Wireless security is good enough for residential use as you get SSID masking plus WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption. We liked the fact that the WLAN LED on the router glows red to warn if you don’t have encryption switched on. Another useful feature is an access control list (ACL) that only allows registered systems to connect wirelessly. The ACL can be automatically populated by pressing the button on the front panel. This action unlocks the ACL for one minute and any clients associating with the router during that period will be added to the list.
Wireless performance isn’t impressive but it is in the right ballpark for a basic 802.11g access point. Using a Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook equipped with a Proxim triple-speed PC Card we ran Iometer over a link with a Supermicro Pentium D 3.2GHz PC on the LAN. For a two metre line of sight connection it reported 26.6Mbit/sec for an open link and 22.4Mbit/sec with WPA2 encryption in action.
The router offers QoS capabilities for prioritising different types of traffic. However, this is not for the fainthearted as you have to Telnet into the router and configure QoS profiles from the CLI (command line interface). Parental controls for web access are better than many competing routers as you have options for allowing access to unlisted sites or blocking access to all unknown sites. For the latter, this means you can set up a list of permitted URLs where the router will stop all others from being viewed and redirect the user to an internal warning web page.
The 780WL may not be packed with the latest features but it is one of very few broadband routers offering VoIP support for under £100. Wireless performance is low but the router is very easy to manage making it a good choice for residential use.
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