The Basic Settings menu includes four submenus (besides the above-mentioned initial setup wizards) with settings of the WAN, LAN and WLAN interfaces and of the DHCP server.
Setting up the WAN int erface is about choosing the method of connecting to the Internet. That is, you must specify the way a connection to the provider is to be established, the way the IP address is assigned, the IP addresses of DNS servers and the default gateway.
The following protocols of configuring and maintaining a connection are supported: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). The connection parameters may be static.
The option of assigning a MAC address to the router’s WAN interface (also by “cloning” the MAC address of one of the network adapters connected to the router’s ports) may be helpful when you’re connecting to a network in which IP-addresses provided via DHCP are linked to the computers’ MAC addresses. Suppose your computer has been connected to this network with a certain static IP-address. To assign the same address to the newly bought router, you only have to assign the MAC address of the old computer to the router’s WAN interface and no one’s going to see the change.
The LAN submenu is where you specify the router’s IP-address on the local network and, if necessary, enable the RIP routing protocol and the DNS requests translation mode (DNS Relay). In this mode the router forwards DNS requests from the local hosts to the provider’s DNS server and saves the responses in cache memory. When a local host puts a DNS request whose result has already been stored in the router’s cache, the router immediately produces the response without accessing the provider’s DNS server which would require some time. Thus, the processing of DNS requests is a little accelerated. However, I noticed one annoying thing when I tested this feature: even if DNS Relay mode is enabled, the router persists in assigning (by DHCP) the clients the IP-address of the provider’s DNS server rather than of the router’s own (at least I couldn’t make the router behave otherwise). So, in order to use the retranslation of DNS requests, you have to manually write a static DNS address, the same as the router’s IP-address, in all the clients. This is not convenient and I hope this problem will be solved in firmware updates.
The WLAN interface settings include such options as the device’s ID in the wireless network (SSID), radio channel it works on, data-transfer speed, compatibility mode (it dictates the protocol network adapters can connect to the WLAN interface by: either 802.11g or 802.11b, or both). You should be aware that support of both the protocols simultaneously leads to a certain reduction of data-transfer speed as by the 802.11g protocol.
An important parameter is the Super G mode in which the exclusive extensions to the standard 802.11g protocol are enabled. If the Super G extensions are disabled, the wireless interface of the TEW-611BRP behaves like a regular 802.11g access point. In the Super G without Turbo mode frame bursting, aggregation and compression are enabled; joining of radio channels is additionally done in the Super G with Dynamic Turbo and Super G with Static Turbo modes. The difference between the dynamic and static Turbo modes has been explained in the Faster and Higher section. I’d like to note once again that all Super G extensions except for Super G with Static Turbo are backwards compatible with the 802.11g standard. You should be aware of this when you’re configuring the wireless interface.
Also on the WLAN Interface setup page, you choose the user authentication and data encryption protocol. The TEW-611BRP supports all the standard protocols, beginning from the rather insecure WEP (Wired Equivalent Protocol) and the more advanced WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) with the TKIP data encryption (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) to the new and most perfect for today WPA2 (802.11i) protocol which uses the stronger AES algorithm (Advanced Encryption Standard). User authentication on the router’s side (the so-called personal mode in which all clients connected to the access point use the same password) as well as on an external RADIUS server (enterprise mode) is supported for WPA and WPA2 protocols.
The DHCP server settings are very simple and only allow specifying the range of addresses assigned to the clients and to bind statically certain IP-addresses to the MAC addresses of the network adapters.