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Gigabyte GN-A17GU 802.11g WiFi Access Point Review

Gigabyte GN-A17GU 802.11g WiFi Access Point Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Business users have been among the first to jump on the 802.11g bandwagon, as the new standard offers increased security over the previously flawed implementations of WEP.
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Networking Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Feb 02 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Networking > Gigabyte GN-A17GU

Support for other standards

As you would expect, the GN-A17GU includes a built-in DHCP server to assign IP addresses to connected clients. It also supports SNMP for remote management.

The GN-A17GU is actually capable of supporting two wireless networks with the addition of a Gigabyte PCMCIA card to the add-in slot on the top of the unit.

According to the manual, it will accept either the GN-WMAG wireless ‘g’ card (which we tested) or the 802.11a compatible GN-WLMA101.

The ability to combine mutually incompatible network types (802.11a with, well... anything else) adds a considerable amount of flexibility and value to the unit.

Installation and software

Setting up the GN-A17GU proved quick and trouble-free, through there are a few additional configuration steps that are necessary. This is one circumstance where you do need to read the manual before setting up the device!

Chiefly, the computer that will be administering the access point needs to be set up with a static IP address and default gateway in order to communicate through Gigabyte’s AP manager software.

The default IP address that the access point uses is 192.168.1.1, so you will need to assign an initial address to your system in the 192.168.1.x range. Connecting the device to a PC requires a patch (straight through) Ethernet cable, while a crossover cable is required to plug the device into a hub or switch. Both cables are conveniently included in the box.

The Gigabyte GN-A17GU requires the use of Gigabyte’s Access Point Manager software in order to operate or for you to configure the device. A single PC with the software installed can easily manage several access points on the same subnet of the network. Installing the program itself is straightforward.

Once you have the AP manager installed and your system configured with a static IP address, run the software to connect with your access point(s). AP Manager itself is password protected, so you will need to provide the default password (admin) to connect for the first time. Don’t forget to change this password once you are into the program. In fact, don't forget to check out PCstats' guide to securing your wireless network too.

AP Manager will search for all access points on the network, then provide you with access to them via the left side of the window. Compared to the typical configuration options of a home wireless device, AP Manager offers a bewildering array of options. Let’s break them down....

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GN-A17GU
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GN-A17GU 802.11g WiFi Access Point Review
 Pg 2.  Capabilities and features
 Pg 3.  — Support for other standards
 Pg 4.  Configuration Options
 Pg 5.  Security Configuration
 Pg 6.  Options and Ease of Use
 Pg 7.  Wireless Performance Tests

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