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Buffalo Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Router & Access Point Reviewed

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Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Router & Access Point
At a glance
ProductBuffalo Technology WZR-HP-G300NH Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Router & Access Point   [Website]
SummarySingle-band draft 802.11n router with Gigabit WAN and LAN ports and higher transmit power than other products with USB storage sharing
Pros• Gigabit WAN and LAN with fast routing
• Higher power than other draft 11n routers
• Multiple SSIDs with individual security settings
• Secure browser-based remote access
• Full-featured USB NAS w/ BitTorrent download
Cons• No VLAN-separated wireless Guest Zone
• No transmit power adjust

Typical Price: $69  Compare Prices  Check Amazon

Introduction

Wireless products from Buffalo Technology had all but disappeared from the market in the US due to a suit from an Australian company named CSRIO (Commonwealth Scientific Research and Industrial Organization).  But in December of 2008, a federal judge stayed the permanent injunction that prohibited Buffalo from selling wireless products in the United States.  More recently, in July 2009, Buffalo announced a settlement to the patent infringement suit.  With their legal problems behind them, Buffalo is now back in the U.S. market with several new “NFiniti” draft-N products as well as their legacy Wireless-G High Power Router and Access Point (WHR-HP-G54). 

This review focuses on the of Buffalo's U.S. wireless line, the single band draft 802.11n Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Router & Access Point (WZR-HP-G300NH).  While the WZR-HP-G300NH has a list price of $119.99, almost double that of its less powerful $69.99 WHR-G300N draft-N sibling, it has a few additional features that could well justify the premium price.  Figure 1 shows Buffalo’s comparison of their single-band wireless offerings.

Buffalo wireless product comparison chart

Figure 1: Buffalo wireless product comparison chart

Product Tour

The case on the WZR-HP is designed to sit either vertically with the use of an included snap-on plastic base, or horizontally.  You could also mount it to a wall using the supplied mounting screws.  The black glossy case is stylish looking, but is also prone to fingerprint smudges. 

Sprouting from the top of the case are two moveable wireless antennas.  Frankly, rotating them probably won’t change the performance much – the WZR-HP already has great coverage due, in part, to its high power output.  Figure 2 shows the front panel with all of the LED indicators illuminated.

Front view of the WZR-HP

Figure 2: Front view of the WZR-HP

Above the column of indicator LEDs, there’s a push button switch to initiate Buffalo’s proprietary AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure System) or WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) wireless security.  If your client adapter doesn't support AOSS or the WPS push-button method, the router also supports the WPS PIN method.

The LEDs include:

  • Power (green power symbol)
  • Security (lock symbol – illuminated when wireless security has been enabled)
  • Wireless (blinks when there is wireless activity)
  • Router mode (illuminated when WZR-HP is configured as a router)
  • Diagnostics (illuminated during bootup)

Below the LEDs are two additional indicators to show if the "Movie Engine" on the WZR-HP has been enabled.  When the "Movie Engine" is enabled, the QoS engine and IPV6 pass through are enabled, the wireless multicast rate is increased, and TCP Rwin is limited for "an improved multimedia experience", according to Buffalo. I didn't test these claims.  Labels for each of the LEDs are on the adjacent side as shown in the opening photo.

Figure 3 shows the rear panel of the WZR-HP.  The Internet or “WAN” port is color coded blue.  All ports, including the WAN port, support Gigabit Ethernet, and each port has a link/activity indicator.  There’s a single USB port that you can use to attach a single USB drive to turn the WZR-HP into a simple NAS for sharing files on your network.  You can’t, however, connect a USB hub to this port, nor can it be used for print sharing. 

Adjacent to the USB port, there’s a switch for dismounting an attached USB drive.  At the extreme right in the photo, there’s a three position switch that controls the operating mode of the WZR.  You can select on (Router), off (Access Point) or Auto.  In the default Auto mode, the WZR-HP operates as a router.  If it detects another router on the network, it switches to AP mode.

WZR-HP rear panel

Figure 3: WZR-HP rear panel



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User reviews

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Average user rating from: 7 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

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Overall: 
 
4.1 Features :
 
4.9 Performance :
 
4.2 Reliability :
 
3.2
 
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nfiniti giga

Overall rating: 
 
3.7
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by david robinson
November 19, 2012
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I have had my nfiniti wireless router for almost two days. The first day I was able to use it for about 10 minutes. After that the red diagnosis light has been flashing and nothing else works. I have reset it twice to no avail. I have spent the rest of the last two days trying to find out something or anything about how to fix it. I found a help line, only $30 an hour to call, not bad considering I bought the router for $49. My final evaluation; rubbish, rubbish and rubbish. I have to wait another 2 weeks now for the electronics rubbish day to come round before I can throw it out. Oh how I hate you Buffalo.

