Even in 2014, some internet-capable devices lack built-in wifi. Some manufacturers offer external wifi dongles that connect to proprietary ports – but these devices typically cost a fortune. Some devices work with standard USB wifi adapters – and for some, the old-fashioned cable is the only option.
Enter Yamaha’s YWA-10 wireless adapter. A neat little box designed for use with Yamaha products that connects to your existing wifi network and offers 2 ethernet ports for devices that lack built-in wifi. I initially received this unit for review with the Yamaha MCR-N560, but it turned out to be such a useful device that I decided to give it a mini review of its own.
Essentially acting as a wireless network bridge, the YWA-10 connects to your existing network and provides 2 ethernet ports to connect your devices. Power is via USB, designed to be powered via the USB jacks on the rear of Yamaha’s network-capable products. It can be powered, however, from a computer (as described in the manual) or other USB devices which provide power.
The device can be configured in a couple of different ways – if your router supports WPS, the WPS button on the device can be used to setup all the necessary settings and get you up and running.
If your router has no such function, the device provides a web management interface that can be accessed by connecting the device directly to a computer and entering ‘ywa-setup’ or ‘192.168.1.249’ in the address bar of your browser. The interface resembles that of any standard router, and provides many similar functions including status reporting, firmware upgrade, etc.
Once setup, it’s simply a matter of hooking the device up to power in your AV rack, and connecting ethernet cables from your devices. The unit provides 2 ethernet jacks, so you can connect, for example, a streamer and an AV receiver.
In use, I experienced no dropouts. The connection, both ethernet and wifi, remained solid throughout. The unit remained cool to the touch, and the tiny size made it easy to hide away behind the hi-fi.
At this point, you may be asking yourself ‘Self, why don’t I just opt for a standard network bridge’? Sure, you could do that – and get the same results. The YWA-10 is, essentially, just that – a network bridge. But cheaper network bridges, or even basic routers, tend to be fairly large in size, and covered in flashy lights – not something you want on your kit rack. The Yamaha is tiny, easy to hide, and gets the job done. It’s reliable, too – something that certainly cannot be said for some of the cheaper routers on the market.
If you have a Yamaha system, it’s a no-brainer. Pick one up. And, even if you don’t, providing you have a component that can provide USB power, it’s equally as good.