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Networking X-Micro Style - Cheap, Stylish and Simple

By: Cameron Wilmot | Editorials in Networking | Posted: Nov 8, 2003 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: X-Micro

Web-based Administration


Like the majority of current day switches with routing features, you have the ability to manage the switch through an Internet browser, making life very easy. This switch from X-Micro is no different - you have the ability to manage quite a few different options for the switch as well as monitor connections and so forth. Let's take a closer look, shall we?



When you first login to the router, you are presented with screen above which gives you a summary of the status of various aspects of the switch.



We'll first look at the options available to us in the "Wireless Basic Settings" area. Here you are able to change what your wireless network is called through the SSID. This is the name which is given to your network which shows up in Windows. You've got a few other options here but will likely not need to be changed unless you have more than one wireless network in the same vicinity.



Here we have the "Wireless Advanced Settings" area which allows us to change some of the more advanced options. Unless you have an extensive knowledge in wireless networks, I wouldn't recommend changing any of these settings. The only option you may consider changing is the option to broadcast your wireless network's SSID (the name of your network). For privacy reasons, you may wish to disable it and then your wireless network will go unnamed.



Next up we have the all important "Wireless Security Setup" area which is where we are able to enable and disable WEP which helps secure your wireless network. You can choose from 64-bit and 128-bit WEP. Do remember though, by enabling WEP your wireless network transfer speeds will be reduced slightly. However it is still recommended you have WEP enabled if you consider yourself to be in a vulnerable part of town or just want a little piece of mind.



For even greater wireless network security, we have the "Wireless Access Control" area which allows us to add the MAC address of wireless adapters to what could be considered a "white list" of clients you want to allow to connect to your wireless network. This should effectively stop all intruders right away, but you never know…



Next up we move away from wireless options and get our first taste of LAN options. In the "LAN Interface Setup" area we are able to change the IP address of the router (not advised) as well as being able to adjust the DHCP IP address range. Just quickly, DHCP is a networking method which automatically assigns an IP to a newly connected computer to the network. Instead of manually having to adjust your LAN adapter settings, just enable DHCP and the router will take care of the rest with minimal fuss and will have you on the network, with your own IP, in only a few seconds.



Next up we have the "WAN Interface Setup" area which allows us to make changes to our Internet connection. If you are using a cable modem, all that is required is to choose "Attain IP Automatically" and the rest is done for you. If you have an ADSL connection, you need to choose "PPPoE" and enter in your username and password as given to you by your ISP. Under connection type you are able to choose how the switch connects you to the Internet. I choose "Manual" since we had a few problems initially when first setting up the router. However, the option for "Connect on Demand" works just fine now.


The rest of the options of the router are fairly standard. You have a whole bunch of firewall options like you would expect - Port Filtering, IP Filtering, MAC Filtering, Port Forwarding and DMZ (takes your PC out of the Militarized Zone to provide Internet services without sacrificing unauthorized access to other computers on the network).


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