Zyxels Wireless ZyAIR B-220 Does Double-duty

If you're in the market for an 802.11b USB adapter, says PC Magazine, the Zyxel B-220's software bundle is a compelling value.

In a sea of me-too wireless networking products, Zyxels ZyAIR B-220 is unique. Once installed, it can be used either as a conventional wireless network adapter, or with the click of a mouse, it can become a wireless access point. And at a street price of $45, this 802.11b USB wireless adapter from Zyxel is a bargain, too. (An 802.11g version should be available soon, for about double the price.)

A typical scenario for using the access-point feature might be in a conference room with only a single wired network connection. A notebook, using the wired Ethernet connection and the B-220 in access-point mode, could provide wireless access to all other notebooks in the conference room by enabling Microsoft Windows XPs bridging mode. Instructions for enabling bridging are included in a Microsoft Word document on the installation CD.

As an access point, the built-in utility displays the MAC (media access control) address of the wireless clients associated. A MAC filter table, if enabled, allows you to control who accesses your access point by either allowing or denying up to 16 entries in the table. MAC filtering is disabled by default, and all wireless clients may associate.

In client mode, the B-220 is Wi-Fi certified and supports WPA. Zyxel includes the Aegis client from Meetinghouse for 802.1x/WPA support. In access-point mode, security is limited to 128-bit WEP.


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