Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit

The Good Excellent range; Wi-Fi compliant; compact; supports roaming; upgradable firmware.

The Bad Cumbersome access-point configuration.

The Bottom Line This starter kit combines a great range with certified interoperability.

Editors' Rating
8.0 Overall

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Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit
Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit
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Price $429 Scorptec Computers $548 mwave $699 Scorptec Computers
Setup
9
8
8
7
Features
7
9
8
9
Performance
9
9
9
9
Support
8
7

Review

Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit

Most small to midsized businesses don't have IT support staff or endless resources to spend on managing and expanding a corporate LAN. One way around such a crunch is the Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit, a great solution for adding a wireless extension to a wired LAN. Its range and feature set place it on a par with other enterprise-level access points. While it doesn't offer the full palette of diagnostic, security, and configuration tools one finds in more scalable (and expensive) solutions, such as the 3Com AirConnect Wireless Network Starter Kit, the Xircom still provides an easy way to expand your LAN wirelessly. If you need to support only a limited number of clients, Xircom's solution could give you everything you need--and save you a lot of money.Most small to midsized businesses don't have IT support staff or endless resources to spend on managing and expanding a corporate LAN. One way around such a crunch is the Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit, a great solution for adding a wireless extension to a wired LAN. Its range and feature set place it on a par with other enterprise-level access points. While it doesn't offer the full palette of diagnostic, security, and configuration tools one finds in more scalable (and expensive) solutions, such as the 3Com AirConnect Wireless Network Starter Kit, the Xircom still provides an easy way to expand your LAN wirelessly. If you need to support only a limited number of clients, Xircom's solution could give you everything you need--and save you a lot of money.

Easy adapter installation
The $599 Xircom Wireless Ethernet Starter Kit includes two $179 PC Card adapters and one $329 access point. The wireless Ethernet adapter plugs into your notebook's Type II slot and communicates with the access point over radio waves using the 802.11b standard at 11mbps.To install the adapter, simply insert the card into your notebook, insert the provided CD-ROM, install the proper drivers, and reboot. If you are connected to a DHCP, you can configure the wireless Ethernet adapters to receive an IP address automatically, or you can enter one manually. The CD-ROM also includes Xircom's Wireless Ethernet Client Utility software, which you can use to monitor signal strength or to reconfigure your card for operation within a different network. For example, if you plan to use the card both at home and at work, this utility will help you to log on to each respective network. The Ethernet adapter can also be set to work in either Ad Hoc (card to card) or Infrastructure mode (through the access point).

To the third power
Xircom offers three power-mode settings, so you can select the degree to which the adapter drains energy from your notebook's power supply. Constantly Awake mode gives optimum performance when your notebook's connected to an electrical outlet. The other two settings, Power Save and Max Power, help you conserve battery power when you're on the road--or if you find yourself in the midst of one of California's periodic blackouts.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Intel
  • Type wireless access point
  • Data Link Protocol Ethernet
  • Form Factor external
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