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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

ZyXEL ZyAIR Wireless LAN Hot Spot Gateway

ZyXEL ZyAIR Wireless LAN Hot Spot Gateway (B-4000)
Summary 802.11b 'Hotspot' router aimed at the wireless-with-your-latte Mom 'n Pop store-owner. Includes receipt printer.
Update 10/20/2003 - New firmware available that fixes a few VPN passthrough bugs, adds the ability to email logs and new accounting features.
Pros • Easy-to-use solution for small-biz hotspot owners
• Keeps wireless and wired traffic separated
• Easy-to-use ticket-based authentication system
• Top-of-the-line routing and wireless performance
Cons • Can't enable wireless and wired LAN communication
• Can't control account username and password assignment
• No firewall controls

Although the market for pay-for Wi-Fi "hotspots" may be peaking, ZyXEL's Hot Spot in a Box Wireless Service Gateway is aimed at the small business owner who wants to get into the game. It's a simple, all-in-one box that makes it easy for non-technical folks to sell wireless Internet access by the hour. But if you have other uses in mind, you may find it lacking...

Basic Features

The B-4000 actually started out in life as the ZSG-100W and remnants of its former identity can be found scattered around the product documentation. The product that I received for review actually was marked as a ZSG-100W, so it still had the older packaging that has a dark green trim piece vs. the more translucent light blue one on the B-4000. The package is about the size of a small hardcover novel with a rounded top surface and two wall-mounting slots on the bottom.

All indicator lights are on the front of the box and are somewhat dim through the dark green trim described above The indicators include Link/Activity for the LAN and WAN ports, Wireless activity for the wireless LAN connection, Power, and Status general indicators.

Four 10/100 LAN ports, one 10/100 WAN port, power jack, two RP-SMA antenna and one DB25-M printer connectors are on the rear panel and a hardware Reset switch is located on the left side panel.

The printer connector connects to "Mini Account Generator Printer" that comes bundled with the B-4000. The printer uses thermal roll-type paper and is used to print the customer receipts that are part of the customer authentication system.

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