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3.9 out of 5 stars
Buffalo AirStation AC433 Wireless Travel Router (WMR-433-BK)
Price:$42.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Buffalo AirStation Wireless Travel Router WMR-433-BK is nice and compact and powered by a usb port. It is a very basic router or access point that can be used to take your wired Ethernet connected laptop and make it a wifi signal. Most hotels offer wireless service anyways, so this wouldn’t be needed. If the signal is weak and they offer the Ethernet cable, plug that to your laptop then hook up this router to make the signal wifi. The setup is simple and basic.
Plug into a USB port, refer to the enclosed setup card for the IP address, username and password. Pass key to connect to router is same as the password. Once connected it prompts you for the setup. Make a wireless or wired connection (router has Ethernet port). Search for the service you will connect to, insert user name/password and you are done. Your devices you use to connect to the signal will use the password on the card. Advanced users that need to connect devices on the go with the smallest of equipment will enjoy the size of this router.
Cons: No ability to change settings, so don’t lose the setup card.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
First off, this thing is tiny. That's not a bad thing, however it would make it easy to lose.

as far as travel routers go, I personally feel that this is not worth the money compared to something like the TP Link TL-MR3040

while the interface is simple, it is lacking many of the features found in other travel routers (that cost less as well). For one, this router does not support wisp routing without updating the firmware. (wisp routing allows you to connect your wireless router to share another wireless network). After the update, which was simple enough, I was happier, however this router is lacking things such as MAC address cloning, which is common in many other travel routers.

I have always been a fan of Buffalo products, however this device appears to be a let down. If Buffalo will give a standard router interface (or release a version of DD-WRT for this router) I would gladly give a 5 star.

If this router could perform all of the features (at minimum) of the TP-Link TL-MR3040 I would be happy. Honestly, though, the 5 GHz band is a nice feature.

This device has potential, however on release day, I was expecting more.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
Good speed... as the specs indicate.

Terribly limiting firmware... The only config options you have is choosing between "router mode" and "access point mode", naming the BSSID, and setting the wireless encryption method and password/key.

No ability to setup as a WDS AP, bridge, etc. The options quoted from the webgui below is all you get... If someone from Buffalo is listening, please update this very capable device with some USEFUL firmware.

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Router Mode: Router functionality will be enabled. Select this for normal use, or if the AirStation is connected to a hotel's LAN port or a modem.

Access Point Mode: router functionality will be disabled. Select this if the AirStation is connected to a router or if you cannot connect to the internet in router mode.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This really is tiny. But for me the downside is that there is no built in power, like two other portable wireless routers I have. But for that, you'd have to increase the size and it seems they're going for that "I want it small and unobtrusive" consumer. It has a physical 2.4 or 5 GHz selectable switch. Also actually has a WPS switch, another thing to make life simpler for people who aren't as technical as others. It's also nice that it comes with a more or less non standard IP (192.168.13.x) so that the odds of any conflict with the existing network you're tapping into are minimized. And the WPS switch worked just fine with my Windows 8.1 Thinkpad Yoga tablet.

As others have said, though, the GUI is, well, minimal isn't the right word. I don't know of any word that conveys, "There, but so barely there as to be just about nonexistent." But this is where it all comes down to the target audience. This is my fourth small travel router. Each would fill a different purpose, for a different technical level of the end user, and different actual requirements. The go-to one I use all the time at client sites is my TPLink TL-WR700N. I love that it's just like an Apple power adapter - just a small rectangle with folding outlet prongs that I don't need a USB port to power. That thing has worked flawlessly for me for the last year and a half or more. I also have another portable wireless router that also is a USB charging battery, and the nice thing there is that you can use it even without a USB port to plug it in, since it can use the internal battery to run off of. Then there is my small TPLink one that's a nano size just slightly larger than this Buffalo one, but that I have never used because I just don't like being tied to a USB port for power. And granted, I could use the portable recharging batteries I have in my laptop bag to power it, but I've not been someplace that I needed to create my own wireless network and didn't have a power outlet available. I like the all-in-one things like my larger, 120v TPLink, although it comes with a size penalty.

