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iBoss Home Parental Control Wireless-N router review: iBoss Home Parental Control Wireless-N router

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Once it was set up, however, we found that the iBoss offers the best Web-filtering feature we've seen in a router; but that alone is not worth paying $59 a year for.

The iBoss has support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a method that allows you to add computers to the secure wireless network at the press of a button. For wireless security, it offers both WEP and WPA encryption.

The only advanced networking feature it offers is Port Forwarding, which lets you map certain ports to certain computers in the network. That way you can set up special services, such as remote desktop or FTP server, to a particular computer.

Performance
The iBoss Home Parental Control Wireless-N is among the slowest Wireless-N routers we've ever reviewed.

In our throughput test, where the router was set up to show off its best performance, the iBoss scored 33.6Mpbs, just a little faster than our slowest performer, the Apple Time Capsule, which scored 32.2Mbps. At this speed, the iBoss takes about 2 minutes to finish transmitting 500MB of data over its wireless signal.

In the mixed-mode test, where the router was set to work with both Wireless-N clients and legacy Wireless-G clients at the same time, its score reduced to 31Mbps. This is a relatively small degradation and impressive, since most other routers usually fall a lot harder in the test. The Belkin N+ , for example, scored 55.44Mbps in the throughput test but only 36.16Mbps in the mixed-mode test.

In the range test, the iBoss registered 20.6Mbps; again, that's only a tad faster than the Apple Time Capsule's 20.3Mbps.

CNET Labs 2.4Ghz Wireless-N performance score
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Mixed Mode  
Range  
Throughput  
D-Link DIR-825
55.04 
40.4 
57.44 
Belkin N+ Wireless Router
36.16 
29.44 
55.44 
Linksys WRT320N
40.8 
32.6 
45.3 
Apple Airport Extreme Base Station
35.2 
21.12 
40.6 
Linksys WRT400N
38.2 
37.4 
40.1 
Linksys WRT610n
27.04 
28.8 
35.76 
iBoss Home Parental Control Wireless-N
31 
20.6 
33.6 
Apple Time Capsule
20 
20.3 
32.2 

The iBoss' range was also one of the shortest among Wireless-N routers we've reviewed. In our testing facility, which is an office building and not optimized for range, the router's signal couldn't remain stable farther than about 210 feet, as opposed to 270 feet or longer in most Wireless-N routers.

Nonetheless, in our stress test, where we make the routers constantly transfer a large amount of data back and forth between different wireless clients for 48 hours, the iBoss was able to maintain heavy loads for the entire time without any hiccups.

Service and support
Phantom backs the iBoss Home Parental Control Wireless-N router with a one-year, limited warranty, which, while short, is standard for most new routers on the market. With an active subscription, however, the router can be replaced anytime for free. The Web site states that technical phone support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, but we couldn't find the support phone number anywhere on the site. You can also access a knowledge base, firmware, and manual downloads, and you can submit online support tickets, on the Phantom Web site.

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