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Now this is a router. Or, specifically, a wireless access point. You can tell because it's boxy, white and makes no pretensions about wanting to live in the lounge room. The three physical aerials are also a dead giveaway. It can also be wall mounted, unlike Cisco-formerly-known-as-Linksys' "entertainment" routers.
Dig a little deeper, and you'll find that it runs on Linux, too, something that is rather advantageous to those looking for extra diagnostic tools.
Specs at a glance
|Dual-band||Yes, but not simultaneous|
|Highest wireless security||WPA2|
|Ethernet ports||1x gigabit, PoE capable|
|USB print sharing/storage||No|
|Accessories||Power, Ethernet cables|
It's rather sparse here. As a pure access point, the V-M200 has a single gigabit Ethernet port and a power jack. (Credit: HP)
UI and features
HP's interface is a simple, tabbed, monochrome affair, that on most sections features a question mark at the right. Click it, and a pop-up explains exactly what that section is all about. Consumer-focused companies could learn a lot from what HP has done here.
Rather than the usual set-up, HP has the user create "wireless communities", with settings like SSIDs, allowing traffic between wireless clients, MAC and other authentication associated per community. You can even segregate that community by pushing all of its traffic down a single VLAN, if you want to. Up to four wireless communities are supported.
Other handy features include rogue access-point detection (where the access point scans for other APs, and, if they're not on an authorised MAC list, reports it to the admin), an incredible logging system, traffic logs for each user and a stable of diagnostic tools.
After analysing the spectrum with InSSIDer, the clearest 2.4GHz channel is chosen wireless testing. Usually, the router is restricted to the 20MHz band if the option is available.
We use iperf to determine throughput, running eight streams with a TCP window size of 1MB and an interval of one second. The test is run for five minutes in three different locations, on two separate occasions. The locations are in the same room as the router: one floor down around spiral stairs and with concrete walls and floors, and two floors down under the same conditions.