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Wireless Features - more

The other wireless controls are essentially the same for each radio, so I'll show just the 11a / 5 GHz radio's (Figure 12). The Basic controls are pretty straightforward and require only a little explanation. The 11a radio supports only four of the eight channels allowed in the U.S. (36, 40, 44 and 48) and defaults to 40 MHz bandwidth mode (channel bonded). You can manually select the Wireless (primary) channel in 40 MHz mode but the "Extension Channel" is automatically set for you.

11a basic radio settings

Figure 12: 11a basic radio settings

In a nod to being a better wireless neighbor, the 11g radio defaults to 20 MHz mode (not channel bonded). But you can switch it to 40 MHz mode, which, like the 11a radio, doesn't let you set the Extension channel if you choose to set the primary channel.

The Advanced settings (Figure 13) are a bit more obscure. Unfortunately, the User Guide is no help and the online help isn't much better. The AG isn't compliant with the 11n 1.10 draft and doesn't support the three mechanisms added in that draft to solve 11n's 2.4 GHz "bad neighbor" problem. To the contrary, if the 802.11n Protection control really "gives priority to 802.11n devices in mixed mode" as the online help explains, then 11b/g clients will never have a chance at airtime.

The 11g radio has the same set of controls, with a different set of Multicast Rate settings and an additional 802.11g Protection checkbox. Kudos to Buffalo for including the Privacy Separator control that blocks wireless client-to-client connection. I just wish Buffalo would also add a control to keep wireless and wired clients separated.

11a advanced radio settings

Figure 13: 11a advanced radio settings

For a real set of incomprehensible controls, the WMM Settings take the prize. The online help's notation that "It isn't necessary to change this value ordinary." (sic) sounds like good advice.

WMM controls
Click to enlarge image

Figure 14: WMM controls

Finally, it's worth noting that while you can enable MAC address filtering for each radio separately, the same MAC address list is applied to both radios. You do get a handy list of currently-associated clients, however, to ease the task of creating the list.

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