ZyAir Client Adapter Does Double Duty

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2004-07-12 Print this article Print

What distinguishes ZyXel's ZyAir G-220 from competitors is its soft-access-point functionality.

ZyXel Communications ZyAir G-220 is one of a few 802.11g wireless client adapters Ive seen with a USB stick form factor. But what really distinguishes the G-220 from offerings by rivals Netgear and SMC is its soft-access-point functionality, which transforms a wireless-enabled computer into a fully capable access point, allowing multiple computers to share a single Internet connection without the complications that can occur with ad hoc wireless implementations.

The USB 2.0-compliant G-220, which started shipping last month priced at $98, notched 21.4M-bps maximum throughput in my FTP tests, a significant jump above 802.11b-compatible USB sticks on the market.

Using Zyxels crude utility program, I could select available networks or create profiles for network and WEP security settings. However, I preferred using the included copy of Funk Softwares Odyssey Client for Zyxel, which is required to connect to WPA-enabled networks and is much easier to navigate on the whole.

I still needed the Zyxel utility to configure the G-220 as an access point and set the network name, WEP encryption keys (WPA is not supported in access point mode), MAC address filter and transmission power levels. I also set up Windows Internet Connection Sharing to dole out IP addresses and share an Internet connection with other wireless clients.

More information is available at www.zyxel.com.

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Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for eWEEK.com, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at agarcia@eweek.com.

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