My old Linksys WRT54G finally gave out after 3 years, and I went to purchase another Linksys router, since I had no problems with its old one. The new Linksys product range meant that I couldn’t get the WRT54G anymore, but there was the sleek black WRT54G2 Wireless-G Broadband Router instead.
Like its predecessor, it lets you connect devices in your network to it wirelessly, through either Wireless-G 802.11g at 54Mbps, or Wireless-B 802.11b at 11Mbps. You can also connect up to 4 wired Ethernet devices to it, with its 4-port full-duplex 10/100 switch. You can connect more PCs to it, or attach hubs and switches to expand your network. I had a old computer that didn’t have a wireless card, and I didn’t want to get a wireless card for it, so I just connected them up via cable.
The Linksys WRT54G is a great wi-fi device that lets your whole network share a high-speed cable or DSL Internet connection. A wireless router is essential, because unlike a wireless access point, once your computers are connected to the wireless router and the Internet, they can also communicate with each other too, and share resources and files. For instance, with this wireless router, I could have a computer with a printer that all my connected devices could connect and print to just because they were on the same network. You can also set it so that your computers are sharing files – this can be anything, including music, digital pictures, and documents. So for instance, you could have a computer in your study that has your digital music, and you would be able to listen to them through any other wireless device like your laptop or music player anywhere else in the house. I use this sharing feature to have a central computer act as a file server that holds all the stuff that I want to backup, or the stuff that I don’t really need on my primary laptop, but just want to keep around.
One benefit of the WRT54G2 over the WRT54G is that it comes with the new Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature. I tried it just to see what it was, and it’s a really simple way to configure your wireless devices to run properly on a secure wireless network. What you do is to push the button on the WRT54G2 router, and also on your other Wi-Fi Protected Setup-enabled wireless devices, and this will automatically join them up in a WPA2 connection that protects and encrypts your data with up to 256-bit encryption.
Other features that the WRT54G2 has are: DHCP Server, SPI Firewall, VPN Pass-Through, and MAC Filter. All these can be controlled through the browser-based interface, and you can even set it to be able to be remotely administered, so you can manage it from any where in the world with Internet access.
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