NETGEAR WG602 54Mbps Wireless Access Point Review

Basic Settings

The admin interface separates the wireless settings into Basic (shown in Figure 3) and Advanced groupings.

NETGEAR WG602- Wireless settings screen

Figure 3: Wireless settings screen
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

The Basic Settings include the ability to change the Country/Region settings, which I'm not so sure is a good idea. Changing the selection to Europe or Australia generates a pop-up that warns that changing the setting might result in a violation of "applicable law" asks you to promise to act "in accordance with these settings". Whether you promise or not, however, you'll get access to two more channels with these settings.

You also get separate screens for IP address , Security (WEP), and Access Control (MAC association control). The IP Address lets you set a static IP, subnet, and gateway for the AP, or keep the default DHCP client setting. I'll describe the other two screens shortly, after I cover the Advanced Wireless features.

Advanced Wireless

Figure 4 shows the Advanced Wireless settings screen, which includes mostly settings you shouldn't mess with, with the possible exception of the Preamble Type, since the more useful "Auto" setting isn't an option.

NETGEAR WG602- Advanced wireless screen

Figure 4: Advanced Wireless settings
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Note that you don't get to play with the Transmit Power setting in the AP, nor is there any ability to set the AP to an "11g only", or for that matter "11b only" mode. This may not be as big a missing feature as you'd think, as we'll see later in the Performance section.

Finally, if you're looking to use a pair of 602's as a wireless bridge, you're out of luck, since NETGEAR (or Intersil) hasn't chosen to make that capability available. If this is a must-have for you, then you'll need to look at Linksys' WAP54G or Buffalo Tech's WBRG54.