Tests of Wi-Fi equipment by Hawking Technology
Hawking Technologies offers a complete line of solutions
required for networks at home and small business: from switches, hubs
and routers, up to modems, print servers and web cameras.
Hawking do their best to provide users with reliable and
modern network solutions, as well as provide high standards of client
service and support. To provide maximum customer satisfaction and
assert its market standing, Hawking gives highest priority to
functionality, ease of use, reliability, and support. The latest
developments of the company are aimed at use of the latest networking
technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet, ATM, and fiber optics.
In this material, we are reviewing a few wireless network
devices 802.11g separately, as well as estimating the worth of the kit
both at functionality and the operational speed.
Note that security settings of this equipment allow using
various standards and protocols which may put even sophisticated users
at a loss, let alone the beginner. Today, it is no longer topical to
talk about WEP since its protection has been successfully broken and
you can find a lot of materials on that. Therefore, if you wish to
secure your network, then you'd better give up WEP in favor of more
reliable standards, e.g. WPA. By the way, there are two WPA modes: WPA
Enterprise, and WPA-PSK. While the former was developed specially for
use in the environment of large organizations and requires using a
certificates server and a RADIUS server for user authentication, then
WPA-PSK was developed for home users as well as for users at small
organizations where there no authentication servers. In case of using
the latter, the user has to specify the password to connect to the
access point or a router. In case of WPA Enterprise, all that is done
automatically. The below reviewed equipment supports two protocols -
TLS and PEAP. A certificate issued by the certificate server is
required for their operation. In the case of PEAP, the user name and
password should also be specified. One of several standards can be used
for encryption. Today, the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is
regarded as the most reliable - to realize it, there is used a special
chip which provides reliable data encryption and authentication and is
the most efficient in terms of using hardware and software as compared
to the previous standards. Note that AES is included in IEEE 802.11i.
TKIP is its predecessor and was released as a temporary patch on top of
Hawking suggests using the wireless router HWR54G as the
central device of a small network. By the way, a router of such class
is rather convenient for use in small office networks to connect
computers both via the hardwire and wireless network and granting them
access to Internet. In implementing such a scenario, the network will
be protected against intruders with the integrated firewall.
Router package bundle
As regards the router's package bundle, all is standard here,
there is all it takes to get started with the device: a power supply
unit, the router itself, Ethernet cable, detachable antenna,
installation and setup guide, a documentation CD, as well as a pack of
screws in case you decide to fit the router on a wall.
The exterior of the router is quite typical for such devices -
a small silvery-grey box about the same size as a 3.5" HDD. All the
indicators are positioned on the front side of the router's upper part:
Power, Internet (connection and activity of the external channel),
WLAN, and four activity indicators of the LAN ports.
The rear panel of the router is taken by various connectors.
There is a power connector, four LAN ports, a WAN port, a button to
reset settings (hidden deep in the housing), as well as a RP-SMA
connector to plug in an antenna.
HWR54G router - rear view
On the bottom side, there are four rubber feet under which
there are screws fastening the housing panels, two eyes for wall
mounting (only in one direction - with the ports upside and the
antenna), and stickers with the serial number and device specifications.
We couldn't help the temptation and dismantled the router. All the
components inside were mounted on a single board, including the
wireless network module - manufacturers frequently install the wireless
module of the miniPCI format.
On the board, two Marvell chips were easy to distinguish. To implement
the wireless side, chosen was the 88W8510-BAN chip, and the hardwire
side is implemented on the 88E6060-RCJ chip which supports up to six
ports, offers a number of features attractive for home-based network
devices: auto-detection of the type of connection cable, that is, the
user doesn't care which cable should be used to connect a device -
direct or cross; a large enough switching table which is able to hold
up to 1024 MAC addresses.
A box that can be fitted as a
desktop or a wall-mounted device
159 x 128 x 28
12 V, 0.8 A
0 - 40°C
the wireless side
IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g
Manual detection of data transmission speed
External, can be turned in two
External antenna can be plugged
in (via the Reversed-SMA connector)
Transmission, 13 dBm
Reception -80 dBm
WEP 64-ex, and 128-, 256-bit
the hardwire side
IEEE 802.3 10BaseT Ethernet
IEEE 802.3u 100BaseTX FastEthernet
4 ports for 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
Automatic detection of MDI/MDI-X
Set-up and administration
The router is set up only via the Web-interface using the http
protocol, and no interfaces other than e.g. telnet are provided. By
default, 192.168.1.254 is set as the address of the Web-interface, and
to get access to it the computer should be within the network, that is,
in the range within 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.253, mask 255.255.255.0.
