Buffalo AirStation WLJ-CB-G108 MIMO PC Card adapter review: Buffalo AirStation WLJ-CB-G108 MIMO PC Card adapter

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Faster than G; compatible with older 802.11b/g.

The Bad Only fully compatible with the Buffalo MIMO router.

The Bottom Line The Buffalo MIMO card (with companion router) is not as fast as other vendors' router/card MIMO combos, but it's no laggard, either.

7.1 Overall
  • Design and ease of use 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Service and support 8.0

Buffalo AirStation MIMO WLJ-CB-G108 wireless notebook adapter

The Buffalo AirStation WLJ-CB-G108 MIMO PC Card adapter is the companion to the Buffalo AirStation WZR-G108 MIMO router . MIMO products are backward compatible with 802.11b/g, but the best way to get the proffered 108Mbps pre-N wireless speed is by using routers and wireless adapters from the same vendor. (Note: As with other pre-N products, this card may not be compatible with the final 802.11n standard.) Like the router, the performance of this card is good, but it's not as good as that of some of its pre-N competitors from Belkin and Netgear .

Installing the Buffalo WLJ-CB-G108 adapter in our test notebook was easy. Windows XP SP2 didn't have the proper driver on hand, but it took us just a couple of minutes to pop the included software CD into our DVD drive, install the driver and client manager, as well as configure the card for access to the wireless network. The client manager software displays information about both the Buffalo card and the available wireless networks in the area, and it provides users with access to more advanced features.

We tested the Buffalo WLJ-CB-G108 MIMO card with its partner, the WZR-G108 MIMO router. Both products offer Buffalo's AirStation One-Touch Secure System (AOSS), which is supposed to automatically establish secure connections with two button presses--one hardware button on the router and one virtual button in the client manager software. Alas, the procedure proved problematic on our test network: it failed to establish a connection.

Otherwise, the Buffalo WLJ-CB-G108 MIMO card's performance (as tested by CNET Labs) was as stated in the WZR-G108 review --significantly faster than 802.11b/g but slower than Belkin's Pre-N or Netgear's WPN824 RangeMax router/card combos. On the other hand, the card's 802.11b/g throughput and range were on a par with the better cards we've seen.

CNET Labs maximum throughput tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

CNET Labs maximum throughput tests with mixed 802.11b/g and MIMO clients
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

CNET Labs long-range tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Buffalo Technologies offers a limited two-year warranty on the WLJ-CB-G108 and both online and telephone support are available 24/7. The site has FAQs, a knowledge base, driver and firmware downloads, manuals and guides, and white papers, as well as an e-mail inquiry form.

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