Linksys 54GX4 Wi-Fi

Linksys 54GX4 Wi-Fi

WRT54GX.jpgThe industrial-looking Linksys WRT54GX4 looks right at home in an IT department; less so in a home environment. But its 5-inch long antennae deliver excellent range when paired with the WPC54GX4 wireless network adapter.

We achieved unencrypted TCP throughput of 57.4Mb/s at a range of 75 feet from the access point, on an outdoor patio surrounded by trees, with two gypsum interior walls and one plywood-siding exterior wall in between (see “Environment 1” in the benchmark chart).

Testing inside the house approximately 25 feet from the access point, with four gypsum interior walls separating the laptop from the access point, we achieved average TCP throughput of 101.2Mb/s (see “Environment 2” in the benchmark chart).

The SRX400 combo supports WPA and WPA2 encryption, and we saw negligible throughput deterioration using those standards. But we then configured it to use the older 128-bit WEP encryption, because that’s the only standard recognized by both of the A/V streaming boxes we had. Imagine our surprise when we saw TCP throughput drop by more than 20 percent! Airgo tells us its performance-enhancement algorithms for WEP were disabled because the industry no longer considers it a secure encryption technique. Still, it’s the only technique supported by many streaming boxes and older laptops.

Month Reviewed: April 2006

+ GRASS-FED BEEF: Awesome speed; incredible range.

- FACTORY-FARMED BEEF: Butt-ugly formfactor; uncertain future compatibility.

VERDICT: 8

URL: www.linksys.com

WRT54GX_Bench.jpg

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