Wireless routers these days tend to come in two varieties – those with a built-in broadband modem and those without.
Buffalo’s Airstation Nfiniti HighPower Wireless N Router and Access Point (or just plain old WHR-HP-G300N to its friends) falls into the latter category and is best put to good use as a wireless upgrade to a network that already has a broadband connection or an existing wired-only router. It can either connect directly to an ADSL or cable modem in order to perform all wired and wireless duties, or it can be switched to access point mode, where it effectively adds wireless capabilities to your current wired network setup.
On the wired side, there are four network sockets, though it’s worth mentioning that these are not of the faster gigabit variety, meaning that wired data speeds are limited to a maximum of 100mbits/sec rather than the 1,000mbits/sec we are seeing on many other new networking devices. As far as wireless networks are concerned, speeds of up to 300mbits/sec are supported, although the WHR-HP-G300N is also compatible with older, slower wireless devices too. The ‘high power’ bit of the product’s name is a reference to Buffalo’s range-boosting technology. We were sceptical of this at first, but after testing the unit thoroughly we were fairly impressed by its ability to provide a strong wireless network signal in areas that two other wireless routers treated as complete dead spots. Less remarkable is the router’s ‘AOSS’ one-button setup system which does away with wireless security passwords. For a start, it only works in conjunction with other AOSS-enabled networking products. Even then, we had problems getting two AOSS devices to automatically connect in our tests and the ‘one-button’ setup ended up being more like 20 button presses. Ignoring that, the WHR-HP-G300N was relatively easy to set up manually, either using the CD-based wizard provided or just by configuring the unit using its interface accessed through a web browser. All the requisite security options were available too and, apart from anything, the slim, black device isn’t anywhere near as hideous as networking equipment made by some other manufacturers.