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I configured the WGE101 to work with my Netgear DG834G wireless ADSL router, and unsurprisingly, they worked together flawlessly. I connected multiple devices to the WGE101, and everything communicated without any problems. Both my Xbox and PlayStation2 worked fine, with neither device aware that they were connected via WiFi rather than wired Ethernet.
One big advantage to the higher bandwidth of 802.11g is that you can stream video, whereas 802.11b wasn’t quite up to the job. I tried streaming video from my main desktop PC to a notebook that was connected to the WGE101, and the frame rate was smooth, with no signs of dropping. With this in mind, using a device like a KiSS DVD player or a media adapter to stream video content from a remote server to your TV shouldn’t be a problem.
To get an idea of just how much faster 802.11g is over the older 802.11b standard, I ran some transfer tests using my old 802.11b Netgear wireless ADSL router and the ME101 802.11b wireless bridge; I then ran the same tests using the Netgear DG834G wireless ADSL router and the WGE101. Transferring 256MB of mixed MP3 filed took 11 minutes 50 seconds on the ME101, but only three minutes 46 seconds on the WGE101. While transferring a 379MB single file took 16 minutes 30 seconds on the ME101 and only five minutes 31 seconds on the WGE101.
So, Netgear’s 802.11g wireless bridge is much faster than its older 802.11b product, but amazingly the price difference is negligible. At £49.47 including VAT, the WGE101 is less than £2 more expensive than the slower ME101. It’s also priced very competitively compared to 802.11g bridges from other manufacturers.
Ultimately the WGE101 is a solid product at a great price. The simplicity of a wireless bridge is its biggest asset – if you’ve got a wireless network, you can connect absolutely any networkable device to it. You don’t need to worry about drivers or compatibility, because all the configuration is done in the bridge. So you can use the WGE101 with any number of devices without the need for configuration – as I said before, simple.
I loved my ME101 wireless bridge. It allowed me to connect all my living room equipment to my wireless router in the bedroom. But now that I’m connecting over 802.11g, I can do even more wirelessly. The great thing about the WGE101 is that you’re not paying much more for 802.11g, than you are for 802.11b. The WGE101 is the kind of product that no one with a wireless network should be without.
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