Specifications: 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11b “WiFi” wireless Ethernet at 11Mbit/sec, 5.5Mbit/sec, 2Mbit/sec and 1Mbit/sec; 64-bit and 128-bit encryption; HTTP/ HTML, Telnet, and SNMP management; dual 10/100 Mbit/sec LAN interfaces. 1 year warranty
Good wireless LAN coverage — signal saturated a two-story house
Great administrative interface, strong security
Must be rebooted after setting change
Goodbye, Linksys WAP11 wireless access point. Hello, Orinoco AP-200. The Orinoco has better coverage, stronger bridge features, and a much usable and useful Web-based administrative console. Were it not for one slight flaw, this would be a five-penguin product.
The Orinoco AP-200 can serve as an access point between 802.11b “WiFi” wireless Ethernet users and a wired 10/100 Mbit/sec LAN, or it can act as a wireless bridge between two separate wired LAN segments. We tested two AP-200 units as a bridge and confirmed that the bridge functionality works within a distance of several hundred feet.
The other notable attribute of the Orinoco device is the AP-200′s excellent browser-based interface. You can set up everything from there. For example, if you’re security conscious, the Orinoco interface is very convenient. If you operate a closed wireless LAN, the only cards that are allowed access have their MAC addresses entered directly into the access point’s flash memory. The interface makes it quick and easy to add and remove MAC addresses.
Our one niggling complaint? You have to reboot the access point to save and enable any changes made using the console, including adding or removing MACs from the access control list. That’s not a big deal in a home network, but it’d be a nuisance in a business network because rebooting the access point kicks everyone off the wireless LAN for about a minute. Otherwise, the AP-200 is a real keeper.
Alan Zeichick, zeichick@camdenassociates. com, is principal analyst at Camden Associates.
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