 

European model

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Matt in the UK
May 11, 2012
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I am using the "user friendly" version of the firmware as I wanted to use the hardware switch to use this as an access point.

I have to say I am disappointed with the wireless strength from this router given that it is called "High Power". The wireless signal to my 802.11g devices (three Logitech Squeezeboxes) is is reported by the Logitech Media Server software at between 50% - 70% which is no higher than with the WiFi on my Netgear DG834GT router. That lacks 802.11n so at least my two laptops and one wireless desktop PC are seeing faster connections.

The difference from the one reviewed on this site turns out to be because the UK has much stricter emissions rules for routers than the US.

Over here, for 802.11n (40 MHz) we are limited to a maximum output of 200mW (20dBm) compared to in the USA where the maximum is 1000mW (30dBm).

I wonder if flashing with the US version of the User Friendly firmware will help? I would worry about bricking it though.

Looking at other reviews, this router / access point is not much higher in power than pretty well any other on sale. Therefore the use of "High Power" in the description is seriously misleading, at least in the UK.

Other than that it works well as an AP and gives me 4 extra Gigabit network ports which I really needed. Handy to have the multiple SSID facility too.

 

Not bad if you don't use the dd-wrt firmware

Overall rating: 
 
4.7
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by DavidB
January 05, 2011
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Apparently dd-wrt uses a VERY OLD Atheros driver which has trouble with the chipset in this router. This is reportedly the cause of the many reports of wireless dropping off line with dd-wrt installed. Buffalo WAS shipping this model with dd-wrt pre-installed, but they no longer do so. I suspect that is due to how many people were returning units because of wireless dropping on a daily basis.

I dinged this router features down a notch because of the limitations of the USB NAS feature. Reviews state it is limited to 500GB (ridiculous in this age of sub-$100 2TB USB drives), plus the formatting tools in the firmware are very limited, not supporting larger than 32GB FAT32 partitions (yes, on a 500GB drive!) and not being able to format for XFS (which would at least give you >4GB file size support). That seems particularly strange since the router firmware specifically instructs you to format your USB drive XFS if you are having performance slowdowns when using the built in bittorrent function!

So far I've not had any problems with mine (up for a week now), but after seeing this review I think I will change to Channel 6 since it seems to output the highest power there (I currently am using Channel 11 since all my neighbors are on 6). I'm not having connection problems 2 levels up in my house, but I suspect the additional power will give me better throughput up there.

Thanks SNB for this most thorough review I've seen anywhere of this router.

 

awesome router

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Scott
January 04, 2011
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Despite the bad reviews from others, this is the best router I've ever owned. Sure, the factory firmware isn't as polished as others out there, but it's easy to use once you look around a little. Buffalo offers DD-WRT firmware as an option, but I ran back to back tests on two different physical routers, both with both firmwares, and proven pretty conclusively the Buffalo firmware is actually better performance-wise. People hate to hear that as they think the OEM is always crap, but it's true.

It has amazing range, good transmit speed, handles torrents just fine, and I don't have to reboot mine for weeks... There are some bells and whistles in the DD-WRT firmware that I wish the Buffalo one had, but oh well.

Some people just like to cry....

 

Mine came with DD-WRT installed, no problems so far

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Alex Atkin UK
November 18, 2010
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Despite negative reviews mine arrived with DD-WRT preinstalled and the only problem I have with it is that the wireless power will not go above 31mW. This supposedly is a problem specific to DD-WRT but as my house is quite small it is not a problem.

Maximum speed so far over WiFi has been around 7MB/s which is a vast improvement over the 2MB/s I got on 802.11g. There are also quite a few other WiFi connections around which could be preventing me from getting a higher speed, 802.11n will only attain top speeds with no other networks around on ANY router.

The feature list is too extensive to mention everything, just google for dd-wrt and you will see. My favourites though are the QoS which means web pages load fast even when maxing the connection for downloads. Its also shaved 10ms off my ping times over using my DG834GT as the router, which now is just sat in modem only mode.

The bandwidth speed and per day/month graphs are an excellent feature too. While my ISP does not have a usage limit, its still interesting to see how much I use, essential for anyone who does have a limit.

Overall, I am a little disappointed over the lack of high power WiFi with it being a selling point of this model, but its far more important to me that its a good reliable router which so far it has been. I have had none of the WiFi dropping or having to reboot problems people have reported, its been rock solid stable since I set it up. Will have to see how it copes when I finally get VDSL next year and it will be taxed a lot harder routing wise.

 
 
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