Product Review (July 2004) - Belkin
802.11g Wireless Access Point and PC Card

Wireless network systems have quickly become the preferred method for interfacing computers, not only in homes, but in commercial venues as well. The already popular 802.11b (11 Mb/s) standard is being complemented with the faster 802.11g (54 Mb/s) systems. Belkin has introduced a full line of 802.11g compatible products that includes their Wireless Network Access Point (F5D7130) and 802.11g Wireless Notebook Network Card (F5D7010), both of which we tested. The Wireless Network Access Point seamlessly connected to our existing 12-port hub that linked to our router. This product provides a convenient way of interfacing a wireless adapter to an existing wired network without the hassle of going to a new router. We configured the access point without any problems and quickly gained access to our existing wired network. The access point was placed in a cabinet, which appeared to limit the reception of the signal to some degree. Multiple walls definitely had an impact on the signal strength and overall bandwidth, so optimal placement may be a trial and error process. The access point also worked with other wireless devices such as an AirLink 802.11b USB adapter, allowing us to quickly interface to our Roku HD1000 High Definition Digital Media server.

The 802.11g Wireless Notebook Network Card was a simple installation on our Sony Vaio laptop running Windows XP. The Belkin PC Card seemed to work perfectly with the Belkin Access Point. We configured the card for 128-bit encryption and it all worked seamlessly. The software creates a small icon that changes color based on the reception where green is best, yellow is marginal and red is poor.

During a recent vacation, we used this card in the hotel to access the free local internet service and it worked fine on their 802.11b system. The indicator light on the side that sticks out of the PC card slot provides link and traffic feedback.

Summary
The new 802.11g wireless products from belkin are not only fast, but easy to install and configure. In my opinion, most of the installation time is spent on configuring the system and making sure it works properly. Many experienced users expect to have some problems with the installation of such products, but Belkin appears to have made it rather easy even for those not that experienced. Both the Wireless Network Access Point as well as the 802.11g Wireless Notebook Network Card worked without any problems during our tests. It's rather refreshing to have a product that requires such little time to configure along with minimal frustration.

- Kevin Nakano

Review System

Laptop Computer: Sony Vaio PCV-GRX550, 1.5GHz Pentium 4

Review at a glance

Belkin 802.11g Wireless Access Point

Part # F5D7130
UPC: 722868455647


Advantages:

  • Provides 3 modes of operation
  • Increases your wireless range up to 200 ft.** (Range Extender mode)
  • Adds wireless access to an existing wired network (Access Point mode)
  • Joins 2 separate networks to form 1 network, for easy-access file, printer, and Internet sharing (Bridge mode)
  • Works with all 802.11b devices
  • Features wireless 64-/128-bit WEP and WPA security
  • Works with PCs and Macintosh® computers
  • Comes with a Belkin Lifetime Warranty and free, 24-hour technical support

    Source: Manufacture supplied
    MSRP: $80.99
    Warranty: Belkin Lifetime Warranty and technical support


    Belkin 802.11g Wireless Notebook Network Card

    Part # F5D7010
    UPC: 722868455630


    Advantages

  • Adds 802.11g wireless capabilities to laptop computers, for faster wireless networking available for home or office
  • Fits any standard 32-bit CardBus slot
  • Provides 3 times the wireless range of 802.11a clients
  • Offers backward-compatibility with all 802.11b 2.4GHz wireless devices
  • Features wireless 64- and 128-bit WEP
  • Allows you to use Turbo Mode and network at 54Mbps, the highest data rate for all 54g clients
  • Keeps notebook batteries running longer with advanced, low-power consumption chipset
  • Works with Windows® 98 SE/2000/Me/XP
  • Worka with Mac OS® X v10.2.6 with AirPort® installer 3.0.4, or Mac OS® X v10.3
  • Comes with a Belkin Lifetime Warranty and free 24-hour technical support

    Package Includes:

  • 802.11g Wireless Notebook Network Card
  • Quick Install Guide
  • User Manual
  • Software CD

    Source: Manufacture supplied
    MSRP: $58.99
    Warranty: Belkin Lifetime Warranty and technical support


    Company Information
    Belkin Corporation
    501 West Walnut Street
    Compton, CA 90220
    Customer Service/Sales:
    800-2BELKIN
    800-223-5546
    Sales: 877.523.5546
    Tech Support: 310-898-1100 ext. 2263
    Fax: 310-898-1111

    URL: www.belkin.com

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