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Wireless Reviews

Features

Unlike Buffalo's other recent routers, the D1800H doesn't have the option of loading DD-WRT firmware, at least not any that Buffalo has approved. The firmware you get presents a familiar face and feature set to those familar with other current Buffalo routers. Figure 5 shows the landing screen that you get upon login, which provides quick links to key setup features.

Setup landing screen

Figure 5: Setup landing screen

Some setting changes require a 17 second reboot, while others need 83 seconds—at least those are the times shown in the settings save screens. Aside from that, the admin interface is reasonably quick. The feature set is relatively basic for a top-of-line router. Here's the rundown:

Routing

  • DHCP, Static, PPPoE WAN types
  • DHCP server with MAC address reservation
  • Built-in dynamic DNS client for TZO.com and dyndns
  • Static routes
  • DMZ host
  • IPv6, PPPoE, PPTP pass through
  • PPTP server (supports MS-CHAPV2 40/128 bit, MS-CHAPV2 40 bit, MS-CHAP, PAP, CHAP authentication)
  • WAN ping, IDENT, NetBIOS allow / deny
  • 32 IP filtering rules with direction, IP range, port range
  • Three level manual uplink QoS for eight services (single port)
  • Remote admin access enable, IP access filtering, port setting and graphic authentication enable
  • UPnP support
  • Syslog support
  • Schedulable ECO mode for wired and wireless access
  • USB SMB/CIFS storage sharing
  • Secure remote storage access via BuffaloNAS.com portal
  • UPnP / DLNA media server (USB storage)
  • BitTorrent download (USB storage)
  • USB Printer sharing

Wireless features

  • One SSID per radio
  • Transmit power adjust (100, 75, 50, 25%)
  • MAC address filtering
  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal and Enterprise (RADIUS) support
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Buffalo AOSS support
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • Wireless Bandwidth Mode (2.4 GHz: 20, 40 Mhz; 5 GHz: 20, 40, 80 MHz)
  • SSID broadcast control
  • WMM-EDCA Parameter settings
  • Wireless client isolation (from each other)
  • Multicast rate and Aging time adjust, Snooping enable (default)

Missing features

Updated 6/24/2012
  • Triggered port forwarding
  • IPv6 support (other than passthrough)
  • URL / keyword filtering
  • Email alerts or log sends
  • Guest WLAN / multiple SSIDs
  • WDS bridging/repeating
  • HTTPs admin access
  • Wireless mode control (a,b,g,n, mixed, etc.)
  • Firewall rule scheduling
  • "Movie Engine" QoS (feature in other Buffalo routers)

A few of the above items deserve further explanation. The ECO mode feature is for scheduling periods for general router use. During "sleep" periods, you can shut off wireless access, shut off or limit wired LAN access to 100 Mbps and shut off the front panel LEDs (except for the bright "Buffalo" logo).

As mentioned at the outset, this isn't the most flexible router. You can't schedule anything in the firewall and there is neither URL nor keyword filtering. Folks accustomed to looking for separate "port forwarding" and outbound service blocking might be confused by their merge into an "IP Filter" feature. This feature allows you to define 32 rules in total for both functions and doesn't allow specifying different source and destination ports. Note that triggered port mapping isn't supported either, nor is IPv6.

VPN passthroughs are limited to just PPTP, with no IPsec or L2TP. Curiously, Buffalo includes PPPoE and IPv6 passthroughs in this menu. Note, however, you get a PPTP server that you can use for secure remote connection to your LAN.

QoS features are minimal—only eight three level manually-set priority rules for uplink traffic only.

Figure 6 shows the basic wireless settings screen. Many users will miss the ability to set the 802.11 mode, i.e. mixed, G only, N only, etc. and may really miss multiple SSID / Guest WLAN support. Buffalo has also opted to not support WDS bridging/repeating or a client bridge mode that would allow linking two D1800H's together, choosing instead to provide the matching WLI-H4-D1300 bridge.

Basic Wireless controls

Figure 6: Basic Wireless control

Key settings options for both radios are summarized in Table 2. Note the nine available channels in 5 GHz, vs. the typical eight found on other routers.

Setting 5 GHz 2.4 GHz
Channel Auto, 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165 Auto, 1 - 11
High-Throughput Mode (bandwidth) 80 MHz, 40 MHz, 20 MHz 40 MHz, 20 MHz
Authentication None, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA./WPA2 mixedmode - PSK
Encryption AES, TKIP, TKIP/AES mixedmode
Basic Rate Set All / 6,12,24 Mbps (default) All / 1,2,5.5,11 Mbps (default) / 1,2 Mbps / 1,2,5.5,11, 12, 24 Mbps
Output Power 100, 75, 50, 25 %
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

Check the gallery below for more admin screenshots and commentary.

Image Gallery

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