I got a chance to evaluate a Zyxel G-570S Access Point. I guess I should say that I am still evaluating it. I usually doing something on my G4 Powerbook when putting our son to bed. I’ve been frustrated since I appear to sit in a dead spot and my wireless connection crawls along. Now, I am running an older WRT54G with dd-wrt on it. I love the firmware and the community around it so I’m an going to continue to use it. I thought it would be great if I could extend my wireless network in my house to cover the area where I sit when I put my son to bed. When I was using a NetGear router, I actually made a parabolic reflector out of cardboard and aluminum flashing tape to direct my signal to the second floor of our house; it worked as there was an increase in signal strength! But the reflector I made fit nicely on the Netgear but comes no where close on the WRT54G.
The G-570S looks sharp. I like the look and size of it. It is easy to set up as an AP or even as a bridge, but trying to grok the AP+Wireless Client seems a bit beyond the normal manual. The manual isn’t clear on this, but if you select the AP+Wireless Client option, it looks like it wants the MAC addresses for WDS. From what I understand about WDS, the wireless stations will only talk to each other; not accept any connections from clients. Here, the manual leaves a little to be desired. Of course, the manual seems to suggest that if you used only the G-570S in your wireless network, this would automagically work all seemlessly.
Here’s my beef. My wireless network is using WPK and both stations support that. But if I try using AP+Wireless client in the 570S, it only lets me choose between WEP and Disabled. It appears that a newer firmware released in March will let me select WPK for the wireless security, but I haven’t had much luck getting it installed.
As far as using this thing as a pure access point, it’s great; works well and the signal is strong. The menus are some of the easiest I have seen which means my parents could figure it out. I think it’s a nice device. I’m going to muck around with it and see what else I can do with it.
It’s easy to set them up as AP Wireless. Get two of them, select AP Wireless on both, and select WEP (!) because they can’t talk to each other on any other encryption protocol.
Don’t forget NOT to connect them to same ethernet! That creates a loopback.
My setup is working fine on two buildings about 200 meters apart. Both of them are on rooftop and with Super-G mode enabled, the link speed is 108mbit. As a bonus, I can be anywhere in between buildings and get wireless access.