Buffalo Nfinity HighPower WZR-HP-G300NH review
Buffalo's WZR-HP-G300NH cable router gets its HighPower name from the fact that it has a higher power output than other Draft-N routers. Its 19.8dBm power output sneaks in just under the UK's 20dBm maximum limit.
We're pleased to say that the power makes a massive difference, as you can see from the excellent performance results in the graph below. We were even more impressed by its stable connection at 25 metres, at which it achieved transfer speeds of 16.25Mbit/s with our laptop's internal adaptor and 19.07Mbit/s using Buffalo's USB adaptor.
The WZR-HP-G300NH isn't just a one-trick pony and there's plenty more to like, including a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and built-in network-attached storage (NAS) capabilities. You can plug in a USB storage device and share it on your network and even over the internet using its web client.
By default, the router prompts you to create a unique BuffaloNAS.com account. When you log on to this website, your web browser is automatically redirected to your router, where you can browse through your files. This is easy to do; the only disappointment is that you can download only individual files, not entire directories. If you don't want to use BuffaloNAS.com you can configure the router to use DDNS.org instead.
The router's built-in BitTorrent client lets you download to the attached drive without having to leave your PC running.
Unique SSID and WPA2 security keys printed on the back of the router mean that it's secure out of the box.
Configuring other settings was less straightforward. The setup disc provides an illustrated guide to setting up your router, but its installer couldn't contact the router to configure it, though it was connected to our PC with an Ethernet cable. Fortunately, a setup wizard opens when you first access its web interface. Once you're past the initial setup the interface is confusing, with a cluttered layout and pages that repeatedly asked us to enter the password whether we'd changed anything.
There are plenty of other useful features. The Quality of Service (QoS) settings let you manually prioritise network traffic. The Movie Engine is easier to use and automatically prioritises video and audio data. It's a great feature if you stream a lot of media.
Channel bonding, which uses two wireless channels, is disabled by default. Enabling it gave us a slight performance boost, but could cause interference problems in some homes.
Despite being tricky to configure, this is an excellent router with fantastic features. We were impressed by its NAS server and performance in our 25m test. It wins our Best Buy award.
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