Eight Secure, Affordable Wireless Routers from Cisco, Belkin, D-Link

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Eight Secure, Affordable Wireless Routers from Cisco, Belkin, D-Link

by Nathan Eddy

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Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL ($54.99)

This router is really three devices in one box. First, there's the Wireless Access Point, which lets you connect both Wireless-G (802.11g at 54M bps) and Wireless-B (802.11b at 11M bps) devices to the network. There's also a built-in 4-port full-duplex 10/100 Switch to connect your wired-Ethernet devices together. Connect four PCs directly, or attach more hubs and switches to create as big a network as you need. Finally, the router function ties it all together and lets your whole network share a high-speed cable or DSL Internet connection.

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Belkin Wireless G 4-Port Router ($29.96)

In addition to Wireless G, the router also has four 10/100 Ethernet ports at the back, built-in security, including support for WPA, WPA2, WiFi Protected Setup, and 64- and 128-bit WEP encryption. The router also supports VPN for making secure connections between home and office, and includes Personal Network Assistant software.

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D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N ($86.95)

Powered by Xtreme N technology and equipped with three external antennas, this router offers support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security standards and uses dual active firewalls (SPI & NAT) for data protection. It also boasts intelligent QoS technology, which prioritizes both wired and wireless Internet traffic to enable enhanced gaming and phone calling (VOIP) experience.

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TRENDnet TEW-432BRP ($22.90)

One of the most affordable routers around, the 54M bps Wireless G Router offers a Virtual Server feature to configure any workstation as a Web Server or FTP server and allows users to increase security by enabling MAC, IP or Protocol Filtering as well as setting firewall rules to limit Internet access or block malicious intruders.

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NetGear RangeMax Premium WNR3500 ($96.02)

The WNR3500 offers many security options, including double firewall protection to prevent Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, WiFi Protected Access (WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK), and 64-bit and 128-bit WEP encryption for Wireless-B/G networks. Additionally, users can set security through MAC address authentication, allowing only authorized users onto the network.

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Buffalo Technology WHR-HP-G54 ($59.99)

Aside from Buffalo's AirStation One-Touch Secure System (AOSS), this router is also equipped with a built-in signal amplifier, which Buffalo claims produces a true 60 percent increase in wireless transmit power over a standard 802.11g wireless router. Security features include WPA, WEP, Privacy Separator, Intrusion Detector and SPI firewall.

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Cisco-Linksys WRT160N ($54.36)

By overlaying the signals of multiple radios, Wireless-N's "Multiple In, Multiple Out" (MIMO) technology multiplies the effective data rate. To help protect data and privacy, the router can encode all wireless transmissions with 256-bit encryption. It can serve as the network's DHCP Server, has a SPI firewall to protect PCs against intruders and most Internet attacks and supports VPN pass-through.

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NetGear RangeMax DGND3300 ($129.99)

The RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N provides up to 23 free channels (versus just three with regular Wireless-N), and the DGND3300 also has eight internal antennas for optimal wireless connectivity. In addition to WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, and 64- and 128-bit WEP wireless security, the router also protects against Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks and supports a double firewall.

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