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Wireless Reviews

The WZR-HP sits at the top of Buffalo's slimmed-down U.S. wireless product line. It's a single-band draft 802.11n router whose main claim to fame is higher transmit power than most other draft 11n routers and APs. The FCC test results show peak transmit power between 524 and 847 mW in 20 MHz bandwidth mode. By comparison, the popular D-Link DIR-655A4's peak transmit power is 97 mW.

The WZR-HP is built around an Atheros AR9132 Wireless Network Processor, which includes the wireless BB/MAC functions. The radio is an AR9103 3x3 2.4 GHz 802.11n. The WAN port and four LAN ports are handled by a Realtek RTL8366SR Gigabit switch that appears to have jumbo frames enabled for up to 9K.

Other attractive features of the router include support for three separately-secured SSIDs, a PPTP server for VPN connection and NAS function for an attached USB drive. The NAS features include user and group support, remote secure web-based file access and a BitTorrent download client. Our Vista SP1 file copy test measured write and read throughput of 9.7 and 10.9 MB/s with an XFS formatted drive, respectively—a bit better than most router-embedded NASes we've seen.

Routing throughput measured 166 Mbps WAN to LAN and 184 Mbps LAN to WAN. Maximum simultaneous sessions maxed out at our test limit of 200.

Maximum wireless throughput in the default 20 MHz bandwidth mode measured 59.3 Mbps at Location C running downlink and 61.4 Mbps uplink at Location A averaged over a 1 minute test. Switching to 40 MHz mode improved throughput to 97.2 and 85.9 Mbps for down and uplink, respectively (both at Location A).

It appears that the WZR-HP's higher transmit power in the 20 MHz bandwidth mode did help to improve throughput and connection reliability at our weak-signal test locations E and F. Speeds near 10 Mbps were measured, where most other routers provide only a few Mbps of throughput.

Read the full review.

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