
act as a bridge or repeater between two APs.


Rs 5,800-Router; Rs 3,800-Adapter
WPA TKIP AES Encryption, 802.11b/g, NAT/SPI firewall, HSM mode, 26 types of logs
Pros: High throughput, good monitoring and reporting features
Cons: None
Contact: Nexgen Networks,
Delhi Tel: 30888825
RQS# E17 or SMS 131702 to 9811800601

For configuration and management, the router has a
Web-based configuration interface. The router automatically configures itself
when you select the ‘Easy install’ mode while bringing up the Air Station
for the first time. It can be switched from the router mode to AP mode and
vice-versa. All configuration of this router is done through a Web interface. It
has a built-in DHCP server to provide IP addresses on systems connected to its
switch. It supports 11 channels with automatic selection. For a higher
performance, you can turn on its HSM mode from the ‘Frame Bursting’ menu on
its Web-based configuration screen, and the available connection speed is
boosted from 54 to 125 Mbps. It also lets you control the output power of its
antenna. If the output power is assigned below 100%, it reduces the range of the
Air Station. It supports WDS bridging to let you create a network of APs without
letting clients along the way connect to it. Another feature is the DTIM
(Delivery Traffic Indication Message) period, which indicates how often the
clients will be served by the AP. For security, the Air Station has a firewall
with IDS. Whenever an intrusion is detected, it notifies you via e-mail or a
pop-up to a configured IP address. It supports WEP, TKIP and AES encryption
schemes. Other security features include an optional 802.11g protection. You can
also use its MAC filtering feature to register a list of known MAC addresses and
then only those clients will be allowed to connect. With its Privacy Separator,
two clients connected wirelessly through this AP will not be able to communicate
directly with each other. The Air Station features 26 different types of logs
from access to traffic statistics. It can also send the logs to a syslog server.

This Air Station uses DSS (Direct Sequence Spread) and OFDM
protocol for communication and frequency range of 2.412-2.462 MHz. By default,
this device receives RIP information only from LAN but it can be configured for
RIP transmission and reception over WAN. Manual routes can also be entered. Air
Station also supports DMZ. Just enter DMZ’s IP address and incoming packets
with no recognizable destination port information will be redirected to the
DMZ’s IP address. It has pre-configured IP filters, but new rules can be
added. You can monitor clients connected to the AP and packet traffic
information through its Web interface.

Test results
For our tests, we used an IBM Think Pad with Win XP SP2 and ran NetIQ Qcheck.
For HSM testing, we used Buffalo’s Air Station Turbo G CardBus adapter. On the
54 Mbps mode, we got a throughput of 23.810 Mbps. When we turned on the HSM
mode, this went up to 34.783 Mbps, which is slightly higher than its rated 34.1
Mbps with the CardBus adapter’s box. Latency was 1 ms. In the file transfer
test, a 50 MB file took 29 seconds in default and 25 seconds in HSM modes.
However, when we used it in the 802.11b mode, the throughput obtained was 5.063
Mbps with a latency of 2 ms.

Bottom Line: The
product is competitively priced and comes with a 2-year warranty. A good buy for
the SOHOnetwork.

Swapnil Arora

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