Actiontec 54Mbps Access Point and PC Card

The Actiontec 54Mbps Access Point and PC Card - Page 1

Actiontec's 54Mbps Wireless Access Point
Easily Connect to Your Network or Share an Internet Connection

By, Marco Chiappetta
October 16, 2003

Over the past few years, two things have happened that have significantly increased the demand for products like the Actiontec 802.11g 54Mbps Wireless Access Point and PC Card we'll be looking at today.  PC prices have fallen through the floor and broadband Internet connections have become somewhat commonplace.  With PC prices so low, it is now common for the typical household to have more than one computer.  Couple that with a fat pipe to the net that everyone wants to share, and users inevitably would desire to connect their systems together to enjoy the benefits of broadband and a small network.  Not everyone can run CAT-5 cable though their homes, or small businesses, however.  A wireless access point, is the answer to just such a situation.  In essence, an access point simply acts as a wireless bridge between computers (or a network), eliminating the need for a physical connection.  What do you say we pull Actiontec's latest wireless offerings out of their boxes and take them for a spin?


Specifications & Features Of The Actiontec 54Mbps AP and PC Card
Simple, Yet Powerful



  • 10/100 Ethernet LAN

Data Rates:

  • Up to 54 Mbps (using 802.11g)


  • Infrastructure Mode: BSS (DCF & PCF)
  • SNMP agent
  • Web server
  • Roaming

Standards Compliance:

  • IEEE 802.11b (2.4 GHz -DSSS)
  • IEEE 802.11g draft (2.4 GHz - OFDM)
  • IEEE 802.3


  • 40 bit WEP
  • 128 bit WEP
  • Support for WPA

Setup and Management:

  • Web-Based

Visual Indicator:

  • Power, LAN link, Wireless


  • Operating Temp: 0° C to 65° C
  • Storage Temp: -20° C to +85° C
  • Operating Humidity: 95% non-condensing
  • Storage Humidity: 95% non-condensing

Compliance Certification:

  • FCC
  • CE


  • One Year



  • Cardbus Type II

Data Rates:

  • Up to 54 Mbps per IEEE 802.11g

Variable Data Rate:

  • Automatically adjusts data rate to support highest speed based on signal strength.

Supported Modes:

  • Infrastructure Mode: BSS
  • AdHoc Mode: IBSS
  • Modulation: OFDM, BPSK, QPSK, CCK
  • Automatic and Manual Band and Channel Selection
  • Sleep mode for extended battery life

Standards Compliant:

  • IEEE 802.11g
  • IEEE 802.11b (2.4 GHz - DSSS)
  • Setup and Management:
  • Plug-and-Play compatible


  • WEP, WPA
  • Visual Indicator:
  • LED on Card


  • Operating Temp: 0º C to 65º C
  • Storage Temp: -20º C to 85º C
  • Operating Humidity: 95% Non-condensing
  • Storage Humidity: 95%


  • FCC Part 15
  • CE mark

Limited Warranty:

  • One Year



The Actiontec 54Mbps Wireless Access Point and PC Card both shipped with a basic compliment of software and accessories.  Included with the Access Point, we found a simple Quick Start guide and a CD-ROM that contained a much more complete User's Manual in digital form, and Actiontec's Locator application.  A security program called "Kid Defender" was also included, along with 6-ft Ethernet cable and the necessary power supply.  The PC Card's bundle was basically identical, minus the cable and power adapter.  Kid Defender is also bundled with the PC Card, along with a driver CD and a Quick Start guide.

If you take a look at the Access Point, you'll see it is a fairly uncomplicated looking device.  The front of the unit has only three LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that indicate whether it has power, whether it is connected to a network and if there is a wireless link established.  On either side on the unit, there is an adjustable hard plastic antenna.  Moving these antennas did have an affect on the quality of our wireless link, so you'll want to experiment with their position once installed.  The rear of the unit houses a reset switch, a single RJ-45 connector and a jack for the power supply.  Actiontec's PC Card looks much like any other wireless NIC on the market.  The PC Card has a single "Link" LED that blinks to show network activity, and an antenna that will protrude about 3/4" from your laptop's card slot.

Installation & Setup

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