The other units I have all have various levels of complexity, and that's why I'm not going to ding this a star just because of the bare bones options. I'm glad to see different units of different complexity, since some people need more complex options, but just as many, if not more, really DON'T. They're travelers who just want to plug something into the hotel's LAN port and make their own wireless. And this one really excels at that, since it just works without any configuration in that type of scenario. All they need to do is pick it from their list of available networks and type in the password on the sticker on the unit. It really doesn't get any simpler than that. And as the CTO of a network consulting company, I really LOVE simple for my clients who travel. After dealing with support calls from non technical sales people or executives who have enough trouble just remembering their username or password, I really wouldn't want to have to walk someone through doing some advanced settings on their portable router.

When I fired it up, I connected at 390Mbps with the 5GHz switch set. Moving large files (i.e. > 1TB) to my 2008 server in the basement, I hit about 12MB/s which is about 1/3 or a little less than that of my normal 802.11ac speeds on my Asus wireless unit. But I don't see people using this as their main access point at their home or business, so that really isn't a factor as it's going to usually exceed their internet speeds, which is what most people will be using this for.

Considering that my nano sized TPLink costs about 1/3 of this, though, I can't help but think that there's just too much cost associated with what you get here. The newer AC radio is nice, but even the 802.11 g speeds outstrip the speed of most hotel internet networks when you're traveling. And for the most part, if you're giving a demo or doing some presentation at a company you've traveled to, they're going to provide a wireless or wired solution for you on their site dependent on their infrastructure and / or security policies, so something like this wouldn't be likely to be used in most of those types of circumstances.

The other downside is that I don't remember how long it's been since my traveling took me to a hotel that didn't have wireless already. So this isn't really as critical a device as it would've been some years ago for people traveling. However, for people who are worried about security on public networks like they would be using at a hotel, and don't know what to do or check on their own laptop to verify their privacy, this could be a bit of a pacifier since it will provide some isolation from everyone else's browsing of their resources.

All told it's a nice little unit, it works well, the WPS switch gives someone quick access without even having to type in their wireless key. When I moved to the far side of my house, into my bedroom, which put 3 or 4 walls between me and the unit, the signal strength dropped from 5 bars to two, and the connection speed dropped from 390Mbps to just 84MBps. This compared to my full sized 802.11ac Asus wireless base, which drops no bars from the same location, and maintains the same speed of the connection. So you can clearly see the power difference in this small unit compared to a full sized router, but again, that pretty much fits its designed purpose for traveling, where you just need to get your signal in your hotel room or such. But being tied to a USB port of some sort (either on a computer or a wall wart or a portable battery) just lessens its real value for me. I'd prefer a powered unit that was a bit larger just so there's more flexibility for use. But for someone who's looking for a tiny unit like this that will run off USB power and provides simple, basic wireless access to a wired network, it's a solid contender.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Travel routers are not needed as much as they once were, and that's because most hotels in the US provide Wi-Fi access to an unlimited number of devices. This is generally true whether you pay for the Wi-Fi or if it's free. This small device might come in handy internationally, especially in Europe where they tend to be more stingy with internet access. The problem there, however, is how some places limit both bandwidth and data usage, something this router cannot help.

Although the set-up of this router is fairly straightforward, the instructions miss a few steps for those who aren't used to setting up travel routers. (This is my third.) If you are scratching your head on the set-up, follow these instructions instead:

1. Plug your air station into a USB port of your computer to both power it and connect it to your computer.
2. Select Buffalo from the list of wireless networks on your computer.
3. Move the switch to 2.4 or 5 GHz, depending on your needs. (I'd default to the 2.4)
4. Get out the all-important card that comes with your Buffalo air station. Open a browser window (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, IE.)
5. Enter the IP address in the URL field.
6. You'll get a pop-up window. Enter the username and password key as printed on your card.
7. Go through the set-up wizard process, choosing between wireless and wired set-up. Make sure you have the password/key for your home network.

For whatever reason, my first two attempts failed, even after resetting between the two. The third worked perfectly. The set-up itself takes only a few minutes. Now that my travel router is set up, and I disconnect from my computer and place it anywhere in the house, connected to a power source, to use as a repeater or secure private network.

I find that the there's a distinct lag between my entering a URL and accessing the page itself. The page itself loads quickly, but the relay to call it up takes a second or so longer than it does when I'm connected directly to my home network.

