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The Linksys WAG160N N300 is an ADSL2+ wireless modem router, meaning it has a a modem built in. It is for use with BT Internet connections rather than for use with a Cable broadband connection (i.e. Virgin) although a Cable version is also available. Itís an ADSL2 router, which means it supports the newer ADSL standard, which could mean faster transfer speeds although this really depends on your line quality, distance from Exchange, service with ISP, etc. The router currently costs £74.99 from PC World but a bit less at £59.99 on their website. I bought mine about 8 months ago on Ebuyer for around £55.
IN THE BOX
You receive two ADSL filter s, RJ11 cable, user manual, manual and software CD, power adapter and lastly, the router itself.
THE ROUTER ITSELF
One thing I quite like about the router is that it looks quite stylish. Itís grey and black in colour and doesnít have any external antennas. Only problem is that it seems to pick up dust. One thing Iím not very keen on is that it gets rather hot. Not to the point where it can burn your hands but I think that if it ran cooler, it would last longer in the long run. Either way, the router is very stable but may be a problem if you store it in a confined location. It has 4 ethernet ports for those whom have the router near their PC and do not want to use wireless.
There are two ways of setting up the router. Easiest way for most would be to load up the CD on your computer, follow the instructions and configure the router step by step. Being the geek that I am, I go the other route and just log into the router by entering the router's IP address into my browser. Once logged in, the interface is very straight forward to configure. Main option being the Internet settings for your broadband, which usually consists of a username and password you set up with your ISP (Internet Service Provider). In my case, my settings are bit different as I'm with BE broadband (owned by O2) but even so, I managed to set it up for my ISP without any problems (with some helpful guidance from my ISP). Other ones being Wireless and it's security, and port forwarding, all of which are very easy to set up.
CONNECTIVITY (SPEED / RELIABILITY)
Overall speed of the connection varies from line to line and can be determined by many factors but the WAG160N was giving me around 8Mbit download speeds and a 1Mbit upload. I was getting this on BEís Be Unlimited package which offers (Up to) 24Mbit download. Iím sure that I would have been able to get 24Mbit download with this router had I been next door to the BT Exchange so itís not the routerís fault (more this countryís shoddy broadband technology). I have since downgraded to BEís 8Mbit package and I do get just under 8Mbit download most of the time so itís not bad. Someone else I know has this same router and he gets 11Mbit on his O2 connection.
In terms of the broadband connection, aside from ISP problems, I donít believe the router caused any down time. However, one thing I donít like about the routers' configuration pages is that there is no option to restart the router, meaning I need to unplug and plug it back in. I prefer to be able to do things remotely for convenience.
It has a 300Mbit wireless, which is very fast and is of course, using the newer Wireless N standard providing the extra speed and range. When I have machines connected to the wireless network, download speeds are like they were on a wired connection. On my laptop (Samsung X460), it gives me a 130Mbit wireless connection which is probably the laptops maximum wireless speed. Signal strength ranges from Good to Excellent around the house and it connects to the wireless network quite quickly (of course, problems can also be to do with the operating system). My netbook (Samsung NC10), also gives me good speeds at the wireless 54G standard (54Mbit). It's also easy to connect new machines to the network via the wireless assuming you've entered the wireless key correctly. It supports all the usual WEP, WPA, etc wireless security standards as well as MAC code control.
Unfortunately, Iíve found that it is not all good as two machines in my conservatory seem to randomly lose the wireless connection despite the signal strength being excellent. This resulted in a lot of whinging from my parents and a lot of head scratching by myself. I've tried several USB dongles to try to resolve this problem to no avail. These include a Netgear Wireless N RangeMax USB dongle, a Linksys Wireless N USB dongle and even a Negear PCI 54G wireless card.
The machines are only about 7 metres from the router with just one wall with a window so not sure why. Interference en-route? Switching to a Belkin wireless router resolved the problem so Iím suspecting the Belkin performs better than the Linksys, which is a shame for the Linksys.
On a brighter note, the wireless connection on my PC when I was using the Linksys, using a Linksys Wireless N USB dongle, is solid. Reliability is excellent and only times I've lost the connection was more due to Windows or the USB dongle as just unplugging and plugging it back in or disconnecting the wireless and reconnecting resolved connection issues.
User Manual and firmware upgrades can be downloaded from the Linksys website. There werenít any upgrades available for me when I last checked but Linksys are a big company so I would imagine they would release upgrades if they discover problems with the router or if they just want to add new functionality in the future.
- Easy to configure - Supports ADSL2 and provides good speeds - Fast wireless speeds - Good brand - Generally quite reliable - Good range
- Gets a bit warm - No restart router option in router configuration - Picks up dust - Wireless was unreliable for PCs
Linksys is now a division of Cisco so one can expect good quality. The router itself performs well, is reliable but unfortunately for me, I had reliability issues with certain PCs but I still recommend this router as the problems I suffered may just be something at my house. I gave this router to a friend and he's not had any problems with it (and he's a Mac user). For the price, this router is very good. However, if you have more cash to spare, I can also recommend the Belkin N300+, which I am currently using without any problems.
Thanks for reading!
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My ADSL is a Livebox by Orange (formerly Wanadoo) which supports 2 Ethernet and up to 4 Wireless connections (with the WEP key) ~ I can connect my MSi WiND from outside across the car park however with the Ethernet connection and the Dell laptop, sometimes there is a problem with the Gateway or DNS resolution
. . . ♥ jes ♥
arnoldhenryrufus 03.10.2009 01:44
sounds a good router we have a belkin at the moment - lyn x