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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

Linksys WRT320N

At a Glance
Product Linksys Dual-Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router (WRT320N)
Summary Broadcom-based single-radio, dual-band 802.11n Draft 2.0 router with 10/100/1000 switch.
Pros • Good routing performance
• Good wireless performance
• High 5 GHz speed
Cons • Can't set channel in Auto mode
• 5 GHz range shorter than 2.4 GHz
• No jumbo frame support

The WRT320N fills out Cisco's portfolio of Linksys draft 11n routers with a dual-band, single radio offering that has a Gigabit switch. Even though it is designed with low manufacturing cost in mind, street pricing is comparatively high.

Internal Details

The 320N's construction details were covered as part of the look at the WRT400N and WET610N. It's a Broadcom-based design, so I would expect it to perform more like WRT610N than the newer and less expensive Atheros-based WRT400N.

But the designs are significantly different, with the 320N using a Broadcom BCM4717 Intensi-fi XLR 802.11n (2.4/5 GHz) Router System-on-Chip to really drive down cost (Figure 1) vs. the 610N's dual-radio design with two copies of BCM4321 BB/MAC and BCM2055 dual-band radio devices (Figure 2).

WRT320N inside
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: WRT320N inside

Both products are three-antenna designs, with all antennas located internally and non-upgradeable. They might use different gigabit switches, however. I was not able to remove the heatsink on the WRT610N, but I did on the 320N and found a Broadcom BCM53115. Even though the device supports up to 9K jumbo frames, my testing showed that they don't appear to be enabled. RAM complement is different, too, with 32 MB for the 320N vs. 64 MB for the 610N.

WRT610N inside view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: WRT610N inside view

Routing Features

The 320N implements the standard Linksys router feature set that includes:

  • 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.

WRT320N Basic setup page

Figure 3: WRT320N Basic setup page

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