Please register or login. There are 0 registered and 1497 anonymous users currently online. Current bandwidth usage: 326.30 kbit/s January 21 - 12:17am EST 
Hardware Analysis
Forums Product Prices

  Latest Topics 

More >>


  Internet Anywhere, Compex Wireless Networking 
  Oct 29, 2002, 07:30am EST 

In Use - Lab Notes

By: Dan Mepham

Overall, we were very pleased with the performance and ease of use of the NetPassage 16 and WL11A.

Hook-up is a snap. Simply connect the NP16 to your broadband modem, connect the PCs to the NP16, and youíre off and running. The built-in DHCP server assigns local IP addresses to each connected PC. One feature we found extremely useful is the NP16ís ability to mimic the MAC address of the network adapter in the PC to which it is connected. Some broadband modems obtain DHCP leases from the ISP based on associations with the MAC address of the network card to which theyíre connected. If the MAC address changes, the Router would not be able to obtain an IP from the server (at least until the old DHCP lease expires, which could be a matter of days). With the NP16ís ability to clone MAC addresses, youíre able to get going right away.

Installation of the WL11A PCMCIA cards will require installation of some drivers, which are included with the cards, of course, but is otherwise simple and straightforward.

We found the NP16ís HTML-based user interface to be powerful, yet still relatively easy and intuitive. The interface can be accessed from any computer connected to the NP16 simply by pointing to the routerís IP in any browser. There is also a Telnet-based configuration system, which will no doubt be of importance to Linux and Unix users (both can be password protected, if security is an issue). Strangely, on two separate occasions (on two different PCs), the NP16's configuration system ceased to respond, and the router had to be reset before it would respond again. We've been unable to identify any cause of these two blips, and while they proved to be only minor annoyances, we thought it prudent to make brief note anyway.

WL11A 802.11b Wireless Network Card
Fig 2 - WL11A 802.11b Wireless PCMCIA Card

Upgrading the NP16ís firmware, and adding wireless capability was a snap as well. To upgrade the NP16 to be fully wireless-compatible, simply insert a wireless (802.11b) PCMCIA card into the NP16ís expansion slot, and reboot the router. The wireless card is automatically detected, and the NP16 configures itself for wireless operation as well. The ability to add wireless capability at a later date is the NetPassage 16ís most compelling feature, in our opinion.

Finally, we have omitted performance tests for the time being. Throughput tests of the NP16 and WL11A would be essentially meaningless due to their heavy dependence on environmental variables. We hope to publish a comparison of several brands of wireless products in the near future, and weíll provide performance comparisons at that time.

1. Introduction
2. Setting the Standards
3. Exploring the Hardware
4. In Use - Lab Notes
5. Configuration Utility
6. Summary

Discuss This Article (1 Comments) - If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the article and/or its contents please leave your comments here and we'll do our best to address any concerns.

Rate This Product - If you have first hand experience with this product and would like to share your experience with others please leave your comments here.



  Related Articles 

A weekly newsletter featuring an editorial and a roundup of the latest articles, news and other interesting topics.

Please enter your email address below and click Subscribe.