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Wireless Reviews

Features

The 350N's routing section is feature-for-feature the same as the 600N's. For a quick rundown, click over to the 600N review or to the Slideshow for some selected admin screenshots.

The 350N's Storage features are also the same as the 600N's, including the problems that I previously found with network browsing. See Page 3 of the 600N review for the details.

I didn't expect the 350N to be any better than the 600N for NAS performance, but decided to run the test anyway. I was surprised to find that the 350N actually did better than the 600N for both write and read with both gigabit and 100 Mbps LAN connections.

Figure 5 shows a comparison of the two for writing with a 1000 Mbps LAN connection. Both products, however, rank near the bottom of our NAS Charts for both 100 and 1000 Mbps LAN connections.

NAS Performance - 1000 Mbps LAN connection

Figure 5: NAS Performance

The 350N's story for Wireless Features is the same as the routing story—they are the same as the 600N's. But there are two exceptions. First, the 350N supports only the 2.4 GHz band vs. the 600N's 2.4 and 5 GHz. And, second, the 350N properly defaults to 20 MHz channel operation, unlike the 600N, which defaults to 40 MHz (channel bonded) in the 2.4 GHz band.

Figure 6 shows the 350N's Basic Wireless Settings, with the Network Mode dropdown expanded.

Basic Wireless settings
Click to enlarge image

Figure 6: Basic Wireless settings

Finally, the 350N shares the 600N's wireless limitations: no transmit power control, no control to convert the 350N to function as an access point instead of a router and no WDS bridging and repeating.

Routing Performance

I tested routing performance using our standard router tests, using desktop machines running Windows XP SP2 for both IxChariot endpoints, since both had gigabit Ethernet LAN cards. All tests were done with the LAN client in DMZ and the SPI Firewall disabled. With those settings, I didn't have any of the problems I had with the 600N in getting the IxChariot tests to finish.

Table 1 shows a comparison of the 350N and 600N routing test results. The 350N actually does a bit better than the 600N on all tests except Maximum Simultaneous Connections. Since both products are running the same hardware, the differerences must be in the firmware. Check the Router Performance Charts to see how the 350N stacks up against other products.

Test Description 350N
Throughput
(Mbps)
600N
Throughput
(Mbps)
WAN - LAN
167
164
LAN - WAN
168
159
Total Simultaneous
177
171
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 128 136
Firmware Version
1.03.7
1.01.33
Table 1: Routing performance

Figure 7 shows a composite of WAN to LAN, LAN to WAN and simultaneous up/down IxChariot throughput tests. Throughput variation is a bit more pronounced than the 600N plot due to plot scaling.

Linksys WRT350N simultaneous routing throughput
Click to enlarge image

Figure 7: Linksys WRT350N simultaneous routing throughput

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