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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

Options and Ease of Use

Operation Mode tab: Sets the access point up either as a standalone unit that will communicate only with clients and not with other access points (the default), or as a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint device which can communicate with other access points as well as its own clients.

This allows you to have a wireless network with a wide area of coverage, as clients within range of any access point can communicate with all of the access points within the network.

Associated List tab: Simply shows which clients are currently associated (connected) to the access point.

Once we had assigned a static address for the PC we were using to configure the Gigabyte GN-A17GU, everything was smooth sailing. We set up laptops and a pocket PC with both 802.11g (Gigabyte’s GN-WMAG) and 802.11b (SMC’s SMC2632W as well as a Linksys WCF12 compact flash card for the pocket PC) and had no problems with connecting and communicating with the access point.

The AP manager software proved easy to use and configure, requiring no restarts during the multitude of changes we made to encryption and IP settings. The encryption itself was easy to set and worked as it should.

The one issue that we ran into using the Gigabyte GN-A17GU was actually a problem with the AP management software. When connected to a PC with multiple network adaptors (two in this case) we lost the ability to communicate with the access point, as AP Manager was no longer able to find the device.

We figured out that this was because it was searching for the access point on the wrong network adaptor. The adaptor that it was searching was connected to our ISP, so of course it found nothing. The resolution for this problem was to set both network adaptors to ‘obtain an IP address automatically,’ as we were informed by Gigabyte technical support (and quite promptly too).

Of course, this is contrary to the setup instructions in the manual, which explicitly state that a static address should be used, but the manual does not cover multi-network adaptor setups. Given that a popular wireless network setup tactic is to connect the access point to a computer running some sort of software firewall or security program (like Microsoft’s ISA server) then connect that computer to the rest of the network via a second network adaptor, this is a good thing to know.

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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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