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Wireless gets more wondrous

Buffalo's AirStation HighPower livens up the dead spots in any home, ensuring Web links



The Buffalo AirStation HighPower WCR-HP-G300 is a truly powerful wireless-N router that can triple your Wi-Fi range thanks to its double high-power 8dBi detachable antennas, which also provide excellent wireless reliability.

The HighPower uses 802.11n technology for higher data transfer rates, up to 300 Mbps, and it extends wireless range with the Wireless Distribution System (WDS).

This is particularly useful if you use an old wireless router/modem enabled with 802.11g technology, the maximum speed of which is only 54Mbps.

And HighPower can solve the problem of dead wireless spots in your home, common when you have multiple rooms and floors. The dead spots slow your wireless access or even keep you from getting online.

The 8dBi antennae boost signal strength for increased range and more stable data transfer. Coupled with the 11n technology, the HighPower improves wireless coverage by allowing the signal to bypass obstacles, helping to reduce dead spots.

I tested the signal at home with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 as the client receiving the wireless signal and found that the router extended the signal as far as my roof deck - equivalent to the third floor. The AirStation was in the living room on the first floor.

My Tab 2 could easily browse the Web and check email from upstairs. Checking the Internet connection speed via www. ADSLThailand.com, the tablet linked in at 3Mbps.

Then I connected an HTC Media Link to the plasma TV using the HighPower and could play HD video recorded from an HTC One X smart phone via the wireless LAN connection. Hi-def YouTube clips also played from One X smoothly, but I couldn't play these same clips with my old Wireless G 54Mbps router.

Setting up the HighPower is simple and can be done wirelessly. I simply connected it to my existing ADSL modem/router using the provided LAN cable, and then connected the power cable to the HighPower and disabled wireless function on my old router, a TP-Link 8920G.

Next I used a notebook computer to hook up the HighPower by choosing the SSID (service set identifier) as written in the Admin Card that comes with the package. The card has a username, password and IP address for using a Web browser to set up the wireless router.

The default admin page of the AirStation HighPower is in Thai, but you can also select English. I called up the admin page and used the Internet connection wizard to pair it with my ADSL modem router. The AirStation received an IP address from my ADSL modem router for distributing with its own router function, so I didn't have to mess with the existing system other than disabling its wireless function.

I then input the gateway IP and DNS (Domain Name System) numbers from my old modem/router and the AirStation was ready to provide the Internet connection for all of my wireless devices. I also changed the SSID name of the HighPower so it was the same as that of my existing router. This way I didn't have to bother resetting my wireless clients, such as notebook or tablet computers. They all automatically connect to the HighPower and are ready to surf the Net instantly.

The AirStation HighPower has its own brain, a Railink 400MHz CPU, fast enough to keep the data flowing.

If your home has many rooms, use the HighPower as a WDS to extend wireless cover and reduce dead spots.

It has to be located in the middle, close enough to pick up signals from your existing router to distribute to other clients. The HighPower features Buffalo's AOSS (AirStation OneTouch Secure System) to connect easily with clients who have the same technology.

You can, for example, download and install AOSS for Android on your smart phone and connect to the HighPower easily by pressing the AOSS buttons at the router and on the phone.

Tiny at just 120x105x22mm and 208 grams, the HighPower WCR-HP-G300 retails for Bt1,799.

Key specs

_ Standard compliance: IEEE802.11n/g/b

_ Transmission method: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS), OFDM, MIMO

_ Transmission rate: EEE802.11n: maximum 300Mbps, IEEE802.11g: 54Mbps, IEEE802.11b: 11Mbps

_ Security: WPA2-PSK (AES,TKIP), WPA-PSK (AES,TKIP), 128/64bit WEP

_ Antenna: 2x8dBi detachable

_ Wired LAN Internet: Standard Compliance IEEE802.3/3u with 100/10Mbps (Auto-Sensing) flow control speed

_ WAN ports: Four

_ Connector: Type RJ-45 (Auto MDIX)

_ WAN security: Dynamic Packet Filtering, Intrusion Detector, NAT/SPI Firewall

_ Dimensions: 120x105x22mm excluding antenna

_ Weight: 208g

_ Operating environment: 0 to 40 degrees Celsius, 20 to 80 per cent RH non-condensing

_ Power consumption: Maximum 4W

_ Power supply: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz

_ Warranty: Three years


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