Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement | How we test routers
Performance and pluses offset price
But the Proxim's got a long list of pluses to offset its price negative. The Symphony network's performance was outstanding, bested only by Tut Systems' HomeRun. If you spring for the optional modem, shared Internet access is significantly faster. In our tests, it topped the proxy-server and software-router solutions included with the Aviator, HomeFree, and PassPort kits. We should note that with the Symphony's included modem-sharing software, you can use a modem other than Proxim's, which will save you some cash. But routing Internet access through the software will make performance less impressive. The range for this kit is also excellent, letting you place computers up to 150 feet apart, as is the case with the Diamond kit.
As if that weren't enough, the installation was completely painless, although you do have to deal with specialized ISA cards. Unlike the WebGear and HomeFree solutions, where the wireless antennae are integrated into the card you install in your system, each Symphony antenna is attached to its ISA card via a 6-foot cord. The generous cord length allows you to easily move the antenna around to to improve reception. We also liked the Symphony's included Maestro software, which contains useful troubleshooting and diagnostics software, as well as network-management utilities.
The Proxim Symphony is undeniably expensive. But it's also better designed than any other kit we reviewed. If you don't have the cash to spare but are desperate for a wireless solution, check out Diamond's HomeFree.