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Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201 USB/802.11b Dongle Review

Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201 USB/802.11b Dongle Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Now here's a new idea! For the GN-WLBZ201 Gigabyte has combined two of the most popular USB accessories; memory keys and wireless network adaptors into a single product.
 87% Rating:   
Filed under: Networking Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jan 26 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Networking > Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201

Wireless Benchmarks and Conclusions

To benchmark the GN-WLBZ201 we used a fairly typical home configuration. The device was installed in a laptop, communicating with an SMC Barricade wireless router installed approximately 15 feet away on a different floor. NetIQ's Qtest was used to measure the response time and average data throughput of the GN-WLBZ201 communicating with a computer connected to the router with standard 10/100 Ethernet cable. We timed the transfer of an 11.8MB file to give a real-world performance figure also.

For comparison purposes we include benchmarks from a standard SMC 802.11b PCMCIA card (model SMC2632W).

Wireless Network NetIQ Tests

802.11b Tests GN-WLBZ201 SMC reference card
Average Throughput 3.7 Mbps 4.47 Mbps
Response Time 6 ms 3ms
11.8Mb Test file transfer 27 sec 22sec
802.11b Tests with 64-bit WEP
WEP Average Throughput 2.3 Mbps 2.6 Mbps
WEP Response Time 7 ms 4ms
WEP 11.8Mb Test file transfer 44sec 36sec
10/100 Wired Ethernet

61.5 Mbps

Wired Response Time

1ms

The performance of the Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201 was adequate in our networking tests. While file transfers and throughput were slightly slower than our baseline PCI-based 802.11b SMC card, the actual experience of using the Internet on both cards was identical, whether gaming or surfing. The only time the experience was noticeably slower was when using WEP on the GN-WLBZ201.

Conclusions:

In terms of convenience and value, the GN-WLBZ201 is hard to argue with. If you are planning on purchasing a USB memory key anytime in the near future, why not make it one with some extra functionality added to it?

The Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201 does both file storage and networking quickly and efficiently, with a minimum of fuss in a small attractive package.

Having said that, the fact of its dual nature makes it slightly (very slightly) slower to use than a conventional USB memory key would be (at least if you don't intend to install the network drivers on each machine you plug the GN-WLBZ201 into), and the current state of the Wireless network drivers for the GN-WLBZ201 means that securing your communications with WEP is much harder than it should be. Hopefully a more convenient WEP implementation will be in place by the time the device hits store shelves.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Networking News»

 

Contents of Article: Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GN-WLBZ201 USB/802.11b Dongle Review
 Pg 2.  Using the GN-WLBZ201 Memory key function
 Pg 3.  Data Security Protection
 Pg 4.  — Wireless Benchmarks and Conclusions

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