Linksys WAG160N review: Linksys WAG160N Wireless-N ADSL2+ Gateway

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Typical Price: $199.00
4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Decent throughput. Stylish design. LELA for Windows.

The Bad No gigabit ethernet. Wireless N refuses to live up to the hype -- again!.

The Bottom Line Linksys' WAG160N resides in an attractive package, and manages better than most Wireless N routers. Better than most, but still nowhere near the hype.

8.8 Overall

Design
The WAG160N shares Linksys' new design philosophy (also seen on the WRT310N), which is to make smaller, more discrete Wireless-N devices without the multiple external antennae and a sleek design that wouldn't look out of place on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. Out the back of the WAG160N it's very much business as usual however, with four 10/100 Ethernet ports, a red reset button and a DSL input socket.

In accordance with Linksys' long-standing policy for routers, the first thing that drops out of the packaging when you open the box is a large blue folder with a CD-based installation utility on board. We've not been a big fan of Linksys' CD-based installers in the past, finding many of them incompatible with Australian ISP settings, but with the introduction of Linksys' LELA (Linksys EasyLink Advisor) package, our opinion has changed. More on LELA later. LELA is Windows (XP/Vista) and Mac OS X (10.4 or better) compatible.

The setup routine itself is well laid out and animated, and includes pre-configured settings for iiNet, Internode, Optus, Soul, Telstra and TPG. If you're with an alternate ISP, you'll need to enter most of your settings manually.

Features
The WAG160N's big selling point is the inclusion of Wireless N Draft 2.0 compatibility, although to Linksys' credit, they don't plaster the outside packaging with lots of claims of 300mbps connection speed. The back of the box does have a silly speed graph comparing 802.11g and Wireless N, but even there numbers are omitted. Something tells us that perhaps networking companies are waking up and dumping the hype cycle around 802.11n.

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