Belkin 802.11g Wireless Access Point reviewed

Wrap Up

My general impression of the the 7130 is that it's a nice product, but with one fatal flaw. The complete lack of monitoring features is simply not acceptable for a wireless Access Point, and especially one with wireless bridging features. Wireless networks are hard enough to debug without depriving users of the ability to see whether their AP at least thinks a problem wireless client is connected, and the same goes for verifying bridging setups. Monitoring is not just for enterprise APs any more!

Potential buyers looking for the flexibility to add higher-gain antennas to solve wireless coverage problems will also have to take a pass, since the 7130's dual dipoles are firmly fixed in place.

That said, I applaud Belkin for including both WDS bridging and repeating, giving it an edge over Linksys' WAP54G, which supports only WDS bridging without allowing simultaneous client connection, i.e. repeating.

Kudos also to Belkin for having one of the first (if not the first) 11g product lines that is both 11g spec compliant and that supports Wi-Fi Protected access. Both features should help 11g fence-sitters finally take the plunge, should they not be concerned about the 7130's limitations.