Buffalo AirStation WLI-TX1-G54 Wireless Bridge

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Key Features

  • Review Price: £79.00

The popularity of gaming consoles is indisputable and the latest generation of consoles have more features than ever. But how does this tie in with a wireless bridge? Well, it’s easy, as both the Playstation2 and the Xbox feature online gaming and the best way of connecting up your console to your broadband connection is through a wireless bridge.


Now this might seem like a sales pitch, but let me explain a little further. Usually you have your console next to your TV which, more often than not, is located in your living room. But in most cases, people don’t want their PC and broadband connection in their living room; usually hiding such equipment in a study or bedroom.


So how do you connect your console to your broadband router? There are really only two options here and the first one is running a cable between the two, which can be very messy depending on the layout of your home. The second and far more acceptable solution is a wireless connection. And with the faster 802.11g standard there’s a fast enough transfer rate for almost anything you’re likely to pump across the airwaves.


But the real advantage here is that a wireless bridge is invisible to the network as such and you still use the Mac address of the device connected to it. This is crucial for some of the online gaming services, as the Xbox won’t work unless the correct Mac address is used.


Now, I don’t own a games console, but to give the WLI-TX1-G54 a run for its money and see how well it performed I connected it up to my KISS DP-500 DVD/DivX player as it comes with an Ethernet port that allows you to stream video from a PC to your TV. Streaming video is far more intense than sending gaming data, but the WLI-TX1-G54 impressed me. I didn’t have any issues streaming DivX, XviD or DVD content to my TV, proving that the sustained transfer rate is pretty high.


This is very impressive as you can not stream DVD quality video over 802.11b networks without serious lag. You can use the WLI-TX1-G54 to connect any network enabled device to a wireless network. Of course any PCs could simple use a WiFi adapter, but as the worlds of consumer electronics and IT merge even closer, I’m sure there will be no shortage of devices that can benefit from wireless functionality.


The only problem with this device is that it’s a little expensive at £79.02. That said, if you want to be able to connect non-PC devices to your wireless network you’re going to need a bridge like this, and although you can pick up older 802.11b versions cheaper, it doesn’t make sense to buy into an old technology.


The WLI-TX1-G54 comes with an Ethernet cable, a small power brick and stands for desktop and wall mounting. I couldn’t help but smile when I plugged the WLI-TX1-G54 as it needs two cables to work and for something wireless this seems to defeat the purpose somewhat, but until power over Ethernet becomes standard, this is something you have to live with.


”’Verdict”’


The WLI-TX1-G54 is an excellent product, although somewhat expensive. Much like the Netgear ME101 this is the ideal solution for anyone who enjoys online console gaming, but with 802.11g it’s more versatile.

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