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Buffalo Nfiniti WZR-AG300NH
Buffalo was one of the first manufacturers to bring draft 802.11n wireless products to market and its latest Nfiniti router now delivers more wireless options than you can shake a stick at. Not only do you get support for 802.11b/g/n but the WZR-AG300NH also incorporates an 802.11a access point as well. Operating in the 5GHz range the router actually delivers two separate access points, so you could have clients that need a more stable, uncontested connection using 802.11a whilst others, typically those with older adapters, can go with 802.11b/g.
The WZR-AG300NH is a hefty slab of plastic with a most unusual aerial array. Looking more like a rotor assembly from an Apache gunship this component is hard wired to the router at the end of an 11cms cable. It can be clipped to the router body on the side or top but also placed away from it. You get an extra wall mount bracket but the cable really isn't long enough to take advantage of this. Plenty of status LEDs are provided with indicators for the LAN and WAN ports and both access points.
There's more on Buffalo's menu as you also get a quad of Gigabit Ethernet ports to play with and the LEDs show the connection speeds negotiated on each one. The router offers a standard RJ-45 WAN port so you'll need to source a separate ADSL or cable modem and a small switch alongside this port enables the router to be swiftly changed to access point mode only. Naturally, Buffalo's AOSS (AirStation One-touch Secure System) is included which offers a one stop shop for setting up the best wireless security. To use this you press the button on the top of the router, which causes it to flash. With a Buffalo dual-band wireless PC Card installed in a 1.6GHz Fujitsu Siemens notebook running Windows XP SP2 we selected the AOSS soft button on the accompanying Client Manager utility and watched the two communicate with each other and set up an encrypted connection with no further intervention.
Initial installation is handled smartly by the CD-ROM based setup wizard that steps through the physical connections, setting up security for both wireless access points and verifying Internet access. So far, so good but we found the web interface a bit of a mess and initially very tricky to navigate. Plenty of assistance is provided in a side bar but it could benefit from a more sympathetic design to make the various features more accessible. It was also annoying that the timeout for administrative access is set to around five minutes and can't be changed.