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LAN & WAN Reviews

The Test

Since my Internet comes through a Westell wireless DSL router with integrated modem, I connected the HBB1's Internet jack to a port on the Westell's built-in switch and the Router port to an uplink port on my LAN's switch where I have everything connected. (I'm surprised this setup isn't covered in the HBB1's printed User Guide, since integrated DSL modem / routers are pretty common.)

After I powered it up, I waited about 5 - 10 seconds for the blinking light show from its front panel LEDs to settle down and logged into the admin server statically located at 192.168.229.61. You don't have to worry about changing the IP address of the computer you use to contact the HBB1 or changing its IP address to match your network's, since the HBB1 takes care of any necessary address mapping.

Information page

Figure 3: Information page
(click on image to enlarge)

The Information page (Figure 3) showed that the HBB1 had correctly identified my modem type and automatically figured out my upstream rate, MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit), router and gateway IP addresses. I should note that it actually took some fiddling, reboots and power cycling before the HBB1 properly set itself up. Hawking said they had seen this behavior in pre-release hardware, which it appeared that I received. They also said that the problem was fixed in released product that should be hitting the shelves in a week or two.

At any rate, my testing showed that if these parameters aren't set correctly, the HBB1 won't do a proper job of managing contention for your upstream bandwidth. So it's a good idea to log in and check them to see if they make sense for your setup. If they're not correct, you can manually enter the Upstream Data Rate, Connection Type and ISP Gateway address via the Configuration page. But since the automatic setup also detects MTU and protocol overhead, I think it's best to let it do its automatic thing.

Although Hawking and Ubicom put together some decent test procedures and IxChariot scripts, I kept my testing simple. As I did when testing the D-Link DGL-4300, I used the "Golden Phone" feature of Brix Networks' TestYourVoip.com as my test tool.

The "Golden Phone" allows you to make an actual VoIP call to a test point (I used the one in Boston), talk for about 15 seconds and get a MOS (Mean Opinion Score) number for the voice quality measured from your phone to the test point. The test results returned also include packet loss, discards, latency and Codec-related errors.

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