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Netgear WN203 is functional Wi-Fi AP for businesses

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The Netgear WN203 is a single band 802.11n Wi-Fi access point (AP) designed to offer enterprise security features for small businesses or branch offices of larger organizations. The device is positioned as a business-grade AP with a consumer-centric suggested retail price of $145. We evaluate a review unit that Netgear shipped to us.

The WN203 AP is a nondescript white box equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port that supports PoE (Power over Ethernet). An AC adapter was also provided, though we did not use it. The WN203 AP comes with a built-in internal antenna, though two built-in reverse SMA connectors allows for the use of (optional) external antennas if additional range is desired. A removable stand allows for use on a desktop, while a pair of simple screws (included) allows for mounting onto a wall.

Under the hood, the AP offers a range of security and management features that belies its price tag. For example, the AP supports up to 8 different SSID with Layer 2 VLAN support, and it also supports 802.1x and Radius authentication. Other security features include the ability to output logs to an external Syslog server, and unauthorized Wi-Fi access point detection. Moreover, it was also possible to turn wireless on and off based on a predetermined schedule.

On the down side, the web interface for managing the device was relatively simplistic, though it was completely functional. In addition, the single-band function could be a limitation in situations where bandwidth needs are higher. However, companies looking for a basic AP with business-grade capabilities will probably find the Netgear WN203 a highly affordable match.

For more:
- check out the product page for the Netgear WN203 Access Point

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