Sunday, July 15, 2007

Buffalo Nfiniti Wireless-N Router and Access Point

I have been testing the Buffalo Nfiniti Wireless-N broadband router, a Certified for Windows Vista™ device.

I received this review unit just before the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, or WinHEC back in early May. Seeing that there were quite a few sessions devoted to Windows I decided to hold off on a review of the unit until I had gotten an opportunity to learn more about Windows Rally™ technologies.

Windows Rally™ Technologies.

The Windows Rally™ program, formerly Windows Connect Now, is a new way for providing quick, more secure, and effortless connectivity for network connected devices.

This program gives hardware OEMs, developers, and service providers access to Microsoft technology, and technical guidance, and streamlines licensing of those same technologies, enabling the use of a common platform to deliver leading-edge connectivity products and services to their targeted customers, in the process lowering their cost of developing devices and software, and reducing the complexity presented to consumers.

The use of Windows Rally™ technologies also allows software and hardware developers the benefit of creating products with a greater amount of differentiation and customization.

Unboxing

The Nfiniti router came in a rather large box reminiscent of Cisco router boxes, and I wondered why until I saw how well padded it was. The box contained the router, a quick setup guide, an Ethernet cable, a setup CD, the power supply and the warranty boilerplate verbiage.

I rather liked the looks of the router, especially since I had wanted to upgrade the network at UniMatrix Zero-1 to the equally different-looking Linksys WRT350N router.

I discarded the included CAT-5 cable for CAT-6 cables, plugged the router into the mains, connected the Motorola SB5101 modem and the systems.

Configuration

Well, Ryan M., Jim B., Glen W., and the entire Windows Rally™ team do have a lot to be proud of.

After flushing the cache/memory on the Moto cable modem – thanks for the heads-up, Jim B. – I was effortlessly able to connect to the router.

The Windows Connect Now auto-configuration system worked me through the setting up of the router, including the insertion of a pre-defined passphrase, and, voilà, I was connected!

Never one to leave well enough alone, I opened up a browser window, connected to the router, and proceeded to change virtually all options available in managing the Nfiniti router, including, but not limited to passwords/passphrases, network numbers, addresses, etc.

Needless to say, I was pleased with the numerous options available.

Performance

In my test of the router, I was able to connect to the wireless-g network from the desktops, and to the a network using the UniMatrix notebooks.

Since I did not have a wireless-n card installed in any of the systems at the Orbiting Dacha, I made do with the installed adaptors.

The range superiority of the Nfiniti router versus the other routers at UniMatrix Zero-1 was never doubted. In fact, during network discovery, I located several more networks than I have ever seen listed in the Windows Vista™ wireless networks list. I was able to get connected using various several in various locations over the physical plant at UniMatrix Zero-1.

Wireless throughput was also perceptibly faster, making me move the acquisition of a similar unit to the top of my list for short-term improvements to my network.

Dislikes

  1. Cat 5 cable shipping in box, instead of CAT-6
  2. Cannot change router login username

Conclusion

I like this router, one for the use of Windows Rally technologies for easy setup, and secondly for the performance.

Admittedly, this system has not been tested with a wireless-n card, however, if my perceptible feelings of faster speed are any indication, there is no doubt that it would perform as expected.

As a result, I am giving it a SmallBizVista.com Preferred Award, especially for ease of use, configuration, and value in the consumer/SOHO space.

John Obeto II
Editor-in-Chief, SmallBizVista.com
Publisher, The Interlocutor
July 15, 2007

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