Edimax AR-7266WNA review
Edimax has built a solid reputation by producing no-frills hardware that doesn't cost the earth and just works without any fuss. The AR-7266WNA ADSL router certainly seems to fit that bill. It certainly looks plain enough, with a white shell, two upgradeable antennas and WPS button that doubles as a reset key when you hold it down for a bit.
It's easy to set up, thanks to a quick setup wizard built into the web interface. This allows you to select your country and choose from a list of pre-configured ADSL providers that covers most of the big names in the UK. You're not prompted to secure your wireless connection, though. The accompanying software CD also has a setup wizard, along with guidance on how to connect your router correctly.
The web interface is easy to use, although not overburdened with features. This makes it simple to use for those who don't need the scores of features found on some other routers. All the standard options are present, though.
The QoS administration screen allows you to prioritise traffic by IP address or port, but it's daunting for anyone who doesn't know exactly what they're doing. NAT settings provide the usual port forwarding options and allow you to enable UPnP, which is left securely disabled by default. Finally, the built-in firewall allows you to black- or white-list IP address, domains and keywords, although you can't set a schedule to enable address blocking at only designated times.
The router's wireless settings default to channel bonded mode, which we disabled for our tests, as it causes interference and is generally unreliable. Even so, we had difficulty getting consistently quick connection speeds.
The router failed to really stand out in our tests with either our Centrino 2 laptop or Edimax's own EW-7718Un wireless adaptor (£23). We had trouble obtaining consistent transfer speeds using our Centrino 2 laptop, which lead to a result of 13.7Mbit/s at 10m but 14.16Mbit/s at 20m. Repeated tests failed to resolve this. Using Edimax's wireless adaptor produced an improved 28.4Mbit/s at 10m but only 8.81Mbit/s at 20m. Linksys's WAG160N-UK costs slightly more, but doesn't suffer from the inconsistent wireless performance that plagues the AR-7266WNA.
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