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Wireless Reviews

Setup

I've been testing a lot of bridges lately and have to say that most have greatly improved upon the convoluted and often frustrating setup process that have been the hallmark of these devices. Sad to say, the WUMC710's setup is more old school than new if you don't opt to set it up using WPS pushbutton.

The 710 will grab an IP address if it detects a DHCP server plugged into any of its LAN ports. But since you would normally plug the device you are trying to connect into it (which won't have a DHCP server), it will set itself to a default IP of 10.100.1.1. This means you'll need to set your device IP to something in the same range (like 10.100.1.10) to connect to the admin pages and finish the setup.

Alternatively, you can plug the 710 into your LAN router, let it grab an IP, check your router's DHCP list for the 710's IP address, use that IP to access the server and set a static IP so that you don't lose it.

Compared to the captive-portal techniques I've been seeing on the other more recent-vintage N bridges I've been testing, setting up the 710 was much more difficult. Here's a shot of the login landing screen showing the classic Linksys admin look.

Basic Setup screen
Basic Setup screen

I've put screenshots of the other admin screens in the gallery below.

Features

The WUMC710 functions only as a wireless bridge, not an AP and not a repeater. So the feature set is pretty simple:

  • Static and dynamic IP for bridge IP
  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal wireless security
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Wireless Network Site survey

Missing features

  • HTTPs admin access
  • Can't dim or shut off LEDs
  • No transmit power adjust

Performance

I used our new test process, which is also used for testing wireless adapters, to test the WUMC710. The bridge had its original v1.0.01 firmware loaded because there have been no updates. The bridge was placed so that its left side (viewed from the indicator end of the product) faced the test chamber antennas, which were 8" away. The ASUS RT-AC66U reference router was set to Channel 153 and Auto 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth mode.

The Benchmark Summary shows the averages of all the measurements made in both directions. Note the distinct imbalance between up and downlink.

Benchmark Summary
Benchmark Summary

As I mentioned earlier, I have tested only one other dedicated AC1300 bridge, the WD My Net AC Bridge. So both are included in the throughput vs. attenuation plots below.

5 GHz downlink throughput vs. attenuation
5 GHz downlink throughput vs. attenuation

The WUMC710 is clearly outperformed by the WD bridge, especially on uplink.

5 GHz uplink throughput vs. attenuation
5 GHz uplink throughput vs. attenuation

Closing Thoughts

Given its rather disappointing performance, the only thing the WUMC710 has going for it is its price. If $50 is all you have in your AC bridge budget, the Linksys is the only game in town. But if you're willing to goose your budget to $60 or so and don't mind buying a discontinued product, the WD My Net AC Bridge is the better performer of the two.

But given these two uninspiring choices, I suspect most of you will look for sales on your favorite AC router if you need a bridge.

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