Motorola SBG1000 Wireless Cable Modem Gateway review: Motorola SBG1000 Wireless Cable Modem Gateway

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent range and bandwidth; DOCSIS 1.0 compliant; wired, wireless, USB, and phone-line access; includes print server; detailed electronic manual.

The Bad Encryption uses hex keys only; lacks WPA support; vague printed setup guide; skimpy online support.

The Bottom Line Motorola's SBG1000 has all the right connections to create a flexible, powerful, and reasonably secure network in your home or small business.

Check manufacturer's site for availability

8.2 Overall
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Service and support 7.0
  • Design and ease of use 9.0

Motorola's SBG1000 wireless cable modem gateway is the most resourceful gateway we've seen to date. It houses six typical networking devices in one box: a Surfboard cable modem; a five-port Ethernet switch; an 802.11b access point; a phone-line adapter; a print server; and a firewall. With its fast throughput and wide range, it's a good choice for a cable-connected home or a small office looking for a single device that does it all and does it well.

The Motorola SBG1000 wireless cable modem gateway package comes with all you'll need to get going. The included setup guide is vague, but the 148-page electronic manual covers everything clearly and thoroughly. The SBG1000 also comes with a Cat-5 jumper cable, a phone-line cable, and a USB cable. It supports Windows 98 and up, Macintosh OS 8 and later, and Unix.

Insert the accompanying CD into your PC or Mac, and the software automatically shows you how to install the SBG1000, using large pictures, animation, and a minimum of words to guide you. It's an improvement over the usually elaborate setup wizards, such as the one that Toshiba uses for its PCX-5000 gateway.

Within three minutes, we had added a wireless notebook and a desktop PC, connected via the HPNA phone-line adapter, to the SBG1000. Adding computers via USB requires installing additional software from the CD.

It's also easy to connect the SBG1000's print server. Just connect the printer to the SBG1000 via the server's parallel plug and use the Windows, Apple, or Unix IPR printer-client software to configure the device. It worked fine with our HP LaserJet 1100, but we wondered why the SBG1000 had only a parallel port when many home and small-business printers use USB almost exclusively.

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