If you insist that your high-tech gear look the part, you’ll dig the paddle-shaped antenna on Linksys’ WRT300N Ver. 1. In terms of performance, though, we found it to be more effective at swatting flies than delivering the promised 300Mb/s networking.
You’ll notice that we took the trouble to mention we reviewed Version 1.0 of the WRT300N. That’s because the router we reviewed is based on Broadcom’s Intensi-Fi chipset; Version 2.0 (which is not marketed in the U.S.) is based on Atheros’ XSPAN.
It’s worth noting that the Buffalo NFiniti Draft-N wireless router that so disappointed us last month also uses Intensi- Fi; but because we changed our benchmarking tool and methodology in the interim, you shouldn’t compare the two products’ benchmarks directly. (We’ll post a four-way comparison at MaximumPC.com).
Having said that, Linksys’ Wireless-N gets shredded in a head-to-head contest with Netgear’s WNR854T (reviewed here)—especially at distance. At close range (within five feet), Netgear’s router was 21 percent faster. That advantage grew to nearly 50 percent at moderate range (25 feet away, with four gypsum walls in between), and it exploded to 371 percent when we moved to our outdoor patio (75 feet from the access point). Bottom line: an underwhelming effort from Linksys.
Month Reviewed: October 2006
+ VENUS FLYTRAP: Off-the-geek-scale formfactor.
- FLY PAPER: Unimpressive throughput, especially at range.