The Bountiful WiFi Wireless Router, model bwrg1000, transmits a full 1000 milliwatts (1 watt); the maximum allowable power output for a Wi-Fi router or access point.
This router features removable Tx and Rx antennas that can be upgraded to higher gain aerials for increased range, or can be replaced with directional sector, dish, or Yagi beam antennas for miles and miles of point-to-point or point-to-multipoint network communications. Two antennas here improves range, speed, and reliability of the wireless connections, and the numerous front panel LED status lamps provide at-a-glance access to key router health indicators. We’ve owned the fan-cooled bwrg1000 since 2008, and ran it constantly, 24 X 7, on our home network until 2013. While several of its power adapters failed during that time, the router itself worked flawlessly. It still works well, in fact, but we upgraded to Wireless AC (the bwrg1000 only supports Wireless G speeds at 54 Mbps). However, the unit remains in our computer equipment closet, ready to take over as a backup router, should our current Asus router break down.
Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages
Lots of status LEDs on front. These include Power, System Status, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) Status, WAN (Internet port) status, and lamps for each of the four LAN ports 1 through 4. These LEDs glow solidly and blink, indicating the various statuses that this router can assume during startup and normal operation. See the Users Manual for a complete description of these displays.
No front panel buttons. To reduce chances of unintentional yet network crippling button pushing, the bwrg1000 has no buttons or switches on the front panel.
All connections made on the back panel. Rear panel ports, pictured below, include the WAN, LAN ports 1 through 4 (black), the 5-volt DC power adapter port, and the left and right antenna connectors.
The only button is also on back. The only mechanically actuated button, located on the unit rear, is the recessed RESET button. So, accidently bringing down your wireless network by pressing the wrong button, is virtually impossible on the bwrg1000.
Dual antennas. One antenna transmits (Tx) and the other receives (Rx). The manual says that this arrangement increases wireless reliability.
Maximum allowed power output. You can’t buy a router legally in the U.S. with more transmit power than the bwrg1000, which is a full one watt of transmitter power.
54 Mbps maximum Wi-Fi speed. This router talks using the 802.11b (11 Mbps) and 802.11g (54 Mbps) wireless protocols.
Durable internal electronics. Our copy ran almost constantly for five years without problems, except for the external power supply, which required replacement several times. Aside from taking it apart a couple times to blow out the accumulated dust inside, no other physical maintenance was required.
Broad device compatibility. Works with Windows, Android (Nexus, Samsung, Amazon Kindle), and iOS (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) mobile devices, so long as you can tolerate the slower-than-N Wi-Fi speeds here.
4-port fast Ethernet switch. All Ethernet ports on the bwrg1000 support 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps Ethernet speeds. No gigabit Ethernet here.
Save / restore system configuration. You can save the current router configuration parameters to a file on your computer, and restore it if you subsequently must recover from faulty changes to the router.
Remote administration. When enabled, the bwrg1000 can be accessed remotely from anywhere on the Internet. Disabled by default.
Basic WMM QoS. Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) Quality of Service (QoS) prioritizes network traffic among connected devices and the Internet according to built-in rules. Non adaptive QoS. No configurable options for this here, except to enable or disable it.
Telnet administration support. You can use the Telnet terminal services client to access the admin functions on this router. Legacy support.
Cool to low warm operation. The internal fans help keep this router quite cool; particularly when operated at full power.
Access point mode. Can be configured as a wireless router (the default configuration), or a wireless access point. The router function provides network address translation (NAT) between your local network and the wide area network (WAN) as well as a WAP, DHCP, and firewall, working altogether as one device. Access point mode turns off the NAT, DHCP, and firewall functionality, and provides you a good quality dedicated WAP when you already have these services running elsewhere on your local network.
Wireless standards supported. IEEE 802.3 WPA, 802.11 b/g only. No 802.11n or 802.11ac. The age of this router shows, in its lack of support for the state-of-the-art technologies of 2015 and beyond.
Excellent signal coverage. The wireless network has enough range / reach to function well throughout medium and large homes when running full Wi-Fi power.
Repeater (WDS) mode. Provides wireless repeater functionality. So it can function as a wireless network range extender in a WDS (wireless distribution system). Functions in this mode as either a repeater or an Ethernet bridge (wireless client).
Basic firewall functionality. The built-in firewall supports port forwarding, service / application blocking, blocking by schedule, and keyword in HTTP blocking.
MAC address restriction. This router can block wireless devices attempting to access it, via their specific MAC addresses. Disabled by default.
DMZ support. Can be configured to bypass firewall protection, and allow direct Internet access to a specific DMZ (demilitarized zone) server computer on your network.
WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security modes for Wi-Fi. RADIUS support for WPA and WPA2.
