Additional Features and Utilities
Besides its main functionality like routing, ADSL and Wi-Fi, the WL600g offers some extra features you can make use of if you install additional utilities from the disc included with the WL600g. We’ll describe them in this section.
Easy to guess, the router’s main bonus is its two USB 2.0 ports. What can you do with them? The first thing that comes to mind is to connect a hard disk or a flash-card with a USB interface to the router. The router supports this. The connection is established in a few seconds. You just plug the necessary device into any of the two ports. We used a 2.5” Toshiba drive in a USB enclosure. The router maintains a standard maximum current on its USB ports (500mA) – the USB HDD could be powered from the one port it was connected to. There was no single failure in its operation for the few days of our tests during which we were turning the HDD on and off repeatedly.
However, there was one disappointment here. The standard firmware of the WL-500g Premium offers one interesting and useful (even though functionally limited) feature called Download Master. This feature can be used to create a queue of downloads to the USB disk and perform such downloads using the router’s tools only. Alas, the developer must have thought this feature unnecessary for the WL-600g and did not implement it. Individual programmers have tried to address the issue, though. For example, a certain BEK provided a link to a WGet download manager he built especially for the WL-600g at the Russian-language ASUS tech support forum.
Thus, the official firmware only allows setting up a FTP server on the router. You don’t have to change anything to download a file from the disk via the network. The default settings are selected properly. But if you want to set up a permanent FTP server, you should better use the advanced settings you will find on the USB Application → FTP Server → FTP Settings page.
These settings include the server port number, max number of users on the server, reconnect delay time, user time-out, etc. On the two remaining pages of the FTP Server submenu you can see who is connected to the server currently and specify IPs that are prohibited to access the server. This can be done on the User List and Banned IP list tabs, respectively.
Setting up a print-server is another frequently used application for integrated USB ports and the WL-600g is not an exception. The setup mechanism is simpler than with FTP. You just plug the printer’s cable into the appropriate port and make sure it is auto-detected by the router by looking up in the Printer Model field on the Printer Status page.
Other settings should be specified on the machines the network printer is to be connected to. This is the theory whereas some users have reported their printer does not work with this router model. And sadly enough, ASUS hasn’t yet provided a list of printers the WL-600g officially supports. We tried to set up a print-server, too, using a monochrome laser printer HP 1018. We took the latest printer driver and the latest router firmware, yet we couldn’t make the printer work whatever we did. The printer model was identified correctly in the mentioned field, however, and the printer’s queue was an indication of the WL-600g’s fault. When a document was sent to the printer, the queue got empty after a while, with a message that the document had been printed, although the HP 1018 didn’t even warm up. So, our experience agrees with users’ reports that the WL-600g has an unreliable print-server.
As for connecting a web-camera, we found no mention of it in the router’s web-interface settings, although there were a few camera-related settings in the saved file with settings. Anyway, we didn’t have a web-camera at hand to check out this feature.
EZSetup technology, widely employed in ASUS’ network devices, is an intermediary between the router’s capabilities and additional utilities. There’s nothing extraordinary about it. It serves to quickly and easily set up main parameters of the router for inexperienced or lazy users. You should launch the EZSetup software client for that.
Then you press a special button on the router so that it entered the setup mode. And finally you launch the setup procedure on the client and the program will ask you a few questions to set the router up.
The procedure takes three steps: specifying the router’s parameters, setting up the Wi-Fi interface and setting up the Internet connection.
The disc included with the WL-600g contains two small but helpful programs. One is called Device Discovery.
It can find ASUS’ network devices in the communication environment near the machine it is launched on. When it finds any, it reports their basic parameters and invites you to connect to them. That’s all it can do.
The second program is called Firmware Restoration.
It is a vitally important utility that can bring the router back to life after an unsuccessful firmware update. The only prerequisite for its operation is that the router’s loader be functional. Firmware Restoration is very helpful if you are experimenting with alternative firmware or if you are beginner who doesn’t know how to update the firmware.
The mentioned programs are not exclusive to the WL-600g. They are supplied with many ASUS products.
The last of the WL600g’s features we’d want to cover here is called Game Blaster. This is in fact QoS technology but under a different name and with a visual interface. Its parameters can be set up on the web interface page called “Bandwidth Management”/“Bandwidth on Demand”.
Here, you can specify your priorities for four types of traffic: games, Web surfing, data exchange with the integrated FTP server, and streamed media.
We tried to use this feature in the following way: we were playing Lineage 2 in five windows and were actively surfing in a web-browser at the same time. The situation was even more complicated due to the fact that we had an ADSL channel with a speed limit of 256Kbps. When there were no traffic priorities set, Lineage 2 would slow down, sometimes very hard, let alone the browser. When we had set a high priority for games, the browser remained sluggish, but the game ran without slowdowns. Thus, this simplified QoS may not be very useful (it’s better to set everything up manually), but it works. To set everything up manually, go to the “User Specify Service” page.