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Wireless Reviews

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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