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Wireless Reviews

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.

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