Linksys's newest router: If only I could call it just 'sexy'

New Linksys router that's true dual-band and sleek

Bearing the same futuristic, compact design, the WRT610N is slightly larger than the previous models of the same design. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

Linksys announced its latest router today, the WRT610N, and it might just be the first router that offers everything you would want and then some.

First off, it's a true dual-band wireless router. This is important because I've run into not-so-true dual-band wireless routers before, like the D-Link DGL-4500 or the Netgear WNDR3300 . The D-Link can only work in either 2.4Ghz frequency or 5ghz frequency at a time making it not so much of a dual-band router. The Netgear, on the other hand, can work in both frequencies at time, however, in dual-band mode only its 5Ghz frequency access point offers Draft N 2.0 performance, while the 2.4Ghz access point works at the old school 802.11g speed (maxed out at 54 Mbps). The Linksys WRT610N is the first I've got my hands on that offers simultaneous Draft N 2.0 dual-band. It has two separate Wireless-N access points, one uses the 2.4Ghz frequency while the other uses the 5Ghz frequency, and both can be set to operate at the same time.

The WRT610N comes fully loaded with gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB port for its network storage capability Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

Bearing the same sleek, internal antenna design as previous model the WRT310N and WRT110 , the WRT610N has a slightly larger footprint, though overall still very compact. The little increment in size allows for a better ventilation solution, presumably to address the heat issue that I noticed in the WRT310N. The biggest improvement of the WRT610N, apart from the dual-band feature, is its USB port on the back. This port when hosts an external hard drive turns the WRT610N into a full feature network attached storage device that supports FTP server and UPnP Media Server. The router also supports high-speed wired connection with all of its ports being gigabit-capable.

The WRT610N comes with Linksys popular Linksys EasyLink adviser (LELA) software for both PC and Mac . It supports WiFi Protected Setup for quickly adding wireless clients to the network. Most impressively, it's also Linksys's attempts into "green" tech. The device is mostly made of recycled materials. For this reason, the WRT610N bears the Energy Star certification and cost only only $149, a great deal for such high-end router.

Now that's probably more than most of you would look for in a router. For me, though, I am not entirely satisfied. First, the WRT610N doesn't have a built-in print server. And secondly, I really wish they had chosen a better name for it. The device's official full name is "Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router WRT610N," and calling that a mouthful is a gross understatement. Try saying it and you will agree!

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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