The ZyXEL WAP3205 is an inexpensive ($35) little unit that comes with poor documentation but actually is a good product if used correctly.
I needed an internet access point for a VoIP phone and I have a wireless network setup. At about $35 or so, the ZyXEL WAP3205 seemed to be the cheapest wireless router with abilities as a Repeater and Bridge router also.
With a little bit of tinkering, I was able to get the desired function as a bridge router/local access point working correctly out of this router. However the unit is poorly documented and the Quick Start guide is practically useless. I found a more extensive manual for the unit on the ZyXEL site. As a primary wireless router, avoid this unit. There is no DHCP.
But as a repeater or as a bridge router, this product shines. Just do the following below:
- Get into “Expert Mode”
- Go to Maintenance
- Click on SysOp Mode and change to “Client” or “Universal Repeater”.
- Now go to “Configuration” and click on “LAN”.
- Set an IP address that is not in use within your network for the router. For example 192.168.1.6. The manual will tell you to use 192.168.1.2 which probably is already being used by another device on your network.
- Now click on Wireless LAN and select the wireless network you wish to connect to.
The rest is easy.
If you need to reset the router, just press the “Reset switch” with a sharp implement for more than 5 seconds and the factory defaults will be loaded up. For just a reboot of the device press the reset switch for about 1 second.
Just to make things clear:
When would you use a Wireless Repeater?
If you have a large house or office and you wished to extend the reach of your wireless internet signal you would use a Wireless repeater. It would be best if you used a wireless repeater from the same company that manufactured your primary wireless router. A lot of Netgear routers have a “Repeating Function” built in. Check if this is the case with either your current router or a spare router if you have one lying around before buying the ZyXEL or any other router.
When would you use a Wireless Bridge Router?
If you have a desktop PC or any gadget with no wireless internet capabilities that you wish to connect to a router using an Ethernet cable, you should get a wireless bridge router. The device would connect to a pre-existing wireless network and give you local access points to connect to using an Ethernet cable.
Anything better than the ZyXEL?
Of course. On eBay I saw some RangeMax series Netgear routers for under $20.