A couple of days after I opened a Smart Bro wireless broadband internet account, Smart Communication’s technician came knocking on my door to install the canopy and configure my computer to hook with the Smart Bro wireless internet network. The installation was a breeze. I found no issue in the Smart Bro’s configuration and as a matter of fact, this blog is not about the Smart broadband internet but my experience with the router that I decided to purchase to distribute my broadband access for my laptop, mobile phone and blackberry.
I wanted to buy the most affordable wireless-G access point router available in the market today. The branded wireless routers made by Linksys, D-Link and Belkin cost over P2,000. The CD-R King LP-8186 caught my attention because of its low price which is only P1,280. A quick search on Google shows some satisfied users who have used the product. Also, this is the only router in the market today that has a configuration guide specific to Smart Bro and other major broadband internet providers in the Philippines. This has won me over to buy the router for my use.
The installation was not a breeze though. The CD that came with the router supposedly containing a wizard to help in the configuration did not work on my Vista desktop. I found out why. There is probably a bug in the v1.5a firmware of the LP-8186 such that the assigned subnet mask is 255.255.0.0 instead of 255.255.255.0 as the manual shows. Even after resetting the router, it reverts to a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0. The mistake in the subnet mask of the router is the main reason why the setup program does not work at least initially.
As a work around for this issue, I manually set my LAN card’s IP address and subnet mask to 192.168.1.1 and 255.255.0.0, respectively and voila! — the setup program was able to communicate with the router without a hitch after this work around. I then followed the guide which can be downloaded from the CD-R King web site in order to configure the router for Smart Bro. Also, as a post-configuration activity, I made sure to set the correct subnet mask for my router to 255.255.255.0 and that my LAN card gets its IP and subnet mask automatically from the router.
Except for the initial difficulty in configuring the LP-8186 router, I am a happy new owner of this affordable wireless access point router. For the price I paid for it and it being a reliable router that does the job as expected, I can easily forgive the router’s subnet mask slip-up. I was able to successfully configure the router on my own and in the end use it without having to call the CD-R King’s support hotline.
Let me know if you have any questions that I might be able to answer about this router or if there is anything you might want to contribute for the other users of this router as well. Please feel free to comment.