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You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews Not-So-Brilliant Disguise: Linksys By Cisco WRT120N Wireless-N Home Router Reviewed

Not-So-Brilliant Disguise: Linksys By Cisco WRT120N Wireless-N Home Router Reviewed

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Introduction

Linksys By Cisco WRT120N Wireless-N Home Router

At a Glance
Product Linksys By Cisco Wireless-N Home Router (WRT120N)
Summary 802.11b/g router built with Atheros Align single-stream (1x1) draft 802.11n chipset
Pros • 90 Mbps routing speed
Cons • Not Draft 802.11n Certified
• Only guaranteed to support 54 Mbps link rate with draft 11n clients
• Low throughput and/or high variation with some draft 11n clients

If you've been following along, you know that I'm not a fan of the emerging crop of routers using single-stream draft 802.11n technology. If you haven't, then take a few minutes to read Buyers Beware! Single Stream Draft 802.11n Products Bring Back Spec Spin for some general background and Three Things You Should Know About The Linksys WRT120N for my specific criticisms of the misleading marketing that Cisco is doing with the WRT120N.

For those of you who are in a rush, here are the three bullets from the latter article:

  • It's not Draft 802.11n Certified
  • It supports only a maximum 150 Mbps Link Rate (actually 65 Mbps with out-of-the-box defaults)
  • You don't really save that much vs. a real draft 11n router

My real beef with Cisco is that they are marketing the WRT120N as a "Wireless-N" router. This is the same naming they use with their draft 802.11n compliant and Wi-Fi Certified products, which the WRT120N is not. And to add to the confusion, the 120N recycles the product name (Wireless-N Home Router) from the now-defunct WRT150N, which was a Wi-Fi Certified draft 11n router.

But even worse, the PDF spec sheet downloadable from the product webpage said that the WRT120N complied with the draft 802.11n standard (Figure 1).

WRT120N spec change

Figure 1: WRT120N spec change

Cisco changed the data sheet just a few days ago as shown above, however, when I pointed out that the 802.11n spec requires that draft 802.11n APs support two spatial streams (which is why single-stream APs / routers can't be draft 802.11n certified).

But I hope that Cisco will also address my request to either rename the router to incorporate the "150" nomenclature that is used by Belkin (N150 Wireless Router), D-Link (DIR-600 Wireless 150 Router) and NETGEAR (WNR1000 N150 / RangeMax 150 Wireless Router) in their single-stream products, or to use the RangePlus-n branding used for the single-stream WRT110.

I'll step off my soapbox now and get on with the review. Figure 2 shows the WRT120N's front panel, which uses the series of backlit icons seen in other current Linksys routers. There is also a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) pushbutton for quickly setting up a secure connection with a wireless client that supports WPS.

WRT120N Front Panel

Figure 2: WRT120N Front Panel

The rear panel layout (Figure 3) is pretty standard, too. There are wall-mount screw slots on the bottom panel.

WRT120N Back Panel

Figure 3: WRT120N Back Panel



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User reviews

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Average user rating from: 16 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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Find another way to throw your money away

Overall rating: 
 
2.0
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
2.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Gorkem KINIK
December 12, 2011
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I need to mentioned to goods first as there's a few. User friendly and adequate features for small networks and administration. Beautiful device like a fancy cheap dvd player. That's all.

Here's some things you need to know while using this drama queen.
1- Don't expect high wireless speeds.
On my 16M broadband I can just see 12-13 on wireless and on wire I got my full speed.
2- Stay close. Like 2-3 meters. Else you wont be able to do anything that requires a little bit of reliability. Forget gaming on network after 5 meters as well as a stable VPN connection.
3-Firmware upgrades are full of hope and misery. 1.0.04 seems the most stable. However while the hardware is super junk software has limits.
4-Give a break sometimes. You wont be online at all times with this device. It gives you a break in every couple of hours in a randomly fashion.


If you need a good looking wireless device for reading newspapers online go buy it.

 

Worse than old models

Overall rating: 
 
3.0
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by Plumtart
May 21, 2011
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i got a wrt54g that supports b, g speeds
it worked well and stable but since my broadband is high speed and my notebooks are new that supports n, i tried to get a lnksys 120n
to my surprise it is worse than the old router.
if i put the notebook side by side to the router, the old router may give me 12m in speedtest, whereas 120n gives me 10m at most. if i put the notebook back to my room in original location, it may not connect or if it does, only at 1mb. we wasted a lot of time trying mixed mode or n only in admin page, but i feel this new gadget only looks sleek on the surface.

 

linksys

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by amrith
May 16, 2011
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sux

 

Piece of Junk

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Cathy Whalen
April 18, 2011
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I hate this router. I have only had it for less than 3 weeks, and it is impossible! I had previously used D-link routers with NO problems at all. The salesman at Office Depot (I had a coupon) recommended Linksys. WAY to hard to set up the network, and I had so much trouble getting the Wii and Roku box on the network.

Both my netbook and second computer with wireless card lose the connection at least 3X a week so far. And I have to mess with it for 30 min to an hr to get it back. Twice I've had to use Live Chat. They try to be helpful. I asked why this keeps happening and was told my "router signal probably had interference". I'm not sure what that means, but it never happened with the D-Link routers.

I ordered a D-link from Amazon this morning. I hope I can hold out another week or two with this router till I get the replacement. 40 bucks and it's going in the trash. Save yourself the aggravation!!!

 

working and still kicking..haha

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by MIKE
April 15, 2011
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all i can say is IT'S MAGIC! :)

 
 
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