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 Cayman Wireless Router

Page 2 

 Author: Tim Higgins
 Review Date: 9/1/2001


Wireless Features


The 11W uses a Proxim Harmony 8430 802.11b PC card  radio that supports 40 bit WEP encryption only. (The FCCID on the Proxim card shows that it's an XI-300 sourced from Z-Com.) The radio is plugged into a PC card connector mounted inside the chassis enclosure, with the patch type antenna sticking out of a slot in the rear of the box.  The antenna module is removable and connected via two miniature MMCX style connectors, so with the proper "pigtail" cables, it's possible to attach other antennas.

Wireless settings include the basics.  You can set the Channel number (default is 7) and ESSID.  You can also set four 40 bit WEP keys (using Hexadecimal format only), and choose Open System or Shared Key Authentication (see this page). You also get to choose whether to ignore unencrypted data.

On the minus side, Cayman has not included MAC address based Access/Association Controls, a notable omission. 

Cayman 2E-H-W11 - Wireless screen

The W11's Monitor features will let you see wired and wireless DHCP clients (both MAC and IP addresses), and traffic statistics.  

 

Routing Performance


I ran the Qcheck suite to test routing performance, with the following results:

Firmware/Driver Version:

GatorSurf 5.6.2 Build R1 /
Firmware 2.6

Test Description

Qcheck Transfer Rate (Mbps)

[1Mbyte data size]

Qcheck Response Time (msec)
[10 iterations 100byte data size]

Qcheck UDP stream 
[10S@500Kbps]

(Actual throughput- kbps)

(Lost data- %)

WAN-LAN

6.6

 3 (avg)
7 (max)

499

 0%

LAN-WAN

6.5

 3 (avg)
6 (max)

499

 0%

(Details of how we tested can be found here.) 

Comment: Very speedy, including UDP performance. No problems in this department!

 

Wireless Performance


I used an ORiNOCO Gold PC card as the wireless test partner and ran my usual Qcheck test suite. (More details of how I tested can be found here.) 

Test Conditions:

Firmware/Driver Versions:

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate:
Automatic
- Power Save:
disabled
- Channel: 6

AP f/w:
GatorSurf 5.6.2 Build R1 /
Firmware 2.6

Wireless client driver:
Variant 1, V6.44
Wireless client f/w:
 
 - Primary Functions: Variant 1,  V4.04
 - Station Functions: Variant 1, V6.16

Test Description

SNR (dB)

Qcheck Transfer Rate (Mbps)

[1Mbyte data size]

Qcheck Response Time (msec)

[10 iterations 100byte data size]

Qcheck UDP stream 
[10S@500Kbps]

(Actual throughput- kbps)

(Lost data- %)

AP to Client - Condition 1

50

4.1[No WEP]
1.5[w/WEP]

5 (avg)
7 (max)

491

0%

AP to Client - Condition 2

40

4.1

5 (avg)
8 (max)

492

0%

AP to Client - Condition 3

20

3.8

5 (avg)
7 (max)

491

0%

AP to Client - Condition 4

9-15

2.4

5 (avg)
10 (max)

393

0%

Comments: The radio portion doesn't match the performance of the router side.  Signal was marginal during the Condition 4 test, with fluctuating SNR readings.  Throughput (Transfer Rate) takes about a 60% WEP-enabled hit with 40 bit WEP enabled.

The graph below (click for a full-sized view) shows TCP throughput over an approximately two minute period (details of the test are here).

Cayman 2E-H-W11 Transfer Rate vs Time

Comments: You can see the Condition 4 performance degradation with WEP disabled.  You can also see significant variation even with the lower WEP enabled speed.

 

Summary


Cayman sells a lot of product to BSPs and "enterprise" customers, but would like to develop more of a presence in the "residential" market.  Unfortunately, I don't think the 2E-H-W11 is the product that will do it.

Although it's a fast router with a number of unique features, it lacks some of the basics such as port filtering, security "event" logging, and triggered port maps.  Those shortcomings might not be so bad, but the wireless side of the product simply isn't up to par with competitive offerings.

For $500 you can do a whole lot better, and so can Cayman.

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