Linksys WRT300N £114
1st Jan 2007 | 00:00
Can the Linksys live up to its price tag?
There's no missing the three antennae that sit on top of the Linksys WRT300N router. Two are conventional sticks, while the middle one looks like it was stolen from the head of Dr Who's sidekick, K9. The antennae are fully adjustable, so you can lay the router flat on a shelf or stand it vertically in the holder that is provided. It may look unconventional, but you'll still be able to wall-mount the Linksys, we're just not sure you'll like it in your living room.
Setup is standard, as you run the supplied CD and get taken through a step-by-step picture guide to help you connect the router correctly. However, this effort is somewhat spoilt as the activity lights for power, LAN, wireless, security and internet on the front of the router are dim.
To make matters worse, the four Ethernet ports are numbered one to four from top to bottom, while the activity lights run in the opposite order, so it's easy to get your connections confused.
Configuring the router is quick and simple and the help buttons make it easy to understand what each setting does, so you won't get confused when you choose between, say, a standard 20MHz channel or a wide 40MHz channel.
The firmware version is displayed at the top of the configuration screen. However, while we had version 2.00.11, the Linksys website was at version 0.93.9 and dated 26 September, so we left well alone.
Installation of the WPC300N PC Card was straightforward and the connection software did a good job of searching for available networks.
Despite the impressive specification, we found the range of the router dropped off sharply. At close range the connection speed was certainly good, but as the distance increased it became very poor, even when it was mated with the WPC300N adapter. Considering this is the most expensive hardware in the group we feel that it needs improvement, perhaps with revised firmware.