|At a glance|
|Product||Buffalo Technology Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Router & Access Point (WZR-HP-G300NH) [Website]|
|Summary||Single-band draft 802.11n router with Gigabit WAN and LAN ports and higher transmit power than other products with USB storage sharing|
|Pros||• Gigabit WAN and LAN with fast routing|
• Higher power than other draft 11n routers
• Multiple SSIDs with individual security settings
• Secure browser-based remote access
• Full-featured USB NAS w/ BitTorrent download
|Cons||• No VLAN-separated wireless Guest Zone|
• No transmit power adjust
Typical Price: $69 Buy Direct
Wireless products from Buffalo Technology had all but disappeared from the market in the US due to a suit from an Australian company named CSRIO (Commonwealth Scientific Research and Industrial Organization). But in December of 2008, a federal judge stayed the permanent injunction that prohibited Buffalo from selling wireless products in the United States. More recently, in July 2009, Buffalo announced a settlement to the patent infringement suit. With their legal problems behind them, Buffalo is now back in the U.S. market with several new “NFiniti” draft-N products as well as their legacy Wireless-G High Power Router and Access Point (WHR-HP-G54).
This review focuses on the of Buffalo's U.S. wireless line, the single band draft 802.11n Nfiniti Wireless-N High Power Router & Access Point (WZR-HP-G300NH). While the WZR-HP-G300NH has a list price of $119.99, almost double that of its less powerful $69.99 WHR-G300N draft-N sibling, it has a few additional features that could well justify the premium price. Figure 1 shows Buffalo’s comparison of their single-band wireless offerings.
Figure 1: Buffalo wireless product comparison chart
The case on the WZR-HP is designed to sit either vertically with the use of an included snap-on plastic base, or horizontally. You could also mount it to a wall using the supplied mounting screws. The black glossy case is stylish looking, but is also prone to fingerprint smudges.
Sprouting from the top of the case are two moveable wireless antennas. Frankly, rotating them probably won’t change the performance much – the WZR-HP already has great coverage due, in part, to its high power output. Figure 2 shows the front panel with all of the LED indicators illuminated.
Figure 2: Front view of the WZR-HP
Above the column of indicator LEDs, there’s a push button switch to initiate Buffalo’s proprietary AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure System) or WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) wireless security. If your client adapter doesn't support AOSS or the WPS push-button method, the router also supports the WPS PIN method.
The LEDs include:
- Power (green power symbol)
- Security (lock symbol – illuminated when wireless security has been enabled)
- Wireless (blinks when there is wireless activity)
- Router mode (illuminated when WZR-HP is configured as a router)
- Diagnostics (illuminated during bootup)
Below the LEDs are two additional indicators to show if the "Movie Engine" on the WZR-HP has been enabled. When the "Movie Engine" is enabled, the QoS engine and IPV6 pass through are enabled, the wireless multicast rate is increased, and TCP Rwin is limited for "an improved multimedia experience", according to Buffalo. I didn't test these claims. Labels for each of the LEDs are on the adjacent side as shown in the opening photo.
Figure 3 shows the rear panel of the WZR-HP. The Internet or “WAN” port is color coded blue. All ports, including the WAN port, support Gigabit Ethernet, and each port has a link/activity indicator. There’s a single USB port that you can use to attach a single USB drive to turn the WZR-HP into a simple NAS for sharing files on your network. You can’t, however, connect a USB hub to this port, nor can it be used for print sharing.
Adjacent to the USB port, there’s a switch for dismounting an attached USB drive. At the extreme right in the photo, there’s a three position switch that controls the operating mode of the WZR. You can select on (Router), off (Access Point) or Auto. In the default Auto mode, the WZR-HP operates as a router. If it detects another router on the network, it switches to AP mode.