The Asus WL-330 shrinks a Wi-Fi network setup to the size of a handheld. Easily the smallest and lightest 802.11b access point on the market, the WL-330 can turn a broadband connection into a quickie Wi-Fi network just about anywhere. Unfortunately, the WL-330 has limited range and is weak on security.
About the size of a handheld, the silver, 2.2-ounce WL-330 is smaller than and one-third the weight of . Even with its tiny AC adapter and short Cat-5 jumper cable packed away inside the included soft travel case, the whole kit weighs 9.2 ounces and can be easily stashed inside a laptop travel case. The box includes a CD bearing software and manuals, a printed quick-start guide, and a USB power cable.
Setup is simple, and the printed guide walks you through the process. A standard setup merely requires you to connect the WL-330 to a broadband source with an Ethernet cable. It takes all of three minutes to get online, and it worked on our first try.
Security is a step behind the rest of the wireless world, with only 64- or 128-bit Wired Equivalent Protection (WEP) encryption. The WL-330 lacks the stronger Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA); updating the unit's firmware to version 2.02 adds passwords to the device. The WL-330 can lock out clients based on MAC address, but it doesn't include a firewall.
Even though it's tiny, the WL-330 can act as either an Ethernet-to-802.11b adapter or as a miniature access point. Plug it into the Ethernet port of a notebook, a game console, or a desktop, flip the switch on the back of the unit to the adapter setting, and adjust the WL-330's network settings via the unit's browser-based configuration tool. You can power the unit with either the AC adapter or the included USB cable.