X-Micro Super G Networking

Nov 28th, 2006 | By

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X-Micro Super G Networking

: 11/28/06 – 03:28:41 AM


: Networking

Page 1 : Index

: X-Micro

Home networking is the next logical step for anyone with multiple computers and high speed internet. I first started my home network when I got Hi-Speed Internet and had a Pentium II and III kicking around the house. Since that time Ive never looked back. While my preference has been to stick with my Gigabit backbone whenever possible, wireless for my laptops is simply a must.

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has been in the wireless and router industry for a little while with nothing less than 54 Mbps on their product page. Today, well work our way around
different Super G products: WLAN Super G 108 Mbps Broadband Router, WLAN Super G 108 Mbps PCI Card and WLAN Super G 108 Mbps PCMCIA Card.

Page 2 : Package

The three products I received came inside one large brown cardboard box. There was plenty of space for the networking equipment to bounce around inside and bump into each other. Luckily for us, networking equipment is rather resilient. I dont expect to find any damage, but time will tell.

The first piece of equipment well look at is the Super G 108 Mbps Router.

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The cover of the box explains everything we expect to get our of this product 300m range, 802.11g support, 54Mbit/s (108 Mbps with Turbo Mode) and 4 port Ethernet support.

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We also see a few features listed and well see more of those on the next page.

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If you missed the gigantic photo of the router on the cover of the box, it has also been reprinted on several of the sides.

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The backside of the box shows additional features, specifications and possible networking configurations for which the X-Micro WLAN 108 Mbps Broadband Router could be utilized in.

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Next up on the tour is the 108 Mbps WLAN 11g PCI Card.

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The front cover shows you exactly what youre getting and the back side of the box covers the specifications in a variety of languages. Well only focus on what is written in English.

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The only piece of equipment that came wrapped was the WLAN 11g PCMCIA Card. Why this is the case is beyond me.

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Much like the PCI card, what you see on the front is what youll get and the back indicates additional features for your viewing pleasure.

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A consistent theme I noticed in all of the X-Micro products was the ROHS friendly logo. This simply means all of the components are hazardous material free. Back in the day we would find lead and tin within the circuit boards which would eventually seep into the environment after the product was thrown away. The days of destroying the environment are now over.

Page 3 : Specifications

The specification page is going to be pretty dry with me spitting out nothing but technical details on three (similar) products. Starting with the WLAN Super G 108 Mbps Broadband Router, the specification page can be found here.

This is what X-Micro has to say about their product:

The X-Micro WLAN Super G Broadband Router lets you create a fast and secure wireless network for multiple users in your home or office. Mix regular wired connections with the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless LAN standard, and this wireless router can reach almost any place in your SOHO. It's a Wireless/Ethernet controller but works at a faster speed. When the turbo mode is active it works at super speed (108 Mbps).

Wireless LAN Access Point
4 ports switch & DSL Router
108 Mbps in 802.11g Turbo Mode
Complies with IEEE 802.11b/g
Strong WLAN security with WEP, WPA, and Firewall
Firewall of high security policy
Wizard setup for WEB-based management utility
UPnP supported
Models: XWL-11GRAG

The specifications:

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By networking standards, everything looks good and the same can be said for both WLAN Cards.

WLAN Super G 108 Mbps PCI Card

Specifications Page

The X-Micro WLAN Super G PCI Card installs in a desktop computer to access a wireless network at up to 108 Mbps. Use it in combination with any WLAN Adapter (11b, 11g, or 11g Turbo) and bring your desktop computer into the wireless world.
32-bit PCI v2.2 interface
108 Mbps in 802.11g Turbo Mode
Complies with IEEE 802.11b/g
Strong WLAN security with WEP and WPA
Detachable antenna with SMA connector
Advantage Utility
Supports Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
Models: XWL-11GCAG
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WLAN Super G 108 Mbps PCMCIA Card.

