Buffalo WBMR-HP-GN review

It's not a real Draft-N router, but the WBMR-HP-GN performs extremely well for its low price and its out-of-the-box security is excellent.

10 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
40
inc VAT

Page 1 of 2Buffalo WBMR-HP-GN review

Specifications

802.11g, 4x 10/100 Ethernet ports

Buffalo's WBMR-HP-GN is a strange router.

It's technically a 802.11g router, but its box says it uses 'N-technology'. In practical terms, this means it has a maximum stated throughput of 150Mbit/s using two wireless channels in channel bonding mode (75Mbit/s in the preferred single-channel mode, which has less interference); normal Draft-N routers can manage 300Mbit/s using channel bonding.

The router has a single antenna with two coils in it, which it needs for channel bonding and MIMO. We were a little worried that range and speed would suffer as a result of this single antenna, but they don't. Throughputs of 35Mbit/s in our 10m test show that this router is almost as fast as real Draft-N routers, while 9.9Mbit/s at 20m is good enough for web browsing and small file transfers.

It comes with secure wireless networking enabled. The SSID and unique encryption key are printed on a label at the router's base, so connecting to the network is easy.

The setup CD has a wizard to guide you through connecting it, but we found that the WBMR-HP-GN was easier to configure using its web interface. The CD also includes Buffalo's wireless client, which you can use instead of the Windows networking client.The same client comes with Buffalo's WLI-UC-G300N Draft-N USB adaptor (around £25). Unfortunately, we got worse results using the adaptor than when we used our laptop's own wireless adaptor. It's only worth it if you need to add wireless to a desktop PC.

The router's web interface has a cluttered and confusing main status page. There are some clearly labelled links that take you to each of the router's main configuration screens, which are easier to use. The Internet/LAN screens let you configure you ADSL connection, as well as Dynamic DNS. WMM traffic shaping for wireless connections is enabled automatically, but there's no WAN QoS. This limited range of features is typical of a budget router, but the WBMR-HP-GN is still a great Budget Buy if money is tight and you want decent throughput.

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