Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH review
There's no exotic dual band, but this router is cheap, and extremely fast
Buffalo was among the first to produce dual-band 802.11n routers, but it hasn't refreshed its top-end models for some time, instead concentrating on single-band 2.4GHz models.
It seems an odd approach until you look at the performance results. The WZR-HP-G300NH - an unassuming 2.4GHz single-band cable router on paper - blows away much of its competition.
We test using a Lenovo ThinkPad W700, which has a top-end, 3x3 Intel WiFi Link 5300 adapter on board, to ensure maximum performance. At close range this is the fastest single-band 802.11n router we've tested, achieving a transmit rate (from the router to our test laptop) of 123Mbits/sec and a receive rate of 109Mbits/sec.
It also performs brilliantly over longer distances too, with speeds of 46Mbits/sec from router to laptop and 65Mbits/sec when sending files back the other way.
In fact, the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH comes close to the Belkin Double N+ for overall performance, a router that's twice as expensive, and it backs this up with a fantastic array of features.
Four Gigabit Ethernet ports ensure quick wired speeds and eliminate performance bottlenecks. A USB port allows the use of external hard disks and flash drives as network attached storage, with not only media server but also BitTorrent facilities built in. Meanwhile, for business users, there's integrated hardware support for PPTP VPNs.
There are a couple of weak areas. The administrative pages are messy, and if you live in an area with much 2.4GHz interference, you'll miss the flexibility of a 5GHz option.
But for £47 who's complaining? Even non-cable users needn't miss out. Couple it with a DrayTek Vigor 120 Ethernet Modem for use on a BT ADSL setup, and you'll still have change from £100. It's an excellent buy.
|Price ex VAT||£47|
|Price inc VAT||£55|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||6|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|10/100 LAN ports||0|
|MAC address cloning||no|
|Wireless bridge (WDS)||no|
|WPA Enterprise support||no|
|WPS (wireless protected setup)||no|
|MAC address filtering||yes|
|Port forwarding/virtual server||yes|
|Web content filtering||no|
|Dimensions||158 x 30 x 170.5mm (WDH)|