Specifications Page

The X-Micro WLAN Super G PCMCIA Card plugs into a desktop or notebook computer to access your wireless network at speeds up to 108 Mbps. This greater speed (108 Mbps) is achieved by combining two channels in turbo mode. Use it in combination with any WLAN Adapter (11b, 11g, or 11g Turbo) and bring your personal computer into the wireless world.
CardBus 32-bit interface
108 Mbps in 802.11g Turbo Mode
Complies with IEEE 802.11b/g
Strong Wireless LAN security with WEP and WPA
Advantage Utility
Support Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
Models: XWL-11GPAG
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Page 4 : Package Contents

When it came down to the package, theres not a whole lot to look forward to with X-Micro. The philosophy of keeping things to a minimum can certainly be felt. As we peel the lid open on our WLAN Super G 108 Mbps Broadband Router, we are greeted with a patch cord cable and the manual.

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Packaged along side the manual is a simple Installation CD containing a User Guide and User Manual.

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The rest of the accessories include the AC power adapter, removable antenna and a strip of 3M tape.

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Those with a keen eye will notice that I was accidentally shipped some non-USA/Canada power adapter. Luckily for me, the adapter is capable of stepping down any input voltage between 100V and 240 and all I need to do it find the proper end fitting.

The router is pretty bland sporting a silver coat of paint and the company logo.

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On the bottom of the router we have an X-Micro label indicating various compliances.

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If you read the specifications, you would know that nothing is missing from the backside of this router.

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From left to right we have the antenna connector, 4 ports for your local area network, a WAN RJ-45 end, the power connector and a pin sized hole for resetting the router.

The front panel has a series of LEDs to indicate whats currently happening with your network.

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To take advantage of the 108 Mbps Turbo Mode offered by X-Micro, you must have Turbo Mode capable equipment. For us, that means the WLAN PCI Card and WLAN PCMCIA Card.

Both packages have the same manual and driver CD.

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Once you open up the PCI box, youll find the driver CD, the manual and an anti-static bag containing the NIC and the removable antenna.

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The overall layout is very clean with a majority of the electronics bundled into the enclosure in the middle.

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Once you have the PCI card slotted into your motherboard, dont forget to thread in the antenna. Once that is done, youre ready to get rid of some wires behind your case.

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With the PCMCIA card, the packaging is a little different but not by much. The manual and driver CD is still tucked away in the package.

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Whats different is how carefully packed the PCMCIA card actually is. Unlike the PCI Card which could slide around inside the box, the PCMCIA is carefully fitted into a foam cut out.

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This will definitely make sure it doesnt get damaged through transportation. On the front side of the card, we dont see a whole lot. There are two LED indicators, one for power and the other for network activity.

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Page 5 : Installation

The installation of wireless networking equipment is pretty simple and doesnt need any special instructions.

For starts, the router will be situated beside my Asus P5WD2 machine on the first floor of my parents house. A patch cord from the routers LAN port 1 will run to the Asus gigabit Ethernet NIC.

I installed the PCI card into my second floor DFI RS482 machine located on the extreme end of the house. Communication from the router to this machine will mean the signal must go through the floorboards and across the house.

The PCMCIA card will be slotted into my Acer Travelmate notebook situated 15 from the router.

For a final test, my Dell Inspiron 9400 will sit on a table about 30 away from the router. It will use its internal network cards to show the performance of regular 54 Mbps.

At various times, I will run a patch cord from LAN port 2 of the router to either my notebooks or my second floor machine.

Once the systems were in place, I used the Asus machine to flip through the administrative features on the router. Heres what I found:


LAN & DHCP Server

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Dyanmic DNS



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Device Information

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Log Setting



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Routing Table



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Virtual Server
Special AP
Firewall Rule



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Remote Management



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Ping Test


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The admin interface is pretty detailed. I would have liked to see the ability for multiple DMZ points, but thats just me. Its pretty much on par with that SMC and D-Link uses for this class of routers.

With regards to the individual cards, the supplied software lets you see exactly what Mbps rating the card is working at.

Once you pop the driver CD in, itll ask if you want to install the drivers or view the guide/manual. Its recommended that you install the drivers
installing either of the NICs.

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Once installed, you need to select the country your in and abide by their laws.

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With the notebook, I quickly picked up my 108 Mbps network named default. All performance tests will be executed with WEP enabled as its important to have at least one line of defense in case you plan on doing any online banking.

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Along with the drivers that get installed, another wireless network configuration/viewer tool is installed in case you dont like the default Windows one. On my notebook, I found three tabs of interest. The first page gives you an overview of the status.

