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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

BuffaloTech AirStation 54Mbps Broadband Router (WBR-G54)
Summary Broadcom-based draft-802.11g router. Supports multipoint bridging and repeating
Update 1/3/2003 - Buffalo adds guarantee for interoperability with 802.11g released spec.
Pros • It really works! 20+Mbps speed with 11b compatibility
• Includes wireless repeating
• Attractive pricing
Cons • One active 11b client kills 11g throughput boost
• High variation in throughput
• "Turbo" mode doesn't work
• User Interface needs work

BuffaloTech AirStation 54Mbps Broadband Router

In the race to be the first to market with a draft-standard 802.11g product, Buffalo Technology made it to at least the SmallNetBuilder labs before Linksys did. They sent both their WBR-G54 router and WLI-CB-G54 CardBus client card for evaluation, and evaluate them I did. This review will cover primarily the router, and a RapidReview of the client card will follow later.

I'll cut right to the chase with the answer that you're most interested in. Yes, the products really did produce "11a" level speeds of about 20+Mbps and had the range I expected from a 11b product (although you don't get both at the same time, of course!). There were some rough spots in the product, however, and I found a pretty significant bug (or is it a "feature"?) in the radio section. There's a lot to cover, so let's get started...

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