ZyXEL P-660HN-T1 £40
17th Feb 2011 | 10:00
A budget router that offers 802.11n Wi-Fi
The ZyXEL P-660HN-T1A stands out for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is single band and only uses 2.4GHz. Thankfully, this is balanced by the second reason, which is that the P-660HN-T1A is very cheap.
At the time of writing, it has yet to go on sale, but we are assured it will sell for a mere £40 (inc. VAT).
The matching NWD2105 N-Lite USB adapter is a tiny piece of kit that only protrudes 25mm from the USB port. It comes with a short USB extension cable and has an amber activity LED that doubles up as a WPS button, yet it sells for just £14.
The management utility is called ZyXEL Wireless N-Lite USB adapter utility and works well enough.
The design of the P-660HN-T1A is rather basic, but it seems very functional. The router stands vertically on a base that is a moulded part of the ventilated casing. The four LAN ports are 10/100 rather than Gigabit and there is no USB port for a printer or external storage. However, you do get an ADSL2+ modem.
ZyXEL has included Ethernet and phone cables, but neglected to stick a phone filter in the box.
We popped apart the casing to see if we could get a clue about the absurdly low price and came away none the wiser. The 802.11n, wireless, Ethernet and ADSL2+ chips all use Ralink technology and are made by Trend Chip and there is a single internal antenna made by M.gear.
The default configuration IP address and password are conveniently printed inside the front cover of the quickstart guide. The software insists you replace the default password of 1234 with something more secure. One annoyance is that the sticker on the base gives the default key for wireless security, but doesn't mention that the encryption is WPA2-PSK.
Connection and signal quality were good. However, the speed was noticeably slower than newer 5GHz models.
ZyXEL has delivered a competent ADSL2+ router at an amazingly low price. This is a superbly cheap way to get online with 802.11n wireless speeds.
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