ZyAir Client Adapter Does Double Duty

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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