Linksys WRT350N Wireless-N Router with Storage Link Review - Linksys WRT350N Review

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Prior to performance testing we updated the test router with the latest firmware v2.00.17 and successfully accessed the shares from Boston Supermicro PCs running XP SP2 and Vista Ultimate. Real world performance started with a Buffalo FireStix and for general file copy operations we saw read and write speeds of 6.3MB/sec and 5MB/sec. The FileZilla FTP client reported almost identical speeds for read and write operations. Next we turned to a 300GB Maxtor external USB desktop drive and copying a 690MB video clip returned read and write speeds of 5.4MB/sec and 4.7MB/sec. Lastly, we tested large file transfers using FTP to copy a 2.5GB video clip to the Maxtor drive and saw this completed in 431 seconds for an average write speed of 6MB/sec.
(centre)”’Linksys WPC300N PC Card used for testing (not supplied).”’(/centre)


Standard router features are good as you get an SPI firewall and a DMZ for one system whilst forwarding rules can be created for a single port and ranges as well. Internet access can be limited with up to ten policies where each one contains a schedule, a list of PCs defined by their MAC or IP address and a URL or keyword list.


You can only add four URLs and four keywords to each policy but each can also be used to block up to three applications where you select a service and port range or add you own custom applications. QoS (quality of service) is on the menu and traffic priorities can be applied to applications, voice devices, individual MAC addresses and even a specific Ethernet port.


Wireless security features look good as well as you can activate SSID masking, MAC address filter lists and WEP or WPA/WPA2 encryption. You have WPA Personal and Enterprise with the latter requiring an external RADIUS server for user authentication. As expected with all wireless N products performance is well below the claimed figures. Using a Linksys WPC300N PC Card in our 1.6GHz Fujitsu Siemens notebook running Windows XP SP2 we saw a modest 47Mbps when copying a 690MB video clip over a close range WPA encrypted link.


”’Verdict”’


The extra storage sharing features make the WRT350N unusual and considering it’s a secondary function, file transfer performance is quite reasonable. General router features are a cut above the rest and comparing its price tag with more common wireless N routers shows that it’s good value as well.

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