Proxim Symphony HomeRF base station

The Good Inexpensive; simple setup; backward compatible with first-generation HomeRF; good support policies.

The Bad Limited configuration options.

The Bottom Line The Proxim base station offers ample wireless connectivity at a low price for those who simply want to share an Internet connection.

Editors' Rating
7.0 Overall

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Proxim Symphony HomeRF base station
Proxim Symphony HomeRF base station
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Review

Proxim Symphony HomeRF base station

Is the simplest solution always the best? The Proxim Symphony HomeRF base station lets you share an Internet connection wirelessly in your home, and it is among the easiest solutions to install and configure. It's also one of the least expensive Internet-sharing devices currently available. But this base station's simplicity comes with some limitations. And although it offers adequate bandwidth for basic broadband sharing, an 802.11b solution would give you greater maximum throughput. Is the simplest solution always the best? The Proxim Symphony HomeRF base station lets you share an Internet connection wirelessly in your home, and it is among the easiest solutions to install and configure. It's also one of the least expensive Internet-sharing devices currently available. But this base station's simplicity comes with some limitations. And although it offers adequate bandwidth for basic broadband sharing, an 802.11b solution would give you greater maximum throughput.

New HomeRF measures up
The Proxim Symphony base station is one of the first products based on the new HomeRF 2.0 specification. It is backward compatible with earlier HomeRF products and increases the technology's maximum connection speed to 10Mbps. This boost in bandwidth catapults HomeRF into the same league as 802.11b solutions. But while HomeRF may now be better equipped to handle voice and streaming-media transmissions, its adoption rate still lags behind that of the more popular 802.11b. This is a big deal since business users may want to connect at work or on the road, as well as at home. And because HomeRF and 802.11b are not compatible, you need to make a clear decision between one technology or the other.

Small and simple
The $200 Proxim Symphony is a little bigger than a deck of cards and small enough to sit unobtrusively on a flat surface, such as the top of most broadband modems. It has three status lights on its top panel to indicate power, Ethernet activity, and wireless activity. Two auto-sensing 10/100 Ethernet ports on its back panel let you connect to a standard DSL/cable modem; you can also hook up to an uplink port on a hub or switch using the supplied Ethernet cable. The quick-start guide runs through basic hardware and software installation, but for more in-depth information, refer to the user manual. There you'll find a general section on wireless networking, detailed configuration and operating instructions, and a basic troubleshooting section.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $200
  • Brand Proxim Corp.
  • Type wireless access point
  • Data Link Protocol HomeRF
  • Form Factor external
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