Now, should you have a large physical distance to your network it is worth remembering that the 54g standard does not carry the same signal strength as 11b, but with the WBR2-G54 it proved to be very close. Signal testing is an imprecise art given that what the signal must pass through is of far greater importance than the distance involved, but it certainly was comparable with my 11b router at home under the same conditions. The signal strength was on average 15 per cent weaker one floor away than my 11b router - this is excellent considering that my 11b router has two external aerials and the WBR2-G54 was not supplied with its optional external aerial.
Transfer rate performance was also excellent. Moving a 58.4MB MP3 album between the WBR2-G54 and the WLI-CB-G54A took just 28 seconds at a distance of two metres with no encryption, an average speed of over 20Mbits/sec. This is among the fastest transfers I have seen and beats every 802.11g standard DSL router in our recent roundup. In a more real world situation I applied first the standard 128bit WEP encryption then the AOSS standard which invoked WPA. Naturally there was some slowdown but the times of 30 and 31 seconds respectively are highly encouraging. More importantly, to make the tests even more realistic I separated the routers by a floor and the times of 32, 35 and 38 seconds for no encryption, 128bit WEP and AOSS respectively show that you won’t pay a heavy speed penalty for top level security. Moving large files like AVIs was even more encouraging, with a 350MB file taking 151 seconds from two metres away with no encryption, equating to over 23Mbits/sec. Even with AOSS security enabled, this time only dropped to 166 seconds.
So is there a hefty penalty to pay for all these features. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because for £99.29 you can just about buy a wireless router with built in DSL modem and a separate laptop card. No, because less than £100 is not a lot of money to setup a wireless network with top level security, and in my opinion the price is well worth paying for peace of mind.
An excellent bundle from Buffalo which incorporates the latest security technology into a format anyone can use. Security never used to be simple - it is now.