Compex NetPassage 26G Wireless GatewayA Wireless kit including Wireless-G Router with 4-port 10/100MBps switch, as well as USB support for Web Cam and a printer
NetPassage 26G-USB router
As with other similar broadband routers, the Compex NetPassage 26G provides for sharing a single Internet connection across your LAN / WLAN. It includes a 4-port switch on the LAN side, as well as web-based management interface. The switch provides for painless integration in wired/mixed mode environments. In addition to its full set of features we've grown accustomed to expect from broadband routers, I'd like to point out a couple of unique ones that set it apart from the competition.
Parallel Broadband support - this is a unique Compex feature that enables multiple NetPassage routers to be installed in the same network, providing for load balancing and fail-over redundancy with multiple broadband connections.
Print / Webcam Server - this is an interesting and unique feature to that product (although we've seen a few routers in the market with a single USB or parallel port). This unit has two USB ports and can be remotely accessed and control a Webcam and act as a print server at the same time. The Webcam can be remotely accessed and controlled via a browser. According to Compex, the router is compatible with the Logitech QuickCam, Creative Labs Webcam and Samsung MPC fanilies of cameras, and the TrackerPod Pan/Tilt device. Please see their website for a full list of the supported cameras.
Although the Webcam is one of this unit's unique features, seems that it requires a separate firmware for the router with the current firmware. The webcam firmware disables some of the router functionality. If you plan on using both the the Webcam server feature and the NAT router features of the product, Compex is supposedly introducing an updated version of the firmware in a month wich enables both router and webcam functionality concurrently.
Prism Nitro™ Technology Support - the NetPassage 26G and the WL54G PCMCIA card has the Prism Nitro™ technology embedded in their chipset, which (in theory) allows for up to 50% reater throuhput in pure G wireless networks and up to 300% in mixed mode wireless networks using Prism Nitro™ compatible routers.
Wireless Pseudo VLAN - the NetPassage 26G, when configured with the Wireless LAN option, supports per node and per group pseudo VLAN, modes that provide users with some privacy and security in addition to WEP. Per Node Pseudo LAN is a mode that does not allow communication between WLAN nodes. Per Group Pseudo VLAN is a mode that allows for separate WEP keys for different groups of users. The router allows for 10 separate users in 4 different groups, not sharing information. Sweet ! Now if it would only allow for those users to turn on 128 bit WEP and turn off their unsecure shares, install anti-virus and anti-spyware we'd be all set... Argh, never mind :)
Optional High-gain Antenna connector - the WL54G 802.11g PCMCIA card that we received has a MC-Card connector for an optional high-gain antenna. Compex makes a 5dB antenna with magnetic base that works with those PCMCIA cards, and is available for purchase separately. The external high-gain antenna provides for an extended range and more stable WLAN communication. The thing to note is that most competing products do not have such external antenna connectors, since it somewhat complicates the certification process.