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Setup and Administration, Continued

Figure 5 shows the Security tab, which is pretty standard stuff.

Figure 5: Security Tab

This newer client now lets you enter four keys directly in Hexadecimal characters, or you can generate the keys automatically via an alphanumeric passphrase. 64, 128, and 152 bit key lengths are supported with the keys not stored in cleartext, but maintained when you disable, then re-enable WEP. Unfortunately, you can't write or read the keys to/from a file, but at least the utility prevents you from entering a key longer than the allowable length for the level of WEP you select. Note that the client utility doesn't yet support the impending WPA security enhancement.

The Site Survey tab (not shown) is similar in function to XP's Wireless Connection Properties > Wireless Networks tab, and shows all Access Points / Wireless routers and AdHoc stations within range. It also lets you select an Access Point and click a Connect button to get hooked up without having to switch over to the Configuration tab.

Although a Re-Scan button is provided, a real Site Survey function would have been more like the throughput plots provided on the Statistics tab (Figure 6), but with plots of signal, noise, and SNR over time for selected APs. Barring that, I'd like to be able to start and stop a continuous scan for new APs, and, of course, control the scan interval. It would also have been nice if the Signal numbers on this tab matched the Signal Strength indication on the Status tab, too.

NETGEAR WAG511 - Statistics tab

Figure 6: Statistics Tab

The Statistics tab provides plots of Transmit and Receive data rates that are updated each second, but can't be saved or cleared.

In all, this new client has some nice improvements over the older dual-band dual-mode client, but has a ways to go before it really provides the control required for a tri-mode, dual-band operation.

Performance tests are next!

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