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Setup and Administration, Continued

Figure 3 shows the utility's Configuration tab, which gives you access to most of what you'd need to configure the card, and is where most of the action is.

NETGEAR WAG511 - Configuration tab

Figure 3: Configuration Tab

This tab is improved from the WAB501's utility, with Profiles moved to their own tab and a cleaner layout. The main functional improvement is the addition of the ANY (First Available Access Point) option to the Network SSID pick list. This basically mimics WinXP's Zero Config and should make it easier to roam among differently named networks. SSID's picked up in the Site Survey tab are automatically copied into the pick list, too.

You also get a choice of Normal or Maximum for Power Savings, Auto and Long Only for 2.4GHz preamble, and Transmit Power settings of 100,50,25, 12.5, and lowest. I'm still unconvinced of the value of the ability to reduce a wireless client's Transmit power, but if you want to mess with it, it's there.

I continue to be disappointed with the Radio Band Control options provided in Atheros-based multi-band products, and this latest version of their client app seems to have taken a step backwards. It allows only the simple selection of 802.11a, 11a "Turbo", and 11b/draft-11g modes, and omits the Auto mode provided in the previous version.

I would have liked to see the ability to force the card to 11b-only operation, but more importantly more options for controlling the tri-mode nature of the card. I had hoped that there would be some sort of "best-connection", or "best-throughput" modes, or even the ability to specify a preferred network mode, i.e. a, b, or draft-11g. And what's the use of having multiple Connection Profiles (shown in Figure 4), if you can't specify which ones are preferred, and in what order? Even XP's Zero Config lets you do this, although they haven't yet admitted the existence of 11a and now draft-11g WLANs!

NETGEAR WAG511 - Profile tab

Figure 4: Profile Tab

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