Asus WL-530g compact wireless router

Travel-friendly

The antenna is small and consequently the reach of the wireless link isn't as good as some other routers. Asus quotes a line-of-sight range of a mere 60m (197ft) outdoors, while indoors you won't realistically get more than about 25m (82ft). The WL-530g supports a wide range of configuration options for both the WAN, LAN and wireless sides, although for novice users it has a fairly simple-to-use set-up wizard. The user interface isn't the most intuitive one I've used, but it's far from the worst.

You get basic features such as a DHCP server, NAT, UPnP, VPN pass-through and an SPI firewall, as well as WEP and WPA encryption, and MAC address filtering to control who gets to use the wireless link. It also offers a range of more advanced set-up options for those that like to have a play. Interestingly, Asus also offer the router's firmware under a GPL licence, so if there's something you're not happy with, you can download the source code from Asus' website and change it yourself.

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The WL-530g does what it says on the tin and it does it well. However, it costs £43, and you can buy cheaper alternatives or pay the same money and get something that's easier to set up. It doesn't appear to be Wi-FI certified, so there's no interoperability guarantee, but I didn't experience any problems here. The WL-530g has the advantage of being small, so you can easily hide it away out of sight, but size isn't everything.

Verdict

The Asus WL-530g is certainly travel-friendly, but there's really nothing here to differentiate it from a wide range of similar products, many of cost even less than it does. ®

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Asus WL-530g compact wireless router

Price: £43 inc. VAT RRP