I bought the Buffalo Nfiniti Wireless-N WZR-HP-G300NH router because my good old Belkin started to die after about 2 years of heavy usage and I also got a pretty good deal from Amazon. I looked around for a while for a decent N router under $100 that also had Gigabit ports and some kind of NAS functionality and WZR-HP-G300NH seemed to fit the bill. If you look on the WEB, you will also find out that it provides DD-WRT compatibility which is certainly a bonus, and it is claimed that it provides a higher transmitting power than other routers on the market. Let’s put these claims to test and see how it performs.
1. WZR-HP-G300NH Unpacking
The WZR-HP-G300NH contains the router itself, the charger (12V 1.5A), a small plastic base and a network cable. Also included is the software/manual CD and a quick start guide specifying the initial IP Address (192.168.11.1) and the initial root password (or the lack of it).
2. Tech Specs
- WPA2, WPA-PSK (AES, TKIP), 128/64-bit WEP
- 1 External Antenna with Adjustable Output
- 10/100/1000 Mbps, Auto Sensing, Auto MDIX
- AOSS One-touch security setup, AP and router mode, built-in SPI-firewall, WAN auto setup
- 300 Megabits Per Second wireless transfer rate
- Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11n (draft 2.0), IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
- Dimensions: Width 6.5″, Depth: 1.2″, Height 6.2″, Weight 12 Ounces
3. Installation and Setup
The WZR-HP-G300NH wireless router is designed to sit either in a horizontal or vertical position (the package also includes a small plastic base). The blue Ethernet port is used to connect the router to the DSL/Cable modem.
3.1. Internet connection wizard
The WZR-HP-G300NH router automatically detects DHCP or PPoE connections to your DSL/cable modem. In my case, it detected neither of them. My ISP is Time Warner and I am using one of their newer, smaller modems. After a couple of minutes, I got the idea to restart the modem and then it found the DHCP connection right away. The whole process was absolutely painless. I then proceeded to reset the root password (the default password is empty, so you better change it, otherwise your neighbors will be able to mess up with your settings or worse…)
3.2. Firmware update:
My router was shipped with the firmware version 1.72. On the Buffalo’s website, there is a newer software, version 1.74. The upgrade process is very easy, but prepare to wait almost 10 minutes for it. After the upgrade is finished, you can refresh your browser page to see the new interface.
3.3 DD-WRT installation
Step 1: Navigate to http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database, type WZR-HP-G300NH in the search box and download the file called buffalo_to_ddwrt_webflash-MULTI.bin
Step 2: Point your Internet Browser to http://192.168.11.1 (or whatever IP you set for the router, if you changed it). Login using root username and your password
Step 3: Navigate to Admin Config->Update
Step 4: Click Browse and select the “buffalo_to_ddwrt_webflash-MULTI.bin” file downloaded at Step 1
Step 5: Click Update Firmware
Step 6: Wait 6-7 minutes
Step 7: Restart the browser and navigate to http://192.168.1.1/. Obeserve that DD-WRT firmware set the default IP Address for the router to be 192.168.1.1 instead of 192.168.11.1
Step 8: Enjoy your new DD-WRT enabled router
4.1. Wireless router
WZR-HP-G300NH is well packed with features including multiple SSIDs with different security settings, WPA2 security, quality of service (QOS), DMZ IP Address and Movie Engine. The diagnostic page is fully featured and the router also includes logging capability.
4.2. BitTorrent™ Downloader
I don’t use torrents so I haven’t had the chance to test the BitTorrent Downloader.
4.3. NAS functionality / DLNA functionality
The WZR-HP-G300NH router includes a USB port to attach USB sticks or hard-drives. The feature works well and it detected my Western Digital My Book immediately upon connection. However, it has certain limitations that I will list below:
- 500GB capacity limit
- no NTFS support, only XFS and FAT32
- cannot natively format FAT32 partitions larger than 32GB. Windows doesn’t do it either, so you will need to format FAT32 larger than 32GB with other utilities
WZR-HP-G300NH also includes DLNA functionality so you can access the media stored on the attached USB drive through other devices that implement DLNA clients. I was able to access media from my WD TV Live Plus and Viewsonic VMP75, as well as my LG 60PS80 connected TV. Bear in mind that unlike other DLNA software servers, WZR-HP-G300NH won’t perform any CODEC conversion for you so if your DLNA client doesn’t support a certain format you are out of luck.
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I was using the router for several days and did not experience any reliability issues. I will update this section after several weeks of usage.
6. Final thoughts
• Gigabit ports
• 300MB/s in dual channel mode with compatible adapters
• Higher power than most other routers which transmit in the 100 mW range. WZR-HP-G300NH transmits a whooping 800mW power. This certainly will improve your range
• You can have several SSIDs with individual security settings
• USB NAS functionality (albeit limited)
• BitTorrent download
• DLNA Server functionality for cheap
See below the FCC table for the WZR-HP-G300NH output power. For the full document, visit FCC website.
– USB hard-drives limited to 500GB, cannot format FAT32 drives larger than 32GB although it will recognize them if they are pre-formated
Good performance for the prices and decent features included.DLNA/NAS support are limited but offer a lot of value on the cheap. Also, the high transmitting power drastically increases its range but you will need good wireless adapters to take advantage of the increased range. Recommended!