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Linksys WRT610N Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router Reviewed

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Introduction

Linksys WRT110

At a Glance
Product Linksys Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router (WRT610N)
Summary Second generation of popular dual-radio, dual-band Draft 802.11n router
Pros • Good routing performance
• Good wireless performance
• Gigabit switch
Cons • Can't set channel in Auto mode
• No jumbo frames
• Large periodic throughput dropouts

Linksys' WRT600N [reviewed] has been the product of choice for those itching for a dual-radio, dual-band draft 11n router. D-Link's DIR-855 [reviewed] is way late and way overpriced. And while there are plenty of Netgear's WNDR3300's around [reviewed], its "unique" combination of draft 11n and 11b/g radio and poor draft 11n performance doesn't make it a top choice.

But the WRT600N will be gone as soon as retailers clear out their stock and replaced by the WRT610N. The question on everyone's mind is whether moving the antennas inside and redesigning for manufacturability and lower cost has screwed up the top-selling dual-band draft 11n router. For those of you who can't wait, the answer is, it hasn't. For those who want more details, read on.

Internal Details

I already did a deep dive on the difference between the 600N and 610N. Basically, the 610N has the same processor and gigabit switch, but more memory, different (internal) antennas and different radios than the 600N.

WRT610N inside view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: WRT610N inside view

Features

The 610N is almost feature-for-feature the same as the 600N. If you need a feature rundown, check the WRT600N review and its slideshow.

The differences are that the 610N properly defaults to 20 MHz channel bandwidth for the 2.4 GHz radio, as per the Wi-Fi Alliance's Draft 2.0 Certification requirements. The 5 GHz radio defaults to Auto mode, which means that it will be using 40 MHz channels.

Just like the 600N, when the 610N's radios are set to Auto mode, you can't select the channel. Changing the Radio Band selector from Auto to Standard - 20 MHz Channel lets you directly set the channels for both radios, although you still have an Auto option in the Standard Channel selector. The 5 GHz radio can be set to channels 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157 and 161.

The other difference is that the 610N supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), so the Basic Wireless Settings page has radio buttons to select Manual and Wi-Fi Protected Setup (default) modes (like the WRT110). Figure 2 shows the WPS page, which reflects some of my manual security settings.

Basic wireless configuration
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: Basic wireless configuration

Remember not to futz with any wireless settings if you want WPS to work. I didn't test it because Linksys still hasn't added WPS support in the WPC600N Dual-Band Notebook card that I used for testing. Note that there is no button to restore the WPS settings to their defaults.




Related Items:

Inside Story: Linksys WRT610N vs. WRT600N
Linksys adds another dual-band dual-radio draft 802.11n router
Linksys WRT320N Dual-Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router Reviewed
Slideshow: D-Link DIR-628 RangeBooster N Dual Band Router
Slideshow: Netgear WNDR3300 RangeMax Dual-Band Wireless N Router

User reviews

Average user rating from: 4 user(s)

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.

User Rating    [Back to Top]
Overall: 
 
4.3 Features :
 
4.8 Performance :
 
4.5 Reliability :
 
3.5
 
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Was great till wireless died

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
2.0
Reviewed by Mike
December 10, 2010
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I have always been a fan of Linksys routers, my original WRT54G from 6 years ago is still goin strong. I have had this router for the past 14 months and its been working great until this week when my wireless completely died. I do run DD-WRT firmware but did not change the TX power up from the default of 74 mW.

I have tried for hours to fix it to no avail. Numerous hard resets and reboots, stock firmware change, etc but the wireless is gonzo. After reading some forum's I did read a few other users that suffered the same problem. One of them thought that Linksys build quality these days is not what it used to be.

Anyways, I hate to dump on Linksys because they have always made solid routers in the past and I'm not sure how common this problem is but this is just what happened to me. For my next router did some googling on "Best Wireless N Router + DDWRT" and I'm turning to the Asus RT-16N. Huge clock, ram, and flash and supports usb hard drive / printer sharing for $90. Sorry Linksys, maybe we'll meet another day.

 

No one still beats it!

Overall rating: 
 
4.3
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Gianmaria
October 12, 2010
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I'm a proud owner since the first day of usage, even better now whenI flashed with DD-WRT firmware: now I can ask my router everything but the coffee... Sure a powerful device ready for nowadays high speed small networks demands, even at home where multimedia streaming and massive download rates are a must.
Internal antennas could be improved a little to enhance connection rates but are quite good. I can't ask more than I already have. A great device, from every angle you rate it...

 

I like it!

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Andrew
August 04, 2010
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I like it!

 

Basically doesn't worth that much.

Overall rating: 
 
3.7
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by Mack Wong
April 28, 2010
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I got a WRT610N (version 1) about a year ago. I have a mixed environment of Macs and Windows PCs, 802.11b/g/n, 10/100/1000M Ethernet clients (Yea, a lot of them).

Wired connection is reliable and fast as expected. However there're some problem with wireless connection.

If you have 802.11b devices and want to use WPA encryption, this router doesn't work. I tried many times and different configurations and still no luck. My 802.11b devices used to connect to my LevelOne 3406TX with WPA encryption. I phoned Linksys and they told me to use WEP (which is compromised) or no encryption. One of the support staff even told me to adjust the MTU size (does that matter?), hide SSID, apply MAC address lock and use without encryption.

So, if you got 802.11b devices that you are still using, don't think of the WRT610N. Version 2 hardware doesn't help neither.

Moreover, this router has random locks up. Few days ago it just stops routing packets to the internet. It got IP address, DNS, Subnet mask and everything. However all of my computers were just limited to local access. I tried restore factory defaults but it doesn't help. At the end I cloned the MAC address from one of the computer and it started working. So I reverted to its own MAC Address again and see if it still works - and it worked.

This router is a bit weird and generally speaking... if you ask me, I won't recommend it. It's overpriced for such quality.

I'm sure you can find more unhappy users in local forums or Google.

 
 

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