This review appears in the December 06 issue of PC Advisor – available from 19 October – as part of our definitive guide to wireless networking.

The Linksys WRT300N router is a Mimo device with a difference – instead of three identical antennae, it has two plus a large paddle-shaped antenna between them, which should give you hours of twiddling fun. This draft-N router features the usual four-port fast ethernet switch, but for internet access it has a standard RJ-45 ethernet port – so you'll need a separate external cable or ADSL modem. It has a very full feature list, which includes an SPI firewall, a DHCP server, DMZ and VPN pass-throughs and WPA2 security. Curiously, it sports a padlock button hidden under a 'reserved' sticker; presumably a one-touch WPA setup button or some such.

The WRT300N, which is based on the Broadcom Intensi-fi chipset, was easy enough to get going. Although provided with a setup wizard, we just plugged the Linksys router into our ADSL router and off we went. A slick setup procedure is available for the more cautious. The Linksys uses the very familiar Linksys web-management front-end with a few bells and whistles here and there. The WRT300N has top QoS support. QoS can now be applications, voice devices, individual MAC addresses, or a specific ethernet port.

Under test, the WRT300N wasn't bad, but it didn't shine – it could manage a peak data rate of 36Mbps in our QCheck close test, dropping to 33Mbps in our far test. Clearly a long way short of the 12X speed gain claimed on the box. For comparison's sake, a fast ethernet wired connection managed 90Mbps.

Linksys WRT300N: Specs

  • Wireless router
  • close-range speed 36Mbps
  • long-range speed 33Mbps
  • Wireless router
  • close-range speed 36Mbps
  • long-range speed 33Mbps

OUR VERDICT

One of the better and relatively inexpensive draft-N routers on the market, but it still falls short of the draft-N speed claims.

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