Cons, Problems, Concerns, and Limitations
This router, though a very solid performer, lacks many of today’s state-of-the-art wireless technologies such as MIMO, Wireless N, Securied Wi-Fi by Default, and gigabit Ethernet.
Louder than a computer. The dual internal fans generate some noise that can be heard ten to fifteen feet away. They definitely could have created a quieter router; even a full power one need not use noisy, dust-attracting fans.
No Wi-Fi protected setup (WPS). The bwrg1000 came out before WPS protocols became prominent in wireless access points and routers.
Fan cooled. While the two small internal muffin fans, which run constantly at full speed, prevent overheating, they do make for a very dusty router, and may not even be necessary when lower power settings are chosen. Had they used bigger heat sinks inside or along the side and / or back panels, they could have eliminated the noise and potential failure of the spinning fans.
Longer antennas do not stay put. Heavy whip aerials, while affording greater signal range, tend to flop over if this router is bumped, no matter how tight you screw them into the back panel SMA connectors.
No 5 Ghz. band. The bwrg1000 provides a single-band access point, operating exclusively on 2.4 Ghz. So, given how crowded 2.4 Ghz. is becoming, you may notice decreased performance of this router over time; particularly if you operate lots of Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, or microwave ovens in your living space. However, the bwrg1000’s high power output coupled with some longer whip antennas, seems to overcome even the “loudest” sources of 2.4 Ghz. interference.
Open Wi-Fi network by default. Initially, all wireless security protocols are disabled. So the default wireless networks are not secure. While this unit is capable of WPA2 authentication and encryption protocols, they must be activated manually via its web interface.
No automatic firmware update detection. This router never provided automatic polling for new firmware versions. They always had to be installed manually, and required a computer to do so.
Firmware updates no longer issued. Apparently, the Bountiful Wi-Fi company has gone out of business, and so, there haven’t been any new firmware version released since 2008.
Power supply not so great. We had to replace the 5-volt, 4-amp power adaptor for our bwrg100 several times, at considerable expense. Fortunately, the first time or two it failed were covered under the warranty. The next two times, we bought replacements on eBay. But then, we found some used laptop adapters that featured a 5-volt 6-amp output. After soldering the Bountiful power connector from one of the failed original adapters, onto the laptop supply, we never again experienced power supply failures with the bwrg1000.
No USB port. You cannot attach a USB hard drive or thumb drive, to share with other devices on the same wireless network.
Single WAN support only. So, no load balancing between different WAN (wide area network) networks available on this router.
No system recovery option. Should a firmware upgrade be interrupted or some other cause of firmware corruption occur, no immediate means is provided to restore the router to its previous, working version of the firmware. Note however that firmware parameters can be restored, if you’ve previously saved a backup of the router’s configuration file.
No gigabit Ethernet speeds. The fastest this router handles data is 100 Mbps (Fast Ethernet).
No multi-user MIMO. In fact, No MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) at all. The documentation makes no mention of this important feature, in which multiple antennas, transceivers, and ultra-fast internal processors enable this router to support numerous simultaneous users, without stutters, drop-outs, clicks, and freezes. True. This unit has two antennas, but only one transmitter and one receiver (one on each antenna). So this is not true MIMO, in which each antennal functions as both a transmitting and receiving antenna.
No Guest wireless networks. Though you can configure up to four different Wi-Fi networks on the bwrg1000, none of these functions as a guest network which would allow clients to access the Internet but not other devices on the local network.
Does not function as a media server. You cannot directly connect printers or storage devices to this router directly for sharing on your local wireless network.
IPv6 not supported. As long as IPv4 is still widely used throughout the Internet, this router will still function. However, widespread adoption of IPv6 will render this device obsolete and virtually useless.
Firmware versions Tested
- 188.8.131.52.295 Jan 11 2007, 17:42:44
- 184.108.40.206.415 Jul 25 2008, 13:55:42
The Bountiful WiFi WAP (wireless access point) and router was a reasonably priced and excellent-performing wireless G network solution among the several that we’ve owned. We’ve been immensely pleased with the purchase, and are sorry that the Bountiful Wi-Fi company didn’t built upon this technology with next generations. We particularly appreciate the long wireless range and reliability, as well as the intuitive web-based administration interface, which gives you precise control over tens of operational parameters, regulating overall behavior and function. The accomplished network systems professional will truly appreciate this router’s plethora of advanced settings and options. Yet the novice will like the built-in online help documentation and how little must be learned in order to set this up and tune it for best performance in his own networking environment. Bountiful WiFi designed this router well, to satisfy beginners and experts alike. The full power output virtually guarantees that you’ll experience the most reliable wireless network available for wireless G devices, even by today’s standards. So we’d rate this router at 94 out of 100.
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- 2017-02-04: Revised the tags list.
- 2015-10-27: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-08-01: Originally published.