The P-660HW may be at the budget end of ZyXEL's fairly extensive range of ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) 2+ broadband routers, but it doesn't skimp on features. Supplying everything you need to set up your PC with a wireless broadband connection, its £50 price tag is enticing. You get a built-in firewall, 802.11g networking and a four-port 10/100 ethernet switch.
And ZyXEL didn't cut costs by assembling a flimsy piece of kit. The P-660HW is sturdy and compact – and it comes with a full complement of nine indicator LEDs.
The integrated firewall supports SPI (stateful packet inspection) functions, which will protect against DoS (denial-of-service) attacks, while the media bandwidth management function allows you to prioritise certain types of network traffic, such as VoIP (voice over IP) or Xbox Live. This ensures that your phonecalls or gaming aren't interrupted or degraded by lower-priority tasks such as BitTorrent downloads or any other transfers that don't rely on being able to maintain smooth sound quality or consistent frame rates.
Although the packaging makes the product look rather technical, the provided setup software is really easy to use. An animated multimedia tutorial literally talks you through the main functions of the product, how to set it up and the way it should all look when properly connected.
If you follow the instructions, the wireless adapter will find the router and set up a connection. There are no preconfigured wireless security or one-button setup functions, but WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security protocols are supported.
Unlike with some other routers, these options are tucked away in the advanced section of the router's web-based menu. While initial setup has been made easy, the hand-holding seems to stop as soon as you need to go beyond very basic configuration.