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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

Linksys WGA600N

At a Glance
Product Linksys by Cisco Dual-Band Wireless-N Gaming Adapter (WGA600N)
Summary Dual-band draft 802.11n Ethernet bridge with Ubicom-based automatic QoS
Pros • Dual-band
• Supports Ad Hoc connection for pairing without an AP
Cons • No choose-and-connect from browser interface
• Shorter 5 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz range

My recent review of Cisco's latest Linksys wireless bridge, the WET610N, prompted questions about how it stacks up against its older sibling, the WGA600N. So I'm reviewing it to see!

Like the WET6, the WGA6 is designed to connect one (or with the addition of a switch) multiple Ethernet devices wirelessly to your wireless router.

The WGA6 has one functional edge over the WET6 in its "LAN Party Gaming" mode (Figure 1), which allows direct adapter-to-adapter link-ups without requiring a wireless router or AP. And since each adapter can support multiple clients, a pair of WGAs can be used to create a point-to-point wireless bridge. ("LAN Party Gaming" mode is just an implementation of the Ad Hoc mode that is built into every wireless adapter.)

WGA600N LAN Party mode

Figure 1: WGA600N LAN Party mode

 

Internal Details

Let's first look inside to see how the WGA6 differs from the WET610N. I already did a detailed internal look at both the WGA6 and WET610N. Where the WET6 uses a Metalink WLANPlus chipset with Forward Error Correction technology to allegedly optimize streaming video, the WGA6 uses Atheros wireless married to a Ubicom processor (Figure 2).

WGA600N board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: WGA600N board

Specifically, the radio uses an Atheros AR9160 dual-band 3x3 MIMO MAC/Baseband and AR9104 dual-band 2x2 MIMO 802.11n Radio. The CPU is a Ubicom IP5090U, which brings along Ubicom's WISH—a wireless version of its automatic QoS technology. The two internal fixed-position antennas are positioned at the rear and right side (viewed from the front) of the product.

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