NetGear has been releasing and updating a series of AP devices for homes and small businesses, including the Prosafe 802.1G Wireless Access Point WG103. Aesthetically, it looks more like a large CPU for a computer. Its dark blue and grey giving a drone look with a large imposing antennae that makes it look almost military. It’s sharp corners and thick look doesn’t look like a piece of internet software but more like a police device.
It may appear this way because it is one of NetGear’s low end AP units but still supports up to 30 users at once at 54Mbps on a single frequency band of 2.4 GHz by PoE power cord that delivers 5 watts by itself. It’s scalable and gets up to 108 Mbps in turbo mode. The Prosafe WG103 can be used as a bridge point though, to spread your small businesses wi-fi signal as far as you need it to be.
If your AP runs at 300Mbps and the server only runs at 100, then the other 200 will never be used. If you need a greater coverage without buying more access point devices, then the Prosafe WG103 can be adaptable to accessory antennas with no trouble. That way you don’t have to spend the extra full price for an additional unit, the option for a more affordable but more powerful antenna is a possible idea to consider.
The looks are lacking with this AP unit but the security is not. The device features the popular Wi-Fi protected access using a WPA or WPA2 using WDS brigding. It also boasts multiple VPN pass through support. You also get a MAC address that filters with an access control that lists up to 256 users. It also employs peer-to-peer blocking just as many of the higher end AP units do. That feature makes it impossible for users to gain entry into another Mac or PC.
Another upper end feature for this $119.00 USD AP device is that the WG103 has many additions that most units in it’s price range don’t. One of these is the use of rogue AP detection. The device is also able to incorporate multiple BSSID security measures, which is rare for a low end AP unit. Some of the physical security on the box itself includes a Kensington lock slot. That keeps any prying eyes and hands from getting into your AP device without your knowledge.
If you need to have an access point to cover your small business and don’t want to over spend, then this is one of the best choices on the market. Another little known safety measure is that the machine doesn’t have to be close to a socket, eliminating unsightly wires to trip on. It utilizes secure sockets layer, or SSL, which enables remote management login, keeping it safe and accessible at the same time.
Customer reviews indicate that the NetGear WG103 is actually hard to connect to while using the WAP security setting. These connection issues are especially prevalent while using encryption modes. NetGear also doesn’t have firmware for updates on their website, making this a product one would not want to recommend.
Other reviews indicate that the WG103 AP unit is actually very stable as an access point, but it is not fast. It is easy to set up, though, making it suitable even for people who do not have IT skills to setup for themselves.
The WG103 by Net Gear has received mixed reviews and feelings about its connectivity and reliability. If you have a small home business and need a scalable AP device, the WG103 could work well.