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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Setup

Maybe I wasn't patient enough, but I didn't find the 1522 to be as plug-and-go as the Netgear WNHDE111. First, the product comes set to the Bridge mode, not Auto, by default. So those of you (like me) in the "I-don't-need-no-steenking-manual!" club will wait in vain for the units to connect if you buy a pair to use as AP and Bridge.

Second, the Quick Install Guide that comes with the product doesn't really have a recommended procedure, just an explanation of the switch positions. And there's no setup wizard on the CD either.

D-Link sent a pair of 1522's, so I set the Auto / AP / Bridge Mode switch to Auto on both, connected one to my LAN's switch and the other to the Ethernet port on one of my notebooks and waited. And waited.

From the UPnP notification that popped up on my PC, it appeared that the unit connected to my LAN detected the DHCP server and switched to AP mode. But the 1522 connected to my notebook didn't automatically connect, since the Ethernet icon in the System Tray continued to show a no-connection state.

I tried this a couple of times, first resetting both units to factory defaults and then plugging in the LAN-connected unit, waiting about 10 seconds and plugging in the notebook-connected unit. But no connection was to be had.

But when I set the LAN-connected unit to AP mode and the notebook-connected 1522 to Bridge, the pair connected right up. So my recommendation is to skip the Auto position on the switch and use the AP or Bridge positions as your application dictates.

I also tested the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature by pushing the buttons located on the side of each unit. Although setup appeared to take the full 2 minutes, the WPS session completed successfully, resulting in an auto WPA mode configuration, which I think meant that the link was secured via WPA2 / AES.

Configuration

The slideshow will walk you through most of the 1522's configuration screens, so I'll just hit a few key points here. Getting to the admin interface when the product is in AP mode is easy, since it defaults to grabbing IP settings via DHCP and sends out a UPnP advertisement.

But getting to the Bridge mode admin can be a pain. Since the mode defaults to a 192.168.0.50 fixed IP, you'll need to change a wired machine that's plugged into the Bridge mode 1522's switch to an unused IP in the same range if your LAN is using another subnet before you can login.

Once in, you can then either set it to DHCP and then hunt for the IP, or a fixed IP outside the range of your LAN's DHCP server (to avoid an IP address conflict).

Figure 4 shows AP mode Wireless Settings, which I've configured for 5 GHz band operation (I also changed the SSID). The 1522 actually defaults to 2.4 GHz, auto channel selection and 20 MHz bandwidth mode. When set to 5 GHz, supported channels are 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161 and 165. Note that the Transmission Rate setting doesn't actually work. The only selection available is the Best(automatic) shown.

WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security is supported in both modes, with both Personal and Enterprise modes supported for WPA / WPA2.

Manual Setup - AP
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Figure 4: Manual Setup - AP

When in Bridge mode, the screen changes slightly, with many settings greyed out to reflect the "slave" nature of the mode. Note the auto 2.4/5GHz band option and Site Survey button. The latter pops up a window that shows in-range networks info including SSID, BSSID (MAC address), Channel, Security mode, signal level (in %) and Type (Ad-Hoc or Infrastructure).

Manual Setup - Bridge
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: Manual Setup - Bridge

The WLAN Partition settings will also come in handy for controlling wireless access. You can block wireless client-to-client connection and also connection between wireless and wired LAN clients. Both are unblocked by default so that everyone can connect.

The Status Page in AP mode has screens for Device Info, Wireless clients, Logs and Statistics. My main complaint is that neither the Status nor Wireless pages indicate the Bandwidth mode. And although the band and mode aren't also explicitly indicated, you can at least infer the band from the Channel indication.

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for an admin interface tour

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