capsule review

Actiontec wireless kit with GT704WR router

At a Glance
  • ActionTec Actiontec Electronics CBLE/DSL ROUTER 54MBPS 802.11

Kit consists of:

Actiontec GT704WR router

Actiontec HWU05470 USB adapter

Actiontec HWC05430 PC Card adapter

The Actiontec kit started off on the right foot: A clear, well-written quick-start guide that comes with the G704WR router outlines the setup process. But it stumbled as we went in deeper, with the guide saying to run a confusing and badly put together Web-based setup utility. For example, if your broadband connection does not fit one of two basic types (cryptically labeled Option 1 and Option 2), then you are out of luck and will need to go to the advanced setup screens. The Installation Buddy software on the CD-ROM is much more complete and helpful and much easier to use, but this isn't covered in the start guide. What's more, the unit ships with Wi-Fi networking turned off by default, an odd decision that creates more confusion for the user who has to turn it on during setup.

Once you finally get it up and running, though, the Actiontec works well, with excellent range in our informal tests. The kit is reasonably priced at $205. We did find performance to be on the slow side in our lab tests, with an average throughput of 15.7 mbps. This is more than enough for Web browsing, but it may be an issue for tasks that involve transferring large amounts of data, such as printing or copying files over the network.

The setup process for the Actiontec kit is confusing and may put off novice users. But the kit is reliable once it's running, and it is moderately priced.

Becky Waring

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At a Glance
  • ActionTec Actiontec Electronics CBLE/DSL ROUTER 54MBPS 802.11

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