Article Author :Ian Date : 12th Jul 2002 Comments :
The NetPassage 16 from Compex is a rather unique product, a low-cost device that can share a broadband internet connection with wired and wireless clients. Small companies and multiple computer homes will find this feature set very handy indeed, as it will wire up to 4 PC's with the fast switch, and provide wireless access for any laptops on the network. A secure broadband connection for all these PC's can be provided from this box, instead of requiring : a hub, wireless access point, internet connection sharing software, and some firewall software.ADSL/Cable modems are supported via an RJ45 interface, and a serial port is provided so an external 56K modem can be hooked up as a backup. A 4-Port 10/100 switch is provided for wired connection, and a PCMCIA slot for the Compex WL11A wireless network card - other wireless networking cards cannot be used.
The NetPassage 16 is compact for an internet gateway with all of these features, and is extremely light. The enclosure feels a bit flimsy, but the overall build quality is of a high standard.
Support external ADSL/Cable modem, V.90 56K analogue modem
Integrated 4-port 10/100Mbps Switch
IEEE 802.11b Wireless LAN option
Load Balancing and Fail-Over Redundancy
Wireless Pseudo VLAN (Per Node and Per Group)
64-bit or 128-bit WEP
Wireless modes: Access Point or Wireless Client
Virtual Server (Port Forwarding and IP Forwarding)
Time-based Access Control
IP Packet Filtering
Built in DHCP server
The built in DHCP server is a great help to those with small networks - this will assign IP addresses to all the network clients. If you want to use the wireless features of the internet gateway you must purchase Compex's own wireless PCMCIA card, I do find it rather strange as to why they didn't build one in, but it would bump the price up if you do not need this feature.