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Prismiq IWR-5010 Commander wireless router review: Prismiq IWR-5010 Commander wireless router

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The Good The Prismiq Commander IWR-5010 wireless router is relatively inexpensive and comes with excellent monitoring software.

The Bad The range and the speed of the Prismiq Commander IWR-5010 wireless router lag behind those of top performers, and its software has no built-in help.

The Bottom Line Prismiq's IWR-5010 router lets you monitor traffic on your network, making it a great choice for concerned parents.

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5.9 Overall
  • Setup 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 5
  • Support 5

Prismiq Commander IWR-5010 wireless router

Need to monitor your employees' Web use? Want to keep an eye on your kids' online interactions or see what sites they're looking at? If you answered yes, Prismiq's Commander IWR-5010 is the wireless router for you. Not only does it offer a sneak peek into what clients are doing and where they're surfing, it provides transcripts of instant messages. Thanks to Prismiq's Internet Warning and Control software, or IWACS, the IWR-5010 sets the pace in monitoring a network's operations, client activity, and data flow. Unfortunately, it lags on performance. But if you think average network speeds are a fair trade-off for network monitoring and a low price tag (the suggested retail price is $80, but Prismiq is offering a $20 rebate for customers who trade in an old router), then this is the router for you. If you value performance over the ability to spy on loved ones, check out the Belkin Wireless Pre-N router.

The Prismiq Commander IWR-5010 router comes with an AC adapter, a Cat-5 cable, a quick-setup guide, a CD with software and a 110-page electronic manual, and a pair of feet for standing the router on its side (you can also mount it on a wall). It has four wired ports, an uplink jack, and LEDs to show that it's online and which ports it's using. The IWR-5010 also has a recessed reset button and a gold-plated antenna connector so that you can boost range with an external antenna (included). The router provides a USB 1.1 outlet, but it's only for saving or restoring the unit's configuration.

As versatile as a Swiss Army Knife, the IWR-5010 router can play a variety of networking roles, including a wireless gateway, an access-point add-on for an existing network, or a WDS wireless bridge for extending a network without cables.

Getting started couldn't be easier, thanks to the setup wizard, which asks five questions and configures the router according to your responses. We got online in about five minutes. If you prefer a more hands-on configuration, you can tap into the HTML-based configuration windows, which are detailed and thorough, although their dark-blue background can make the information hard to read. Using the configuration window, you can easily change basic settings such as the router's SSID and whether it uses a static IP address or lets a DHCP server dole them out automatically. You can block access to the LAN based on the client's MAC address.

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