Edimax Wireless AR-7266WnA review
It may look plain but Edimax claims this £33 router can compete with the best around. Using 802.11n technology and channel bonding, it promises data transfer speeds of up to 300Mbits/sec.
Setup is easy, and the router can be connected either by Ethernet cable to your existing network, or direct to a phone line broadband connection. The Edimax supports WEP, WPA2 and WPS security configuration, plus MAC address filtering, which between them should be more than enough options to keep your school network secure from prying eyes.
But that’s about as good as things got for this router. The Edimax didn’t make a great impression in our real-world speed tests, with below average performance, but our biggest concerns hang over its reliability. On test, children using netbooks consistently needed to repair their connection; while acceptable in a home environment, in a classroom it’s a serious aggravation. These internet drop-offs happened more the further away from the router the children were – although, in its defence, the Edimax did have a decent range if you could avoid the dead spots.
The Edimax handled concurrent users quite well, with a class of children all able to access the internet successfully in tests. There was some speed drop with this many users, but it wasn’t a crippling slowdown. For bigger school environments, though, the Edimax may struggle to provide a reliable, fast wireless service.
The Edimax AR-7266WnA is a basic router, but that isn’t what prevents it from getting a recommendation: we’re more worried by the signal reliability issues. Despite the low price, we’d recommend paying more for the Billion or sacrifice the theoretical higher speeds of 802.11n and opt for the yet-cheaper Buffalo router instead.
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|10/100 LAN ports||4|
|WPS (wireless protected setup)||yes|
|MAC address filtering||yes|
|Web content filtering||yes|
|Dimensions||179 x 133 x 25mm (WDH)|