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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

Linksys WRT600N

At a Glance
Product Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Router with Storage Link (WRT350N)
Summary Broadcom-based 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n Draft 2.0 router with 10/100/1000 WAN and LAN and NAS support
Pros • Four-level priority-based QoS and WMM support
• NAS features with external USB drive
Cons • No WPS
• Slightly lower wireless performance than WRT600N

So why did I review the dual-band WRT600N before this previously-introduced, single-band sibling? I've had the WRT350N and its companion WPC300N card sitting on my "To Be Reviewed" shelf for many months now, waiting for Linksys to publicly release the firmware that brought the product up to 802.11n Draft 2.0 Certified status. That happened back at the end of September for the 350N, but the Draft 2 firmware for the WPC300N card has still not been released as I write this.

In the meantime, the dual-band WRT600N and its companion WPC600N card were released with Draft 2.0 certification about a month ago and I was able to at least review them. Then somewhere in the last month the light dawned that I could use the Draft 2.0 Certified WPC600N card with the WRT350N and move this whole thing to the "Done" pile. So let's get to it.

Internal Details

The 350N is basically the single-band equivalent of the 600N, using the same Broadcom BCM4705 processor and BCM5397 5 port gigabit switch. I ran a quick test and found that the 350N—like the 600N—doesn't support jumbo frames, even though the switch chip does.

Figures 1-4 show the innards of the "V1" (or original) version of the 350N.

NoteIf you live in the EMEA or Asia Pacific region, you probably have a "V2", which uses an Atheros / Marvell design. See this for more about the two versions.

Figure 1 shows the aluminum heat spreader plate that is coupled to the radio cover and gigabit switch chip heatsink via thermal pads. The three holes allowing access to the radio antenna connectors at the upper left came in handy during testing.

Linksys WRT350N V1 internal view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: Linksys WRT350N V1 internal view

Figure 2 - 4 are from the FCC ID database and reflect pre-production product.

Linksys WRT350N V1 board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: Linksys WRT350N V1 board

Figure 2 doesn't provide any component detail, but the processor detail in Figure 3 shows the Broadcom BCM4705 processor—the same used in the dual-band WRT600N [reviewed]

Linksys WRT350N V1 - Processor detail

Figure 3: Linksys WRT350N V1 - Processor detail

Figure 4 shows the Cardbus-based radio board, which uses the Broadcom Intensi-fi draft 11n chipset.

Linksys WRT350N V1 - Radio board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: Linksys WRT350N V1 - Radio board

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