Compex WavePort WP11 Access Point

Model: WP11 — MSRP $249.95


Compex WP11

The WP11 is part of Compex’s WavePort family of wireless
products, along with the C-Kit 811WL,
and it is exactly what you’d expect: a straight-forward, access
point (AP) that will bridge your wired LAN with 802.11b wireless
clients when you plug it into your hub or switch. The sci-fi-esque
looking unit can sit on a shelf with antennas up or be mounted to
a wall with antennas parallel to the wall surface, your choice.

Pros:

Mounting options
DHCP support
Three year warranty
MAC-based access control

Cons:

Confusing software utility
Not very good for a new wireless network


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to talk about it?
Use the Forums.


Product Stats

View a summary of the
WavePort WP11’s capabilities
.

Setup

Hardware setup is simple: plug the power in, and connect the WP11
to your hub or switch with an Ethernet patch cord. You then need
to setup the Compex AP Manager software (used instead of Web-based
administration) on a PC also attached to the hub or switch.

Click Add Manually and you specify the WP11 by its MAC address
and assign it an IP address. After that, click Rescan Network and
the WP11 should be sensed immediately. You can then manually enter
an SSID for the WP11 (which it needs to share with all of the 802.11b
clients that will access it).


Commit

You can change any of these settings in the main AP Manager screen,
including setting up the security features (see below).


Basic Features

What the WP11 can do boils down a lot to the AP Manager software,
which is really for centrally managing multiple APs in a network.
It’s definitely not geared toward anyone getting into networking
for the first time. You can even use it to set up access control
based on MAC addresses, on top of the 64-bit WEP key encryption.

Wireless Performance

The following shows testing results using
Qcheck
. Testing was with the WavePort WP11 access point
talking to a WavePort WL11 PC Card
in a Windows 98 laptop, but even with the same manufacturer as the
client and a reported "effective throughput" of 7.5Mbps,
performance wasn’t anything but average

AP Manager Version:

3.0.0.14

Test
Description

Qcheck
Transfer Rate (Mbps)

[1MB data size]

Qcheck
Response Time (msec)
[10 iterations 100byte data size]

Qcheck
UDP stream 
[10 seconds at 500Kbps]

(Actual
throughput- kbps)

(Lost
data- %)

AP to Client – Condition 1

3.6

4 (avg)
5 (max)

313

 0%

AP to Client – Condition 2

3.6

4 (avg)
5 (max)

318

0%

AP to Client – Condition 3

3.6

4 (avg)
6 (max)

316

0%

AP to Client – Condition 4

3.1

5 (avg)
7 (max)

305

0%

Note on conditions: For each of the four conditions,
the Qcheck suite of tests is run between the wireless client and
the Ethernet client.

  • Condition
    #1: AP and wireless client in same room, approximately 10 feet
    apart.
  • Condition
    #2: Client in upper floor room directly above AP, approximately
    15 feet apart. No metal ductwork between AP and client.
  • Condition
    #3: Client on same floor as AP but in another room approximately
    50 feet away. Walls, but no metal ductwork between the client
    and AP antennas.
  • Condition
    #4: Client on upper floor at opposite end of residence, approximately
    55 feet away. Walls, floor, and probable metal ductwork between
    AP and client.

Summary

If you know your way around a network and want to add some wireless
users, the WP11 is a good and relatively inexpensive solution, but
it could be easier. But with a three year warranty, you’ll have
some time to work out the bugs.

Want to talk about problems with the product? Use
the Forums.

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