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Wireless Reviews

Features

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on the 318S' routing features. I put enough screen shots of the admin screens in the slideshow so that you can get a good feel for it.

Suffice it to say that it has the features that you've come to expect in a basic consumer wireless router, plus a few extras. One of the extras is the ability to have up to three different LAN subnets.

There is also an "Any IP" feature that lets clients access the Internet, no matter what their IP settings are. This is handy if your company notebook is set up with static IP information. "Any IP" will let the notebook access the Internet when it's connected to the 318S, without having to futz with the network settings. (Note that "Any IP" only provides Internet access. It won't provide LAN connection.)

The 318S also has a Automatic Bandwidth Management feature, similar to that found in many D-Link routers. But instead of being based on Ubicom's StreamEngine technology, it uses Atheros' implementation.

Wireless features include a full selection of wireless security options including both Home (PSK) and Enterprise (RADIUS) versions of WPA and WPA2. Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is also available, but you need to make sure the router has V3.60(AMR.2) firmware or higher.

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for an admin interface tour

Routing Performance

Unfortunately, the routing portion of the 318S is its weakest feature. Figure 4 shows a composite plot of WAN > LAN, LAN > WAN and simultaneous up and downlink routing throughput.

Routing performance
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: Routing performance
NOTE!NOTE!
- Firmware used was V3.60(AMR.2) | 11/08/2007
- Testing was done using this procedure.

Throughput is a decent 55 Mbps when running in each direction by itself. But when the simultaneous up / down test showed reduced average performance, due to the large (and long) throughput dropouts that you can see in the plot.

Even worse, however, was the result of the Maximum Simultaneous Connection test. The 318S was able to handle only 16 simultaneous connections (8 up and 8 down). So this router is definitely not one for gamers, big P2P / Torrent users or busy LANs with multiple users.

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