Wireless performance lived up to expectations and testing was conducted using the G54 PC Card installed in a 1.6GHz Fujitsu Siemens notebook running Windows XP SP2. The open source Iometer reported an average read throughput of 44Mbit/sec over a three metre line of site unencrypted connection. However, speeds over encrypted links were more impressive with 128-bit WEP, WPA-TKIP and WPA-AES delivering 40Mbit/sec, 37.6Mbit/sec and 42Mbit/sec respectively. Performance certainly looks good but does the G54 live up to Buffalo’s extended range claims?
In our range tests within an office environment we used AOSS to establish a secure WPA-AES connection to the AP and saw signal strength drop to around 80 per cent with the laptop at the end of a fifty metre corridor with two large fire doors in the way. In this test the G54 delivered a stronger signal than MIMO routers. Completing a circuit of the first floor saw signal strength drop to around 20 per cent – again, slightly better than MIMO. However, the G54 partnership also came up against the same dead spot that has confounded all MIMO routers we’ve tested. This was approximately sixty metres from the router in a straight line but with a steel reinforced concrete floor, three fire doors and four offices in the way. Nevertheless, we would say that the G54 is a better bet than MIMO-based APs if you’re looking for extended range with minimal obstructions.
The built-in signal amplifier of this AP works well enough to deliver enhancements to wireless range while performance over encrypted links is particularly good. The G54 provides a fine range of features for the price and Buffalo’s AOSS certainly takes the strain out of setting up wireless security.
Note: PC Card wireless adapter sold separately - £34.70 inc VAT.