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A few months back, a reader asked us to review a couple of entry-level draft 802.11n wireless routers. You know, the ones that sell for $50-$70 and have two, instead of three, antennas. His simple question was whether they performed as well as their more expensive three-antennas cousins. Well, one thing led to another and, before I knew it, I had six examples of the low-end of the latest flavor of Wi-Fi to hit the airwaves.
Since I have been posting test results, slideshows and mini-reviews for each product as I have gone along, this review will focus on analyzing the results and trying to answer the original question. And, yes, I'll name a "winner" among the group, which is comprised of:
- Belkin N Wireless Router (F5D8233-4)
- D-Link Wireless-N Router (DIR-615)
- D-Link RangeBooster N Router (DIR-625)
- Linksys Wireless-N Home Router (WRT150N)
- Linksys Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Broadband Router (WRT160N)
- Trendnet 300Mbps Wireless N Home Router (TEW-632BRP)
Why this group? Well, the two D-Links were included because they are very similar in design and I wanted to see if they performed differently. I originally was going to look at just the WRT150N, which Linksys says has been its best-selling Draft 11n router. But since the recently-introduced WRT160N will be replacing it, I decided to do both. I rounded out the group with the Trendnet and Belkin products because both are inexpensive and met the two-antenna criteria. One other requirement for all products was that they had to be Wi-Fi Certified for 802.11n Draft 2.0.
I also asked each vendor to send a "recommended" USB or CardBus client adapter, which also had to be Draft 2.0 Certified. The adapters used in the testing were:
- Belkin N Wireless Notebook Card (F5D8013 )
- D-Link Wireless-N USB Adapter (DWA-130)
- D-Link RangeBooster N Notebook Adapter (DWA-642)
- Linksys Ultra RangePlus Dual-Band Wireless-N PC Card (WPC600N)
Trendnet sent its TEW-621PC card, but it couldn't be used since it didn't have connectors that were compatible with the Azimuth test system.
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
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