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Conclusion

The WZR-D1800H router and the WLI-H4-D1300 bridge are currently among the most technologically advanced devices available. They feature a high-performance processor, a large amount of system and flash memory, two radio modules for 2.4 and 5GHz frequency bands with support for 802.11n and 802.11ac, and a Gigabit Ethernet switch. The router adds to this a USB port for external disks and printers.

Both products feature an attractive exterior design (but the installation variants aren’t very handy) and immaculate quality of manufacture.

The hardware needs proper firmware to show its best, though. And it is from this aspect that the latest Buffalo products do not look perfect. On one hand, they offer a good selection of basic functions, a handy VPN server and external disk options, but on the other hand, they can hardly compete with other brands’ top-end equipment in this respect. Hopefully, Buffalo Technology will update the firmware and add such features as guest Wi-Fi networks and parental control.

As for performance, the router did well in our routing tests. It won’t be a bottleneck on a 100Mbps channel. The 5GHz wireless module performed very well, too. The new 802.11ac standard does ensure higher data-transfer speeds. Considering that the previous generation of products took a rather long time to reach their maximum speeds, we can expect that 802.11ac equipment will be getting faster and faster with new firmware and chipsets.

The 2.4GHz module, on the contrary, was not as good as expected despite its support for 802.11n 3T3R mode and 40MHz channel. Perhaps it will do better with other client devices or after firmware updates.

Summing up our impressions, we can recommend these Buffalo products to every user who needs high-speed wireless networks, especially if you want to connect bandwidth-sensitive devices, e.g. NASes, wirelessly.

 
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