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Linksys Wireless-G ADSL Gateway with SRX200
As we write this review we see that Wanadoo is in trouble with its TV advertising campaign for its high-speed broadband service coming in for some stick as being misleading about the speeds you can expect and general availability. A quick glance at Wanadoo’s website shows it making a proviso that your distance from the exchange will affect performance which could be as low as 2Mbit/sec. Even so, that’s not going to stop us bringing you reviews of the latest broadband routers with ADSL2/2+ support and we now turn our attention to Linksys and its Wireless-G ADSL Gateway.
It compares well on price with Netgear’s DG834PN so what, if anything, makes it stand out as the better choice? For starters it incorporates Linksys’ SRX200 wireless feature (Speed and Range eXpansion) which aims to boost performance six-fold and double coverage. Essentially, MIMO (multiple in multiple out) technology is at its heart as it sends out two radio signals and uses the scattering effect as these bounce of walls and other obstacles to increase range and speed. The top quoted speed is 108Mbit/sec and to benefit from this you’ll naturally need Linksys’ compliant wireless PC Cards. Linksys also offers more costly SRX wireless routers and the key difference is the access points have three aerials that claim to boost performance eight times and range by three times.
The ADSL Gateway is a very compact slab of plastic with a couple of fixed and very bendy aerials at the rear. The chassis doesn’t have any cooling vents but we found it only warm to the touch after running for a couple of days. It incorporates a standard four-port Fast Ethernet switch and integral ADSL modem and augments these with an 802.11b/g wireless access point.
Installation can take two paths as you can load the CD-ROM and use the quick start routine or connect a PC and point a web browser at the unit’s default IP address. The former runs you through physically connecting all the bits and pieces and then offers to set up your broadband connection. However, even though it suited us just fine it was disappointing to see that the only provider supported by this routine was BT. Commendably, the next few steps ask you to change the default administrative password and also sort out wireless access point activation and encryption.