Preview: Belkin 54g Wireless Cable / DSL Gateway Router: test and review

The gateway router wireless cable / DSL 54g Belkin was one of the top performers among the first 802.11g products, both in environments only g and mixed (802.11b and 802.11g). He also showed excellent range in our tests.

The Belkin 54g router assured a rate of 19.1 Mbit / s in 802.11g mode during testing by ZDNet Labs. That’s about 20% more than the broadband router Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G, but it is barely faster than the Apple AirPort Extreme. However, when we moved away at 1.5 m from the router, it has sometimes proved inconsistent behavior and its flow rate has dropped significantly. At 7.6 m, speed was 12.5 Mbit / s, lower than its Linksys and Apple counterparts. Yet 22.8 m, he regained his advantage over competitors with an impressive speed of 7.1 Mbit / s.

During testing in mixed mode with 802.11b clients, the router has reached a maximum speed of 7.7 Mbit / s, higher than its two competitors. He also managed to maintain his lead at distances up to 22.8 m. The Belkin 54g router worked perfectly with both 802.11g PC Cards and other suppliers has connected without incident at five different 802.11b radio.

Easy connection

If you run Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP, you simply place the boot CD into the computer directly connected to your cable or DSL modem, run the Easy Install Wizard and follow the instructions on the screen. The router does all the work and the wizard displays useful pictures and detailed what to expect throughout the process descriptions. All aspects have worked properly, except that the software had to run twice an audit of 30 seconds on our Internet connection before we could continue. If you use an operating system that is not listed above, you can configure the router using the configuration tool based on the web, but you will need to refer to the manual for instructions.

The router comes with its network name (SSID) defined on Belkin 54g and WEP encryption (Wired Equivalent Privacy) disabled. These parameters allow easy connection but leave the door open for any hacker resourceful within range of your wireless network. Unfortunately, the installation wizard does not require you to choose a new SSID or set to WEP, we recommend that you change these settings immediately using the configuration tool based on the router’s web.

In addition to the router, the box includes an AC adapter, a network cable Category 5 three meters, a startup CD, quick installation guide and illustrated manuals for both the router and for parental control filtering program of the company.

No 256-bit protection

Smaller than most of its competitors, the gateway router wireless cable / DSL 54g Belkin comes with a vertical mounting base option. You’ll also find recessed holes on the router bottom allowing you to screw it on a wall or shelf. With LEDs indicating power and internet connections, LAN, wireless LAN and WAN, the system gives you a wealth of information about potential problems or connection errors, perhaps you’ll still need consult the manual to decode the various combinations of fixed and flashing colors. We would have liked Belkin incorporates a useful collisions controller to adjust the network. On the back of the router, there are two antennas that swivel 180 degrees and a recessed Reset button allows you to return the unit to its factory settings.

To configure the router, you must use the configuration tool based on the web. The main Setup page provides extensive information about the router, including the firmware version, its IP parameters, extensive network address and security settings. On the left side of the page, you will find a series of choices of individual configuration. Looking through the list, you can change the DNS address, SSID, WEP encryption and IP addressing (static, dynamic, or PPPoE).

Like the first 802.11g devices from D-Link, Linksys and Netgear, this router supports encryption WEP 64-bit and 128-bit, but not the most secure 256-bit protection available on some 802.11a products. The firewall based on NAT router uses packet inspection with status information (SPI) to identify common hacker attacks such as IP spoofing, the Land attack, the “ping of death “(PoD), saturation with denial of Service (DoS) attack Smurf, the null scan TCP and UDP flood. In addition, the system supports the port forwarding and filtering IP or MAC addresses. For sensitive applications that require unrestricted access to the Web, such as online gaming or video conferencing, you can designate a client as DMZ host.

disadvantage side, you can not use the router to connect two wireless networks or extend a beyond the reach of the network cabling, as is the case with the Apple AirPort Extreme. Similarly, you can not adjust the transmission power, the beacon interval, RTS threshold, the fragmentation length or DTIM interval, these gaps dedicate it to failure from the side sophisticated network administrators.