A good demonstration of the benefits of 802.11n, and a good choice for offices requiring a basic router.
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This very compact unit from NetComm hardly takes up any room and has a contemporary styling that suggests the designer didn’t expect it to be shut away in a cupboard or dark corner.Almost the entire width of the back panel is taken up by the five Ethernet sockets (one WAN and four LAN ports), the three antenna connectors, and the power socket. Furthermore, the slimline plugpack only takes up one normal space on a powerboard. And in line with the ‘green IT’ mood, there is a power saving mode for the wireless and Ethernet interfaces.The initial setup is simplified by a web-based wizard that takes care of the important matters including wireless security. Unfortunately, other parts of the interface leave something to be desired, in that the English used here and in the manual could stand improvement. For example “The hackers attack will be recorded associated with timestamp in the security logging area.” And we’re told that clicking the Disabled button in the QoS page “could turn off QoS feature” - well, does it or doesn’t it?URL/keyword filtering might be useful to keep the staff’s minds on the job, but if this is a real concern you might be better served by a more sophisticated content filtering product. Still, it’s enough to keep them away from Facebook during working hours if that’s the aim.NetComm gets round the issue of daylight savings by having the user manually configure the start and ending dates for their time zone.Events can be scheduled, such as going into power saving mode overnight or disabling the firewall - though we’re not sure the latter is a good idea.Average times for our three wireless performance tests were 18, 19 and 27 seconds, with little variability between the trials. Compared with the Netgear DGFV338, this is a good illustration of the benefits of 802.11n as distances increase, but we’re puzzled by the relatively poor short-range performance.The NP802n is a good choice for offices that only require a basic router with a few Ethernet ports and that don’t need VPN capability.
This Review appeared in the March 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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