TP-LINK TL-WR642G

If you want to share a cable or ADSL connection, there's nothing better than a wireless router, except, of course, an inexpensive wireless router.

TP-Link's TL-WR642G Super G router costs just over $100. It has a four-port Ethernet switch built-in, as well as an 802.11g radio, and it supports the latest encryption algorithm: WPA-PSK AES.

The single 3dBi, removable, dipole antenna and the powerful wireless radio (18dBm) of this unit combined to produce excellent wireless range and file transfer speeds. We obtained a useable signal from this router out of doors, at a distance of 21m away, with obstacles including double-brick not causing any interference.

Indoors, a 512MB file transfer was completed in 4min 6sec at a distance of 1m from the router, while across a 10m distance, with a double-brick wall in between, the same file transfer was finished in 4min 28sec. These results were obtained with Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre Shared Key Advanced Encryption System (WPA-PSK AES) enabled.

The wireless router supports port forwarding, MAC address filtering, and Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) firewall configuration.

Its HTML interface is very easy to use, with help files displayed at all times in the interface's right-hand pane.

In our continuous tests, it distributed our ADSL connection to two PCs connected to the LAN ports. One notebook connected wirelessly, and it performed very well.

The only niggle we found was in regard to its wireless settings, which require the router to be restarted every time a change is made (for example, changing an encryption key).

Verdict: Based on its excellent wireless performance and low price, this is a recommended router for every type of user. It's easy to set up and use and it showed stable performance throughout our tests.

URL: www.anyware.com.au

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