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Wireless Reviews

Setup

The MWN-WAPR300N ships with a CD, but you don't really need it to set up the router. In fact, the only files on the CD are PDF files for the quick installation guide (QIG) and the user manual along with Adobe Acrobat reader installation files.

The router arrives with wireless security enabled with a default password of password. Interestingly, even though the router supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), it's disabled by default, so you can't just push the Reset/WPS button to connect. If you are like many people who don't want to spend the time to read even the QIG, a label affixed to the bottom of the router provides you with the default login credentials, as well as the wireless SSID/password and the router’s IP address.

The default credentials are admin / admin. The quick installation guide shows you how to hook up your router to your cable / DSL modem and to your computer. Of course, you can configure the router either via a wired connection or a wireless connection. The QIG advises should you want to configure the routers via a wireless connection, the default SSID is medialink and the default password is, as noted, "password". You are directed to point your browser to http://192.168.8.1.

The login screen also shows you the default login credentials. So it's probably a good idea to go through the user interface to change the defaults. (System tools->Change user name/password) After your initial login, there isn't a "first run" wizard that helps you do the initial setup. Instead, you land at the page shown below that lets you change the default wireless SSID and password.

Medialink MWR-WAPR300N Landing Page

Medialink MWR-WAPR300N Landing Page

Annoyingly, this same screen appears each time you log in. To change any other settings, you need to click on "Advanced Settings" link that lands you at the System Status page. Since I'm unlikely to change either my WAN connection type or wireless network name/password after the initial configuration, I would prefer to land at the Advanced Settings page.

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N System Status
Medialink MWN-WAPR300N System Status

Features

The MWN-WAPR300N is a fairly basic router. As noted earlier, it lacks USB ports for shared external storage or printer sharing. Here's a feature summary compiled from Medialink's online specifications and user guide.

  • 2 X 2 Wireless-N technology for speeds up to 300 Mbps, 2.4GHz wireless technology
  • Supports 802.11b, 802.11g & 802.11n adapters operating on 2.4 GHz wavelength
  • 4 10/100 Mbps switched Ethernet ports
  • Modes: wireless router, wireless access point, WDS
  • Wired data transfer rate: 10/100 Mbps (Ethernet 10 base-T)
  • Routing and firewall protocol: DHCP
  • Security: WEP, WPA , WPA2, WPS
  • Secondary SSID (Not a guest network)
  • AP isolation
  • MAC Filtering (wireless)
  • WAN connection types: PPPoE, Dynamic, Static, PPTP, L2TP
  • Use another wireless network as WAN connection
  • MAC Clone
  • Bandwidth control by IP address or IP address range
  • LAN traffic statistics
  • DHCP server with range and lease time settings
  • DHCP reservation
  • Firewall (enable/disable)
  • Port range forwarding (well known services populated)
  • DMZ host
  • UPnP
  • Scheduled client filtering by IP address
  • Scheduled MAC address filtering
  • Scheduled URL filtering
  • Remote management (http only)
  • Static Routing
  • Local syslog (150 entries)
  • VPN pass-through
  • Transmit power: 20 dBm
  • Antenna: (2) Internal 2Tx2R
  • DDNS: Supports No-IP/Dyndns

The Advanced Settings page (System Status shown above) is arranged with top level menus across the top and sub menus as a second line below. Limited context-sensitive help is shown on the right side of the screen. I won't discuss each menu item in depth. Instead, I'll highlight a few unique features of the MWN-WAPR300N. For the features that I don't discuss specifically, please browse through the gallery at the end of the features section.

Wireless Features

The MWN-WAPR300N has several wireless features worth discussing. First, the Secondary SSID does not act like the "guest" feature on other routers, which isolates "guest" traffic from your LAN. On the Medialink, if Broadcast SSID is enabled, both Primary and Secondary SSID (if configured) are broadcast. However, clients attached using the Secondary SSID receive an IP address on the same subnet (192.168.8.0/24 default) as those connecting to the Primary SSID. Clients attached to either SSID have access to other resources (printer, NAS, etc.) on the LAN.

AP isolation only isolates wireless clients from each other on the same SSID, not LAN resources. However, the help screen indicates that when AP Isolation is enabled, wireless clients on the primary SSID will still be able to connect to wireless clients on the secondary SSID and vice versa.

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N Wireless Basic Settings

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N Wireless Basic Settings

Each SSID can have its own security mode settings. You just select the SSID that you want to configure from the "Select SSID" dropdown box and then choose the Security Mode from its dropdown box. One possible use for the Secondary SSID would be to configure it for WEP should you have legacy wireless devices that only support WEP. (If you do, it's really time to upgrade them.)

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N Wireless Security

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N Wireless Security

By default, WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) is disabled. If you enable it, your choices for Security Mode, PSK and Key Renewal Interval are grayed out and not configurable - they are set at the previously stored settings. You do get an additional WPS Mode option of either PBC (Push button configuration) or PIN configuration.

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N WPS

Medialink MWN-WAPR300N WPS

Other wireless features include:

  • Wireless MAC filtering (Permit/Forbid),
  • Connection status showing wirelessly connected client name, MAC address and bandwith (20 MHz or 40 MHz channel)
  • WMM enable/disable
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • APSD capable enable/disable
  • Wireless network mode select
  • WDS support

The MWN-WAPR300N is also missing some wireless features usually found under advanced wireless options on other routers. In general, however, these features aren't normally changed by the majority of consumers, so omitting them I don't see as a liability for an entry-level N300 router. The missing features are:

  • Transmit power adjust
  • Wireless access schedule
  • Short/long preamble
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold and Data Rate & N Data Rate (MCS) adjusts
  • CTS protection
  • Enterprise/RADIUS for WEP, WPA/WPA2

More Wireless

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