This is the second in Buffalo’s recently announced UK Wi-Fi router/access point range we were recently able to take a quick look at. This one lacks an ADSL modem so is more suitable for cable installations or attaching to an existing ADSL modem. The model number is WZR-HP-AG300H-EU
What immediately excited me was that this has out of the box for a build of dd-wrt. For those in the know dd-wrt seems to be the firmware of choice for self-built or hacked super-routers. More information can be found here http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index.
Whilst, as I mentioned, common for self-built and hacked routers where it is favoured for a great range of features and flexibility, this is one of the first Routers I have seen with the ability to install dd-wrt out of the box and in a supported way that does not void the warranty.
For the less adventurous Buffalo also thoughtfully supply a user friendly firmware on the install CD which gives a user experience similar to other Buffalo routers.
Again this seems very well built and comes with all necessary cables – including a very nice USB extension lead that can be used to plug in a USB 3G modem of which a number are supported in both firmwares. If you intend to use this feature Buffalo say it is important to check if your device is supported at www.Buffalo-Technology.com although in some quick research I was unable to find any information on the site.
A setup cd is supplied and was very straightforward to use
As with other recently reviewed Buffalo Wi-Fi devices a full list of box contents is included in the setup screens.
I couldn’t see an option to do both or have a failover although this may be in the web interface.
Note this isn’t asking you to change the settings but to enter the preconfigured settings on the label on the router – here it has defaulted the SSID to the first one available locally you need to choose the Buffalo one correctly. It is quite unusual to be asked for this during setup of a router and it is not something I have seen on other Buffalo set ups. Now I’m not sure if this was because someone had used the device before me but neither the listed SSID or password on the label worked.
A click on Start Web Configuration and we had dd-wrt in its full glory if I hadn’t wanted dd-wrt I could have chosen the change firmware option on the CD main menu
Unfortunately I ran into an issue at this point as I was prompted for a username and password and the default one didn’t work so obviously whoever had used the router before me had set their own. Fortunately I was able to reset to factory settings by holding down the reset button for 3 seconds.
When I retried I was prompted with:
Followed by the default dd-wrt screen.
The firmware update to change to the user-friendly did not happen automatically. I felt this could be really confusing to an average user. It might be better for Buffalo to have the user-friendly firmware out of the box and let more advanced users choose to change the firmware to the dd-wrt one.
In the short time I had it the performance of the router seemed very good and although no where near the quoted 300mbps did peak at around 80Mbps. In a real world test 720p HD content streamed very cleanly but 1080p was a little pixelated – I suspect with more time I might have been able to tweak the QOS (quality of service settings to improve this)
So on a quick look this is a well built Router that seems to perform well with the added benefit of dd-wrt out of the box. We hope to return to this router for a more detailed look at a later date.