Make Buffalo router repeater
This petite product pulls multiple duties, working extremely well as an access point but with only adequately when trying to extend range.
Pros: Small, supports bridging and repeater functions
Cons: Poor range in repeater mode
The WLA-G54C is housed in a much smaller package than Buffalos related router/AP. In fact, its in the same small vertical chassis as the companys USB WLAN adapter, so its compact enough to be unobtrusive almost anywhere. The unit includes a flat base for desktop operation as well as a wall-mounting bracket. Like all Buffalo products, the Broadcom-chipset WLA-654C uses an internal antenna system, and an MC-type connector is provided for use with external antennas.The configuration interface of the WLA-G54C is the same as that of Buffalos other products, which is to say its not the most well-designed or intuitive layout, but its easy enough to master once you become familiar with its idiosyncrasies. (One example: features that arent available in the device, like packet filtering, still are presented in the menus.)
Other strangeness: When I plugged the unit in for the first time, both of the indicators (only twoEthernet and Wireless) were dark - the unit takes about 5-10 seconds to come online and illuminate its lights.
When in AP mode, the WLA-G54C offers a full compliment of wireless features, including output power adjustable in 1mW increments (22 mW is the maximum), and wireless privacy separation, to prevent WLAN clients from accessing each other. In addition to WEP, both WPA (with either TKIP or AES encryption) and RADIUS authentication are supported.
As an access point, the performance of the WLA-G54C was quite good, particularly at shorter distances. Throughput was a robust 21.83 Mbps at 10 feet, and remained relatively high through most of the distance range18.33 Mbps at 25 feet, 17.04 at 50 feet, 15.48 at 75 feet, 6.32 at 100 feet and 3.43 at 125 feet.
Mixed mode performance at 10 feet was 11.64 Mbps, while turning on WPA encryption resulted in the typical penalty, reducing throughput at 10 feet from 21.83 to 15.25.
Repeater PerformanceThe WLA-G54C bridge and repeater functions operate using the standardized Wireless Distribution System (WDS) specification. As a repeater, the range of the WLA-G54C was somewhat of a disappointment, at least in the environments I tested the product in.
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