Actiontec 11Mbps Dual Mode Wireless Cable/DSL Router, 11Mbps Wireless PC & PCI Cards

Reviewed by: Dave Haven, send e-mail
Made by: Actiontec, go to the web site
Requires: Microsoft windows 95, 98/98SE, ME, 2000, XP; MACOS 7.1 and higher; USB; Windows 98/98SE, ME, 2000, XP; TCP/IP installed; Internet Explorer 4.0 or newer
MSRP: US$179.99 (router + 1 PC card); $104.95 (additional PC or PCI card)

The Actiontec Dual Mode Wireless-ready Cable/DSL Router is a great choice for those of you who don't want to mess around with confusing directions or long hours of configuration. The router comes in a sleek ultra modern case. The power and LAN lights on the case are self explanatory and easy to understand. When you purchase this unit and bring it home the very first thing you will see is a very easy to ready directions sheet that doesn't confuse you by rambling on in geek-speak. The instructions are very easy to understand.

Setting up the unit is as easy as plugging your cable modem into the WAN port and your PC into the LAN port. The unit comes configured out of the box so that you can plug it in and start using it right away. For those of you who want to get in and modify the router's default configuration or set up some of the more advanced features, everything is accessible by logging on to the device using Internet Explorer. Instructions in the documentation are easy to follow.

The wireless ability of the router is unsurpassed. We found that the setup of the wireless module was as easy, if not more so, than the router itself. After plugging in the PCMCIA wireless card, the laptop we were using for testing was up and running on the network immediately. The distances we were seeing from router to computer varied from point to point depending on the different levels of the house we were on and what obstacles were between us and the router. We did test the router outside also and found that the router was able to maintain a line-of-sight connection as far as 300 feet. The signal did degrade a bit but performed as the specifications stated it should.

The features of the router are numerous. We were surprised to see that this unit has all the features found in some of the more expensive units. The router comes with a DHCP server that can handle 253 PCs at one time. The unit offers a comprehensive line of security settings, 64 and 128 bit encryption, Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Level 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) and Internet Protocol Security (IPSEC) pass through, Web site blocking, Web service blocking, Internet Protocol (IP) masquerading (NAT or Network Address Translation) and Internet activity logging.

The bottom line is there are many routers and wireless routers out there. This kit offers you an easy set up so you can get going on the Internet as soon as possible. It offers extensive security to block attacks from outside sources. It is probably one of the most inexpensive units on the market today. The setup and management are supported by the most uncomplicated set of directions I have ever seen. I think you will be happy with the Actiontec Dual Mode Wireless-Ready Cable/DSL Router. is an online web publication and newsletter

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