Articles: Networking

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Exterior Design

The two devices are as similar as their boxes. It’s going to be hard to tell them apart visually. Interestingly, this exterior design differs dramatically from what was offered earlier under the Buffalo brand. The company must have used the new Wi-Fi standard as an opportunity to update their product design guidelines. The result is commendable. Both products feature a dark matte case and built-in antennas, so the dimensions are but slightly larger than 21x18x3 centimeters. There’s a gray plastic band going around the case while the side panels have the kind of “velvety” coating typical of today’s luxury cell phones. As for positioning, each device can be oriented either upright or horizontally using the included stand. You can also wall-mount it with the included screws through the holes between the light-gray frame and the main case, but that’s going to look rather weird.

There are but few LED indicators on the front panel: four on the router and three on the bridge. Although consistent with the restrained design style, this indication isn’t handy in practical terms. The highlighted company logo does double duty as a critical error indicator. The Reset button can be found on the bottom panel. It is sunken deep into the case, so you won’t be able to press it with your finger.

Each device is ventilated through the vent grids in the side panels and gets rather hot at work. Neither of them had overheat-related problems during our tests, though.

The AOSS button is used to set up a secure wireless connection. Buffalo sticks to its proprietary technology although most other manufacturers prefer WPS. Fortunately, the same button enables WPS for compatible clients, too. By the way, the WZR-D1800H comes with predefined individual names for its Wi-Fi networks, enabled WPA2-PSK protection and a random 13-character key (you can read it from the card attached to the router).

On the router’s back panel we can see a power connector with a switch, one WAN port and four LAN ports (all of them of the Gigabit Ethernet type), one USB connector with indicator and on/off button, and a button for choosing the router’s operation mode (you can switch it into Bridge). The network ports have individual activity indicators.

The WLI-H4-D1300 has fewer indicators and connectors, of course. But it additionally has a “5 GHz only” button with LED indicator on the front panel. If there are Wi-Fi networks in both frequency bands available, you may want to press this button and switch the device to the 5GHz band which is usually less used and ensures higher performance.

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