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The second page has a real time chart plotting the transmission and receiving performance.

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The last page gives you actual details about the device, more than what you would find on the package.

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Here we see that the Ethernet controller is made by Atheros.

Taking the laptop upstairs, I watched the performance drop down to just below 54 Mbps.

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This is considerably better than what my 802.11g 54 Mbps router provides. With the PCI NIC, I got slightly better results in terms of speed but far better signal quality. This can be a direct result of the larger antenna.

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If you decide to use the supplied software as the means of viewing the available networks and connecting to them, you have a few more options to select than the three shown above. Ill demonstrate this through the PCI card.

Status Page

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I personally prefer the Windows Network Configuration, but thats just me and youre free to use which ever you want.

Page 6 : Performance

Performance is very important when it comes to routers. The last thing you would want to buy is something that consistently drops the signal or has poor performance.

I put the WLAN router through regular use tossing files between computers and surfing the internet. I didnt really notice any issues when it came to both wireless and wired activity.

In order to gauge the performance of the new wireless cards, I recorded the transfer time of a 512MB file using Disk Bench. The transfer will be from either my Acer, DFI or DELL machine through the router and to the Asus machined connected to the router via Cat5e patch cord or vice versa. There will be no wireless to wireless results recorded. Each transfer will be done three times and the average result has been graphed below.

Here are the test conditions:

Intel D930
Titan Amanda 50Watt TEC Cooler
Patriot Memory 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2-833Mhz 2.2V
Power Color X800GTO16
Cooler Master iGreen500
Samsung 40GB SATAII 7200 RPM
Antec Nine Hundred
100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller on LAN Port 1 of the router

Upstairs Desktop

DFI RS482 Infinity
AMD X2 3800+
Patriot Memory 2GB PC4000 ELK
Western Digital 80GB SATAII 7200 RPM

X-Micro WLAN Super G 108 Mbps PCI Card

100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller

Acer Notebook

[url=/index.php?page=articles&num=186] Acer Travelmate 290Xvi

Network Interfaces:

X-Micro LAN Super G 108 Mbps PCMCIA Card

Internal 802.11b Wireless Controller
100 Mbps Ethernet Controller

Dell Notebook

Inspiron 9400
802.11g 54 Mbps
100 Mbps Ethernet Controller
All the computers will be connected to the X-Micro WLAN Super G 108 Mbps Broadband Router and will be assigned an IP by the DHCP feature on the router.

Acer & Asus

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DFI & Asus

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Dell & Asus

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Theres no doubt that the 108 Mbps gained from the Turbo mode is superior to the 802.11g and 802.11b. However, it still cant match the power of a hard wired network, even when the router and notebooks are in plain view of each other.

Moving upstairs we see the performance starting to dip. The choice between dynamic and static Turbo Mode didnt help. However, if you went with the dynamic Turbo Mode, you get the additional option of have the router attempt to extend the coverage area. So instead of 200m, maybe youd get 250m at a reduced performance point. This could be a worthwhile option depending on what you did and how badly you wanted wireless coverage.

Overall the results are respectable and near what I thought they would be. I never expected the Super G mode to actually give me a full 108 Mbps; then again theoretical speeds are theoretical.

Page 7 : Conclusion

X-Micro has put together a very combo to let anyone quickly setup a decent wireless network capable of reasonable speeds and quality of service inside ones home.

The router has a very simple look that is small enough to fit anywhere inside your house. The two wireless cards were neither bulky nor difficult to setup. The only bit missing is a Turbo Mode capable USB drive. Hopefully well see that soon.

When it came to performance, you still cant beat a hardwired house; especially with Cat5e and switches capable of 1000 Mbps transfers. However, where cabling isnt possible, the X-Micro Super G setup performance performed nobly and the signal strength was good even where all my other networking equipment has failed. If youre looking for an alternative to some of the more expensive models available, X-Micro should be one to consider.


Great performance and area coverage
Easy to configure and install
Unobtrusive design


Not easily available
Soon to be replaced with 802.11N and Gigabit capable routers

Overclockers Online would like to thank X-Micro for making this review possible.

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