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Wireless Reviews

QoS

The BR-6478AC has surprisingly complete Quality of Service features for an inexpensive router. The router provides bandwidth-based controls for both uplink and downlink traffic to and from LAN and WAN. You manually define rules with the parameters shown in the QoS rule add window below.

QoS rule

QoS rule

Settings are somewhat confusing since both local and remote port range entries can be made and you also have Traffic Type options (SMTP, HTTP, POP3 and FTP) that I suppose are pre-defined port ranges. But selecting them doesn't populate the port fields. The user manual is no help, because it provides no setup examples. Bandwidth rules can be set for Upload and Download with bandwidth either Guaranteed (minimum) or maximum.

As an alternative, you can use the iQoS feature that uses pre-defined rules. Note that you have to choose; you can't use both QoS and iQoS. To set bandwidth use by traffic type, just click on one of the icons and they move from the bottom row (currently empty) to the top row. Priority is High to Low (left to right). Again, this is confusing, because the manual QoS settings make no mention of priority-based QoS, just bandwidth.

You can see the types of traffic for each icon in this composite image. Note that for both QoS or iQoS, you must manually enter your upstream and downstream bandwidth.

QoS

QoS

Wireless Features

The BR-6478AC has a flexible wireless feature set. A feature not found in many routers is its ability to connect to a Wi-Fi based ISP as its WAN connection. Even if you don't rely on a WISP, this feature would be useful for RV users or other situations where you want a separate network connected via WiFi.

The composite view below combines the WAN setup window and the site survey I got when clicking the Select Site Survey button. Unfortunately, this feature didn't seem to work. The User Manual was unhelpful and even following the tip I got from the online help didn't result in a successful connection.

WAN WISP mode

WAN WISP mode

Exploring the 2.4 GHz Wireless and 5 GHz Wireless setup menus uncovered more potentially useful features. Useful, that is, had the user manual had any sort of description of what they actually do and how to set them up. But if you can figure them out, you can choose among AP (the default), Station-Infrastructure, AP Bridge Point-to-Point, AP Bridge Point-to-Multipoint, AP Bridge - WDS and Universal Repeater modes on both radios.

Other wireless features you'll find are:

  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal & Enterprise / RADIUS support
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Wireless access schedule for each band
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • SSID broadcast enable/disable
  • Enable/disable wireless
  • Wireless client isolation
  • Wireless MAC address filtering (allow based on MAC address)
  • WMM enable/disable
  • 100, 70, 50, 35, 15% transmit power adjust
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold and Data Rate & N Data Rate (MCS) adjusts
  • Short / long preamble
  • CTS protection
  • Guest network per band with separate encryption

Going into a bit more detail on the Guest network feature, you can configure guest networks individually for the two bands. Enable Wireless Clients isolation isolates wireless clients, but guests are on the same IP subnet (192.168.2.xxx default) as wired and non-guest wireless clients. Guests cannot ping or access the router admin and can't access wired LAN clients, either. Unfortunately, you cannot set bandwidth limits for your guest wireless networks.

Wireless Guest Settings

Wireless Guest Settings

Key wireless settings are summarized in the table below. Note that Channel 165 is supported on the 5 GHz radio.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto [default]
1 - 11
Auto [default]
36, 40, 44, 48
149, 153, 157, 161, 165
Channel Width 20 MHz
Auto 20/40 MHz [default]
20 MHz
20/40 MHz
20/40/80 MHz [default]
Security

None
WEP
WPA
WPA RADIUS
(Options provided for TKIP, AES, Mixed in WPA/WPA2 modes)

Table 2: Wireless settings summary

Instead of wireless modes, i.e. b/g only, n only, etc., the Advanced wireless settings for each radio provide access to Data Rate (1, 2, 5.5, 11, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps) and N Data Rate (MCS0-15) controls to play with. Use these at your own risk. Like many other settings, they are not explained in the user manual.

Other Features

The gallery below describes some other features worthy of note. The gallery is arranged using the order of the menu tabs in the left column.

More Wireless

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