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
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Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
40
inc VAT

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Modem type ADSL2+
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
Draft 802.11n support no
Draft 802.11n 5GHz support no
MIMO yes
Turbo mode channel-bonding
Stated speed 150Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEP yes
WPA yes
WPA2 yes
Firewall yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ yes

Physical

Size 28x148x130mm
Antennas 1
Internal/external antennas internal
Upgradeable antenna no
Number of WAN ports 1
Ethernet ports 4
Ethernet connection speed 10/100
Other ports none
Wall mountable no
Power consumption on 5W

Other Features

Dynamic DNS yes
Universal Plug and Play support yes
DHCP server yes
MAC spoofing yes
Port forwarding yes
WDS Support yes
USB device support no
QoS yes

Buying Information

Price £40
Warranty two years RTB
Supplier http://www.misco.co.uk
Details www.buffalotech.com