Sunday, May 1, 2011

Buffalo Technology Nfiniti Wireless-N Dual Band Ethernet Converter, Access Point and Bridge WLAE-AG300N Review

Buffalo Technology Nfiniti Wireless-N Dual Band Ethernet Converter, Access Point and Bridge WLAE-AG300N
Average Reviews:

(More customer reviews)
I purchased two of these, one to act as a wireless access point on my pre-existing network, and another to act as an ethernet converter to connect my XBox 360 and Blue-ray player to the wireless network.
ENVIRONMENT:
Netgear 802.11b wireless router, 2 laptops (Win XP/7), XBox 360, internet-enabled blue-ray player
PERFORMANCE:
I get 10 Mbps internet speed from my cable provider, as tested by [...] over a wired connection. I bought these buffalo devices to make sure I get that full speed over the wireless (using my old 802.11b router, I got ~5Mbps).
I've had these for a few weeks now. After installation I get the full 10 Mbps on my laptops (connected directly to the access point), my XBox (connected to the ethernet-converter device), and on my Motorola Droid 1.
Regarding local-network-only speeds, I tested a transfer from a Win XP laptop to a Win 7 laptop, and only get 10 Mbps speed; maybe my old router is limiting transfer speeds, I'm not sure. Luckily it doesn't matter, I only care about the internet speed, and I'm getting all of it.
INSTALLATION:
For the most part just follow the instructions, but I did spend 2 hours with various hiccups that can be avoided, so here are a few tips:
1. Remove your old wireless network from your computer's list, or else disable the old wireless network. If your PC connects to that old network automatically, it will interfere with the wired connection too the Buffalo device that you need during setup, and you'll get a warning that there are 2 network connections available.
2. When setting up a wireless-to-wired ethernet converstion, be aware that if you use the AOSS feature to automatically connect 2 of these devices, the way they do it is to generate a new network for that one connection (with its own SSID and password). If you want to avoid that (as I did), they provide the option to install a piece of software on your PC that will let you connect the device to the same SSID you'll be using with your other devices. It'll want you to choose a device to configure and the list will include your network cards, the way to tell which is the buffalo device is to check the serial number printed on the buffalo device, it's the same as the identifier presented in the device-selection menu.
3. *** IMPORTANT ***. These devices seem to need a 10-minute warmup after you finish the installation and setup process. You'll connect to your new wireless network, only to see your network speed drop from 130 Mbps to 65 Mbps to 1 Mbps. It'll fluctuate back and forth and you'll think there's something wrong. Give it 10 min and it will stabilize at full speed. (seems to happen again if you power them off and back on)
CUSTOMER SERVICE:
I thought I had a problem during that warm-up period I mention above, and called customer service. The phone was answered by a tech immediately (no wait time). Beyond that I can't say, my network stabilized while I was on the phone so I didn't need any help after all.

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Buffalo\'s Nfiniti Wireless-N Dual Band Ethernet Converter, Access Point and Bridge WLAE-AG300N is a versatile wireless device that extends the capabilities of wireless networks by offering three modes for limitless flexibility. As an Ethernet converter, WLAE-AG300N connects any two wired devices, such as printers, gaming consoles or DVRs, to an existing wireless network. Operating as an access point, WLAE-AG300N turns any wired network into a high speed 11n network, great for starting or expanding a wireless network. And acting as a bridge, multiple WLAE-AG300N units can be used to create wireless bridges and repeaters, connecting and extending the range of an existing wireless network. 802.11n dual band support allows maximum performance and compatibility providing interference free connectivity, great for wireless video streaming, gaming and other high performance uses. Nfiniti Wireless-N Dual Band Ethernet Converter, Access Point and Bridge is the perfect start or addition of any wireless network.

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