Linksys WRT610N Dual Band 802.11n Gigabit Router - Network Performance and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Linksys WRT610N Dual Band 802.11n Gigabit Router
Closer Look, Features and Specs
Linksys WRT610N Web Interface
Network Performance and Final Thoughts

Network Performance:

As far as performance goes, we fired up iperf to do a little benchmarking on this router.  Iperf results show bandwidth that the network is actually capable of.  In the real world, you won't see wired transfer rates approaching 1000mpbs because hard drives are barely fast enough to read and write at this speed.  Also, CPU overhead becomes an issue when transferring this much data.  We use iperf with confidence as it shows how good the network hardware actually is and if it can perform anywhere close to its rated specs.

Network Speed

 

For reference we have compared the WRT610N to the DIR-655DGL-4500 and most recently the TEW-672GR.  All of these routers support 802.11n and GB wired Ethernet.  A USB stick was used to connect a desktop to the WRT610N while a laptop was used to connect to the 802.11n network using the D-Link DWA-652 Xtreme N Notebook Adapter.  Although the performance results are not exactly apples-to-apples, they do show the maturity of the hardware (both router and wireless connected clients) as the 802.11n standard evolves.

We ran through several instances of iperf and each instance transferred data for 5 minutes.  The results were averaged are displayed above.  As you can see the DIR-655 is violently overthrown as the 802.11n king by the WRT610N.  The DGL-4500 shows respectable G/N mixed performance but the Linksys WRT610N once again takes the proverbial wireless cake.  In terms of wired network performance, both the WRT610N and the D-Link DGL-4500 come in neck-and-neck.  Keep in mind that network cable will play a major role here.  We used Cat.6 cable for our tests although Cat.5e is supposed to work with GB networks as well.

 

Final Thoughts:

It was nice getting a chance to play with a high-end Linksys router and see what they've been up to over the past few years.  The WRT610N is currently the fastest consumer oriented router from Linksys and it is indeed just that - fast.  The wireless 802.11n performance is blistering fast as is the mixed mode 802.11g.  I was able to easily connect to either SSID/band and it is interesting to be able to set different encryption to both.  Overall, connectivity and ease of use was top notch.

One thing I do have a beef about though is the QoS capability.  As the D-Link DGL-4500 has a dynamic netspeed capability and the WRT610N does not, I did in fact notice that at night some of my games experienced a lot of lag.  This occurred when playing Call of Duty 4 while other computers were using the network and internet connections for video watching and web surfing.  My gameplay experience suffered so much that I swapped back in my DGL-4500 and gameplay smoothed out immediately.  This worked for a couple of maps without issue and I wanted to see if the traffic load has cleared up or if the DGL-4500 did in fact have better QoS.  I swapped back to the WRT610N and once again experienced some lag issues.  Clearly the DGL-4500 has better QoS.

The WRT610N is still a great router however as it offers simultaneous connectivity to 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.  When using the DGL-4500, the mixed mode saw a performance hit while the Linksys router excels in this area.  Overall, if you want a blistering fast router for your home or small office, you can't go wrong with the Linksys WRT610N router.  It also supports the Linksys Home Network Defender for added security as well.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent port forwarding / masking
  • Passes all firewall tests
  • Simultaneous dual-band wireless with separate configuration
  • Handy and simple NAS feature through USB port
  • Blistering fast wireless and wired network performance

 

Cons:

  • QoS features are not as good as the competition
  • One of the more expensive consumer routers on the market

 

While the WRT610N may not be for the most cost conscious consumer, the fact that it handles internal network traffic so fast - and has a built-in NAS feature makes it a great product for the price.  You simply have to plug in an external USB HDD or even a flash drive and you've got a network attached storage device.  If QoS was a little better, it would score close to a perfect 10.  As it is, the breakdown is posted below.

BCCRating

 

Editors Choice

 

Even though the cost of the WRT610N is a bit high, I believe you get what you pay for in terms of performance and a NAS server.  It's a great product that only lacks in the QoS department - but is still a great product.

I'd like to thank Linksys for sending us up the WRT610N Router. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.