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We hope Linksys’s marketing effort with the WRT120N won’t blossom into an industry trend, but we know it will. Linksys advertises this router with the tagline “Step up to the speed of Wireless-N!” Read the data sheet, however, and you’ll find this: “Complies with IEEE 802.3u, 802.11g, and 802.11b standards, and [is] compatible with some 802.11n features” (emphasis ours). The 802.11n standard has achieved sufficient brand recognition that many consumers won’t look past the N in the product’s name, and they’ll fail to notice that the Wi-Fi Alliance certification logo on the WRT120N’s box extends only to 802.11b/g.
Yep, this is a single-stream router, and the benchmark numbers reflect that design: The WRT120N achieved less than half the throughput of our zero-point router, Trendnet’s TEW-639GR, in our kitchen, bedroom, and patio tests. It did beat the snot out of Trendnet’s other router, the TEW-652BRP, but the Trendnet’s street price is nearly half that of the WRT120N.
As with most of the competition in this category, the WRT120N is devoid of advanced features such as USB ports for storage or printer sharing, but it does offer better-than-average QoS features, and you can tweak most of its firmware settings.
Better throughput than Trendnet's TEW-652BRP; good QoS features; tweakable firmware settings.
Not compatible with all 802.11n features; weak throughput; lacks advanced features.
|Linksys WRT120N ||Trendnet TEW-639GR |
|Kitchen, 20 feet (Mb/s) ||45.4||106.0 |
|Enclosed Patio, 38 feet (Mb/s)||23.7 ||57.1 |
|Bedroom, 60 feet (Mb/s) ||17.8||51.3 |
|Media Room, 35 feet (Mb/s)||10.7 ||11.1 |
|Outdoors 1, 90 feet (Mb/s) ||0.7 ||4.8 |
|Outdoors 2, 85 feet (Mb/s) ||N/C||9.0 |
TCP throughput measured using IPerf. N/C indicates no connection at that location. Best scores are bolded.