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The Point-to-Point of Wireless Bridging: Page 6 of 19

RadioLan's BridgeLink finished at the bottom of the pack in performance, but it was the most feature-rich product we tested. Configuration options are both flexible and efficient. We started by connecting to the serial console port and setting the unit's IP address. DHCP support is included, as is an IPAssign utility that lets you bypass console configuration by assigning an IP address from a computer attached to the bridge.

The configuration Web page offers an antenna-alignment tool with speech capabilities. While you are pointing the antennas at one another, the alignment Web page will tell you the value in percent of signal strength.

Security in the bridge is accomplished by using a unique four-character subnet ID. This ID identifies a pair of bridges. For systems to exchange data, they must both be configured with the same ID. Together with a proprietary modulation, this provides a reasonable level of system security, but you can also purchase a 128-bit encryption option for less than $100 that can be installed on the bridges for an additional layer. We'd like this included in the base configuration. As with Wi-LAN, RadioLAN provides superior filtering. Traffic can be filtered by MAC address and by Layer 3 protocol type (IP/IPX/NetBEUI/NetBIOS). IP address filtering is not supported.

The BridgeLink includes excellent monitoring capabilities. Telnet and Web interfaces let you view bridge statistics, including packets received and packets dropped. The system also maintains its own log file, which can be sent to a central syslog server or is viewable from the bridge Web. Full SNMP support is built in.

Peak unidirectional throughput was 7.4 Mbps, while average bidirectional throughput was 6.6 Mbps. That means the BridgeLink doesn't stack up very well against other products we tested, but it is faster than most commodity 2.4-GHz bridges, and the overall feature set is quite strong. The range of 3.5 miles is about average as well.