Windows XP provides its own configuration utility; however, like most wireless-card vendors, Netgear recommends that you use its own software to fully take advantage of the card's features. The Netgear utility lets you change the SSID and enable WEP settings. (Like its competitors, the WAG511 supports 128-bit encryption in 802.11b and 802.11g modes and 152-bit encryption in 802.11a mode.) You can also set the transmit power, create network profiles, and view performance statistics in graphical form.
In CNET Labs' tests, the WAG511 delivered decent performance. Its 802.11a throughput peaked at 22.1Mbps and held steady at about 14Mbps at 50 feet. In an 802.11g-only network, the WAG511 delivered comparatively less throughput but did manage to offer greater range. We stayed connected at 100 feet, long after the network dropped our 802.11a connection. However, like the results from other cards we've tested, aggregate throughput dropped to a level of 7.7Mbps when we added an 802.11b client to the network.
Netgear backs the WAG511 with a respectable three-year warranty and 24/7 phone support. The well-organized Web site offers firmware updates, FAQs, user guides, and a searchable knowledge base.
- Release date03/3/03
- Data transfer rate 108 Mbps
- Connectivity technology Wireless
- Networking interface type CardBus