Note that the router has an integrated DHCP server, so if IP parameters
on your computer are detected automatically, it suffices to refresh
them through typing ipconfig /renew in the command line and then move
on to the set-up procedure. The interface is made convenient enough and
First page of the set-up interface
To simplify the set-up, the user is suggested to use a wizard
that offers to sequentially set parameters needed to get started.
After launching the wizard there appears a welcome window
suggesting to start the step-wise setup. Press Next to select the type
of connection for the external interface, then enter the settings
appropriate for the selected type. At the final stage the wizard
suggests that you should check the operability of connection.
Launching the setup wizard
To set up the LAN side, press the "LAN" button in the main
interface window. Then the wizard suggests that you should specify the
IP address of the router's local interface as well as enable the
integrated DHCP server, and set the range of IP addresses.
Setup interface - LAN
The wireless network setup window is invoked on pressing the following
button. There you can specify all the required settings of the wireless
interface, starting with the network ID, channel and standard, up to
the security and access restriction for wireless clients to the
hardwire side of the LAN and to Internet.
Setup interface - wireless network
Changing the password is also done via the interface - it's
better if you set a reliable password prior to use.
Set-up interface - change of password
To view the basic system settings, you don't have to go deep
into the interface - just press the status button to get the info on
parameters and the firmware version.
Setup interface - status
All the remaining settings are hidden in the Advanced section.
Setup interface - advanced
The router provides access control, so you can specify the
list of services which will be blocked. Also, it's possible to specify
a group of users for which these rules will apply and the schedule for
such restriction. The list of predefined services is long enough -
nevertheless, you can edit it.
Set-up interface - access restriction
The router supports dynamic DNS, that is, allows publishing
your servers in the Internet without having a permanent IP-address.
DDNS supports operation with the two services: DynDNS.org and TZO.com.
Setup interface - DDNS
The router is also good enough in terms of support for
specific applications - e.g. setting up operation of such applications
like IP-telephony, various games, bringing the computer into the DMZ,
or simply creating a filter of addresses - all that is a task that any
user can easily cope with.
Setup interface - applications
If a server (e.g., Web or FTP) accessible from outside is
intended for use within the network, it can be set up in the next
Setup interface - virtual servers
It is not always convenient to use the setup wizard.
Manufacturers have always been well aware of that and afforded the
opportunity to change settings defined in using the WAN interface setup
wizard. There is a separate section for that. There is nothing special
in the settings - all that can be changed is seen on the screenshot.
Setup interface - WAN interface
Besides, the router allows setting up a few more parameters:
logging, routings, the computer from which administration is possible,
and computers that can be connected to the router. As regards the
setup, having once tuned the parameters, you don't have to worry about
repeated setup after reset since the configuration can always be saved
and restored, if necessary.
USB adapter HWU54G
The second device of those that arrived at our test lab is a
wireless adapter for the USB interface. Note that apart from the
function of a regular adapter, it can be used as an access point.
Certainly, its functionality will not be as abundant as in the above
reviewed router. Nevertheless, it will let build a wireless network in
the "field" conditions without using a dedicated access point.
The USB "trinket" is shipped in a stylish package in which you
can find the printed version of the quick setup guide, a CD with
drivers, software and documentation, as well as a USB extender for
convenience of connection to the PC.
USB adapter package bundle
Externally, the adapter looks like a traditional flash storage
device as small as cigarette lighter. On the upper part, there is a
logo, the model name and the only indicator to display
connection/activity. Note that the adapter can be carried around both
tied to a string and with keys, that is, used as a trinket. For that,
there is a hole in the cap, and you don't have to worry about the loss
of the trinket because they are fastened strongly enough, at least,
USB adapter - rear view
As regards the interior arrangement of the adapter, all is
made in a compact and nice way. It's not at all easy to open it up
neatly - the halves of the housing are linked with latches which can be
broken if overly effort is applied. Inside, there is merely a miniature
board with the USB connector firmly attached on it. The adapter is made
on the base of the ZyDAS chipset which is in charge of the wireless
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