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The router is very neighbour friendly as the wireless access point will only bond both 20MHz channels if no adjacent wireless networks are within range. We had two other access points operating in our area and the router refused to use more than one channel to avoid interfering with them. There is no way of overriding this so we were limited to a theoretical top wireless speed of 130Mbps although this is purely academic as we’ve yet to see any 802.11n routers get even remotely close to this.
To test real world performance we copied a 690MB video file from the laptop to a Supermicro Pentium D 3.2GHz PC on the LAN which took 123 seconds for a rate of nearly 45Mbps. Well short of the claimed speeds but on a par with routers such as D-Link’s DIR-655 and TRENDnet’s TEW-621. However, the router didn’t cope at all well with extended range as speed dropped dramatically when we moved the laptop to the floor below. With three brick walls in the way signal strength fell below 50 per cent and the test file now took 527 seconds to copy from the laptop for a distinctly unimpressive average of 10.5Mbps.
USR provides basic access controls as you can create lists of IP addresses and block them from selected port ranges. You could, for example, implement simple parental controls by only allowing Internet access for selected systems during a daily time period of your choosing. Port triggering and forwarding can also be applied to selected port ranges and you can put one IP address in a DMZ enabling it to sidestep the firewall. Printer sharing is simple enough as we connected an Epson Stylus Photo 950 printer to the router whereupon the web interface showed the location assigned to it. We had no problems installing and using the network printer but, as is always the case, the ink monitoring tools no longer functioned.
If you want a basic wireless broadband router that’s very simple to set up then the Wireless Ndx Router is worth a closer look. However, if features and better wireless range are on your shopping list, check out the 802.11n routers from D-Link, Netgear, and SMC as they offer a lot more for a very similar price.
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