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Router Charts

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Mesh Charts

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Routing Features

Aside from the PPTP endpoint features that I'll cover shortly, the WZR's routing features are essentially those of its predecessor, the WBR2-G54 (and probably, the WHR3-G54). The first difference I encountered was upon logging into the WZR for the first time (its default IP address is 192.168.12.1, its DHCP server is enabled by default and the radio is on with no security enabled).

BuffaloTech WZR-RS-G54: First-Time "Top" screen

Figure 5: First-Time "Top" screen
(click image for larger view)

Figure 5 shows a familiar-looking screen, except for the Network Service List link at the top that when clicked, takes you to that screen (Figure 6). Your exact screen will depend on what services and computers the WZR finds running (it does this by analyzing ARP requests) from among this list:

  • Web / HTTP
  • FTP
  • File sharing
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop / Terminal Services
  • VNC Server

BuffaloTech WZR-RS-G54: Network Services

Figure 6: Network Services
(click image for larger view)

You'll also always get a Wake-On-LAN icon that, when clicked, will send a WOL command to its respective computer. I first thought this screen was just eye candy, but found that it could have its uses, especially during remote access (note the ppp:tim service group from my PPTP connection). Of course, WOL isn't supported on all systems and it's up to you to track it down and enable it. On Win XP systems, you'll find the control by clicking the Configure button in your network adapter's connection properties and navigating to the tab shown in Figure 7.

Wake-On-LAN enable (Win XP)

Figure 7: Wake-On-LAN enable (Win XP)

Tip! Tip: The Network Services screen can also be accessed by entering the LAN IP address for your WZR followed by /hosts.htm, i.e. http://192.168.12.1/hosts.htm.

Tip! Tip: Browsing shared files only works with Internet Explorer 5.0 and above.

Every time after the first access, the "Top" page becomes the new, user-friendlier page shown in Figure 8. This page is perhaps a little too VPN-centric, but once I figured out the terminology used in the various buttons, I was able to figure out where to go.

BuffaloTech WZR-RS-G54: New Top Page

Figure 8: New Top Page
(click image for larger view)

NOTE! Note: According to Buffalo, it turns out that this new page and the "wizards" accessible from it need some tweaking. They may be temporarily removed in a firmware update due out soon.

Another welcome touch is the addition of dynamic DNS - especially useful in a product that's meant to be frequently remotely-accessed via the Internet. Either the DynDNS or TZO services can keep the changing IP address that you get from your ISP pointed to either a domain name that you already own, or new one that they can provide.

In general, the admin server is responsive with mini-reboot time for each page's changes around 5 seconds. Only one admin login is allowed at a time (you'll get a cryptic screen if you're admin #2) and you still can't change the idle timeout for the admin interface. Network Address Translation (port forwarding) and Packet Filter (port / service filtering) controls are essentially unchanged and remain in need of a more user-friendly design. There's also still no scheduled packet filtering or any sort of content filtering or proxy, Java, Active X , etc. blockers.

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