The Kanex mySpot ($59.99 MSRP) is a tiny access point (AP) used to create a wireless network when you only have one wired Internet connection. MySpot is handy if, for example, you are in a hotel room or convention hall and only have access to one live Ethernet cable. Kanex specializes in devices for Apple, and keeping in line with the wants of many Apple fans, the company makes mySpot very easy to set up. In fact setup is much simpler than most other travel routers and access points—it’s practically plug-and-play. But this device serves only as a wireless AP: It doesn’t offer any router functionality.
This means you don’t get DHCP capabilities or the ability to create a robust network in which clients can share data. The Kanex mySpot can only deliver Internet access to wireless clients in the situation where you only have one wired connection via an Ethernet cableMySpot also is limited in that it only supports WEP and 802.11 b/g. While it works as advertised, there are other travel routers on the market that deliver more functionality.
The pocket-sized mySpot looks like a chunky Pez candy dispenser. Its dimensions are 2.27 “x 1.0″ x 0.75″ (HDW). The device connects to a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port on a laptop or some other client. The USB plug tucks into a groove on the mySpot and is removed from that groove when plugging into a laptop, for instance. The other end of mySpot has a soft, removable cap which exposes an Ethernet port.
MySpot can only create a 2.4GHz WLAN that supports 802.11b/g. It also supports only WEP security, lacking the more secure WPA and WPA2. You can password-protect the WLAN you create with a 5 or 13 character ASCII password. Still, I would be hesitant to conduct any sensitive Internet business with this setup, such as online banking or shopping with credit cards.
Because mySpot is an AP and has no routing functionality, it picks up the settings of the network of the wired Ethernet connection. So whatever IP addressing information that Ethernet cable’s network has, will be passed onto any clients connected to the mySpot wirelessly. You have no control over IP addresses with the Kanex device. Again, since the purpose is not to create a full-featured wireless LAN, that’s suitable for those only looking to get their tablet and smart phone connected to the single Internet connection available in a hotel room.
To set up mySpot, I plugged the USB connector into a USB 2.0 port of a Dell laptop. I then plugged an Ethernet cable attached to DSL broadband into the MySpot’s Ethernet port.
MySpot has two LEDs—one lights blue up when it detects a live Internet connection, and the other lights up red when it’s connected to USB (I find it absolutely annoying when vendors use a red LED for a problem-free connection on networking products. Most network administrators are only used to seeing reds and oranges when there are connection issues!)
After I connected the mySpot, I had an unsecured SSID named Kanex MySpot-A5F. I connected to this network and was able to get into the mySpot’s web-based interface. There isn’t a lot to configure with this simple device. You can change the SSID from the default as well as create a password, or change the wireless channel. This is the extent of the settings. You can’t even hide the SSID for extra protection against prying eyes. That’s all there really is to setup.
I was easily able to connect two laptops to the mySpot WLAN using either a 5 character or 13 character password. I was able to connect an Android phone with no security, but once I set up either a 5 or 13 character password enabling WEP, I could not connect my phone. This is a potentially major problem with the mySpot. Not all devices can connect with WEP encryption. Once I removed the password (removing the WEP encryption) I was able to connect my Android phone without issue. For Kanex to be of more value, it would need to have WPA2 encryption, which is supported by most popular wireless devices and gadgets.
Easy Setup is Best Feature
I really like how easy mySpot is to set up. Travel routers and APs can often be confusing to configure for the average user on the go. Unfortunately, a lack of modern-level wireless encryption and no support for 802.11N are major oversights with this device. Since it works as advertised, it gets 2.5 out of 5 stars. For a better option, check out our Editors’ Choice travel Wi-Fi router—the ZuniConnect Travel Router, which supports 802.11 b/g/n, handles IP addressing intelligently, and supports WPA2.
More Router Reviews:
|Device Type||Access Point|
|Networking Options||802.11n (2.4 GHz only)|
|Access Control Lists Based on MAC Addresses||Yes|
|Security||WEP, WPA, WPA2|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc