Linksys WRT610N Dual Band 802.11n Gigabit Router
|Linksys WRT610N Dual Band 802.11n Gigabit Router|
|Closer Look, Features and Specs|
|Linksys WRT610N Web Interface|
|Network Performance and Final Thoughts|
Linksys is not a new name in the home networking market and their parent company, Cisco, has roots that run deep in the enterprise market. They are often one of the first names many people think of when it comes to home networking and today we have their latest flagship home network router - the WRT610N on our bench for a review. This router features four Gigabit wired Ethernet ports as well as support for Wireless 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n draft 2.0. In order to achieve this, it operates on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Both 802.11a and 802.11n use the 5GHz band but only wireless "n" can offer speeds of up to 300Mbps. 5GHz wireless "a" will run at 54Mbps.
Many users will no doubt wonder why the need for dual bands and the answer is quite simple. The 2.4GHz frequency range often interferes with microwaves, cordless phones and is quite frankly saturated with a host of machines. Adding the simultaneous 5GHz band allows for a lot of extra traffic without bottle-necking. If you want to stream HD content while doing a host of other wireless file sharing this will be especially true. Keep on reading to see if Linksys delivers what they promise or if we're left feeling depressed at the end.
This router also supports handy features like port forwarding, MAC authentication, USB attached storage and separate control of both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band. The list of features is pretty long and the product is pretty slick so let's jump in.
Linksys by Cisco has kept with the now standard design on this router and other than the color scheme, you can't tell it from their new WRT54G or WRT310N products. The WRT610N comes with a nice blue on black color palette though and looks pretty slick. Also in the box is the power adapter, network cable and a manual and a CD with their LELA (Linksys Easy Link Advisor).
Linksys typically does a nice job with retail packaging and this time is no exception. The overall finish of the product is very shiny and the styling makes the router look "fast". It has the appearance of a Lamborghini instead of the F-150 look of D-Link products. That being said, the finish is very prone to fingerprints and if handled much, it looks horrible and will need to be cleaned. That's something that you don't have to worry about with other routers. In the image above, you can see the protective film that ships on the WRT610N. This is to protect it from scratches and fingerprints and within 10 minutes of removing the film, the router looked dirty - never to look perfectly shiny and new again.
On the next page we'll take a closer look at this unit and cover the features and specifications.