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You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews The One To Beat: Linksys WRT400N Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router Reviewed

The One To Beat: Linksys WRT400N Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router Reviewed

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Introduction

Linksys WRT400N

At a Glance
Product Linksys Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (WRT400N)
Summary Value-priced, Atheros-based dual-radio, dual-band 802.11n Draft 2.0 router with 10/100 switch.
Pros • Good routing performance
• Good wireless performance
Cons • Can't set channel in Auto mode
• 10/100 switch
• Hasn't solved the 5 GHz range problem

The WRT400N's concept is simple—get the cost of a dual-band, two-radio draft 802.11n router closer to the magic $100 price point by reducing parts count and using a 10/100 switch instead of gigabit.

Although Cisco made it to only around $130, I found that the WRT400N out-performed not only the Linksys WRT610N, but some other dual-band draft-11n products as well.

Internal Details

I already did a detailed review of the 400N's insides (along with the new WRT320N and WET610N). The 400N is a complete redesign of the 600N, using an all-Atheros design including an AR7161 600 MHz Wireless Network Processing Unit (WNPU), dual-band AR9220 and single-band AR9223 single-chip draft 11n radios, AR8216 10/100 switch, 32 MB of RAM and 8 MB of flash (Figure 1).

WRT400N inside view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: WRT400N inside view

Routing Features

The 400N hews closely to the Linksys router standard feature set. Aside from the WRT400N in the upper right corner of the admin screens, you would think you were driving a 600 or 610N.

The 400N's routing features include:

  • DHCP, Static, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Telstra Cable WAN types
  • Built-in Dynamic DNS clients for TZO and DynDNS
  • Static and dynamic routing
  • SPI firewall disable, multicast, WAN ping and IDENT filtering and Proxy, Java, ActiveX and Cooking blocking
  • IPsec, PPTP and L2TP VPN passthrough (enabled by default)
  • Single port forwarding and Port Range forwarding and triggered ports
  • HTTPS admin access, remote management (HTTP / HTTPS) enable with IP range restriction and port setting
  • Logging with support for Linksys Logviewer recording
  • Access Restrictions with 10 deny or allow-based policies, each with its own list of clients and day/time schedule
  • Uplink (LAN to WAN) only QoS with High, Medium, Normal or Low Priority that can be applied to specific applications (divided into Application, Online Game and Voice Device groups), physical switch ports or specific MAC addresses.
  • WMM (Wireless MultiMedia) (enabled by default)

If you need further details, check the WRT600N review and its slideshow.

WRT400N Basic setup page
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: WRT400N Basic setup page

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the 400N using our standard test method is summarized in Table 1, along with the 610N's test results for comparison. WAN to LAN measured 92.7 Mbps, while LAN to WAN came in at 92.6 Mbps—essentially 100 Mbps wire-speed.

But the simultaneous routing throughput measured 148.9 Mbps, which is actually slightly better than the WRT610N. Which goes to show that just because a router has a gigabit switch, it isn't necessarily faster. Both the 400N and 610N maxed out the Maximum Simultaneous Connections test at 200 connections.

Test Description WRT400N
Throughput - (Mbps)
WRT610N
Throughput - (Mbps)
WAN - LAN
92.7
136
LAN - WAN
92.6
157
Total Simultaneous
148.9
143
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 200 200
Firmware Version
1.0.01 B19
1.000.00 B17
Table 1: Routing throughput

Figure 3 is a composite plot of the three routing tests, which shows nice, steady routing throughput. Use the Router Charts to see how the 400N stacks up against other routers.

WRT400N Routing throughput composite plot
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: WRT400N Routing throughput composite plot



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User reviews

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Average user rating from: 6 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.

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Overall: 
 
3.6 Features :
 
4.2 Performance :
 
3.3 Reliability :
 
3.2
 
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Not reliable

Overall rating: 
 
2.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by az
September 29, 2010
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I've tried everything to get this router working. Even flashed it with DD-WRT. Everything works fine except wireless.

 

WRT400N is the best

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by ian
April 22, 2010
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WRT400N is one of the best router that the linksys had. Aside from its powerful hardware components, the connections on it is stable both wired and wireless. To customers who are experiencing intermittent you can check the linksys website coz I think there are newly updates for the firmware and I believe that that will surely solve the issue that we had with the WRT400N. I would surely recommend this to everyone.

 

Not Reliable...

Overall rating: 
 
3.3
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
2.0
Reviewed by Dave McLain
April 13, 2010
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A few weeks ago my aunt bought one of these to replace her WRT54G which had been working well for years. They have a very fast connection cable modem at their house and someone told them that their router was limiting their download speeds etc.

They live 800 miles away from me but I got the call to assist them in the setup of the WRT400N which went well. We upgraded to the latest firmware and we had everything working. Performance was great both wired and wireless with good coverage in their large home.

After a few days they called me and said that the connection was down and power cycling the router cured the problem. Then they were out of town for a few days and when they got home the connection was down again. We found that the administration pages could all be accessed and the wireless was working but the router could not get an IP address from the ISP on it's WAN connection. After several repeats of the above scenario we found that the router could not maintain or more importantly reestablish a connection after a few days of operation.

I would have flashed it with DD-WRT but that's tough to do at a distance. I do feel that this was all a firmware problem and it's a shame because the WRT400N seems like some very nice hardware.

The ended up returning the router to the store and exchanging it for a Linksys E2000(same as or nearly the same as the WRT320N). Now all is well.

 

DD-WRT is available

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by michael
April 09, 2010
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I gave it 4 stars ONLY because a recent DD-WRT build has fixed all my issues with this router.
Before that all i had was problems, i had wifi dropouts every single day sometimes as many as 10 times a day (requiring me to restart the unit).
I had RMA'ed it to Linksys only to receive a new unit with the same problems.
About a month ago DD-WRT f/w became available and i jumped on the opportunity to test it.
Since then i am a happy user, no dropouts, the web interface is much much better than the default linksys one, and it also opened several abilities that were unavailable with the stock f/w.

If any of you guys are experiencing the issues i've described (and judging by the forums there are a lot of us) i'd try the DD-WRT...

 

New firmware is available

Overall rating: 
 
4.3
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Les
March 19, 2010
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Updated firmware is available on the Linksys website. It was just recently posted, and fixes a number of bugs. None the less, I was already satisfied with the WRT400N wireless router.

 
 
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