I have found with other travel routers that using this as a wired connection in a hotel rarely works, but then again, a wired connection is rarely needed in the US. (I have not tested this Buffalo, wired or not, in a hotel because it arrived too late to try it in my last hotel room.) The best use of this air station is to create a secure network while you are on the road, especially since hotels usually do not have a particularly tough password to crack. That said, you'll need a laptop with you to use it. For instance, if you travel with an iPad used as a laptop, you won't be able to use this air station because it needs to be plugged into a USB slot in a computer to configure the settings for the new network. I also recommend setting up the air station at home on the laptop you plan to use so that you don't have to take the card with you. (And don't lose that card!)

In terms of usefulness, this air station gets two stars from me; however, it works as described, so it gets four stars for that.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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on January 18, 2015
While the AC433 isnt' the most configurable router, since the SSID. Passkey and the Password are hard-coded, it is a very capable little unit. It can function as an Access Point. allowing WiFi clients to connect to an existing network; as a Router, creating a stand-alone WiFi network; or as a Bridge, allowing a wired ethernet client or wired networks to connect to a WiFi network. The data rates and signal strength is pretty decent, given the unit's compact size and low power requirements. Many larger units are not capable of functioning as a WiFi-to-ethernet bridge.

While I would not recommend this unit for long-term, semi-permanent installations due to the weakness of the passkey strength and the inability to change the passkey, password or SSID, it is a very good unit for the temporary setups that a traveling technology user might need. This is especially true when trying to connect a WiFi only device to a hotel's in-room high-speed wired ethernet or when visiting friends or locations without only wired ethernet networks.
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on November 10, 2014
I bought this for use with my Nvidia Shield tablet. I travel a lot for work and at the hotels i stay in i typically find my room too far from the wifi hotspot the hotel provides. This was the solution. It was easy enough to set up as it came with simple instructions on how to set your own network name and password. The speed with the router was fast enough for me to stream call of duty multiplayer off my pc at home to my tablet. The range is limited but it will cover an entire hotel room without difficulty which is what i use it for. Other than the limited range it will do anything a home router will do for a third of the price.
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VINE VOICEon September 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Buffalo AirStation AC433 Wireless Travel Router is nice and compact and allows you to set up your own high-speed wireless network. I feel like it's more catered to the business person that has more of a need for this type of device. With its dual-band operation, it connected easy to my iPad mini tablet and iPhone. I like how small it is, about the size of 1 Reese's cup (candy bar) and fits easily in my pants pockets or purse. Configuration was easy and fast but I did not find it offered much faster speed than the Wi-Fi I was already connected to in the places I tried it at and that's why I rated it 3 stars.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I stay in a lot of different hotels and wireless Internet is hit and miss. Back in the old days my laptop was my primary computing device so I didn't mind plugging into an Ethernet port. Now though I sometimes travel with just an iPhone and iPad so there is a definite need for wireless connectivity. That's where this trusty little device comes in handy. I purchased a similar device several years ago and it was 6-7 times the size of this new product.

This device could not be any simpler or easier to use. All you have to do is connect it with a standard USB cord to a power supply (plug, battery or laptop for example), plug in an ethernet cable to connect it to a wall plug and you suddenly have wireless internet. That's it - no configuring security, users, protocols or anything else.

Furthermore the SSID, WEP key and other core info is printed on the back of the device so you will never lose it. Of course this means anyone who gets their hands on the device can access it, but that's not a drawback in this case as this is NOT a device intended to be part of your static infrastructure - It's intended to be carried around and plugged in when needed. It does that job exceptionally well.

I just tested it out with 4 devices simultaneously and the speed was very good. By the way, that's another advantage of a device like this - you can use a single wired ethernet port to connect many devices. This is great for business travelers or families on a road trip. If your hotel charges for Internet, pay for a single user and then share the connection with this device.

There is a web interface that you can use to do things like update the firmware and manually set some other settings but 90% of people will never bother to do any of this as this device works as-is right out of the box.

I HIGHLY recommend this device.
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on February 14, 2015
Super small and absolutely no frills. Switch to choose 5GHz or 2.4GHz operation. Can't change login password. Interface is incredibly simple. No option for hidden SSID & Extremely limited overly simplified interface. Having USB & Ethernet plugs on different edges of the device is bad design, yes, the device is small but you're going to have long cables sticking out of two sides of the router.
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