LevelOne N-One WBR-6000 review: LevelOne N-One WBR-6000

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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Striking design; easy-to-use setup

The Bad Terrible throughput speeds; short range; no Gigabit Ethernet

The Bottom Line We wanted to like this funky-looking router, but the LevelOne N_One WBR-6000 performed so horribly in testing that we must warn you not to be tempted by its slick design and low price.

5.7 Overall
  • Design and ease of use 8.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 3.0
  • Service and support 6.0

The first router we've reviewed from LevelOne, the N-One WBR-6000, made a good first impression with its styling and easy setup, but its poor performance ultimately left us disappointed. Unless a funky design and low cost--the WBR-6000 can be found online for roughly $90--are more important to you than speedy throughput, there are better options. Of the group of Draft N routers we just tested, the LevelOne WBR-6000 trailed the pack by considerable margins, finishing dead last on all three of our throughput benchmarks. We recommend instead the only-slightly-more-expensive for general home or small office use. For basic networking on the cheap, the Edimax BR6504N costs even less and offers better throughput than the LevelOne WBR-6000.

Device type: Wireless router
Network standard: 802.11n (draft 2.0), 802.11b/g
Bandwidth: 2.4GHz
Supported operating systems: Windows XP and Vista, Max OS X, Linux
Security options: WEP 64/128-bit, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA-TKIP, WPA-AES, SSID Broadcast On/Off
Features: Four 10/100 LAN ports, one 10/100Mbps WAN port, DHCP support
Notable design features: none
Support: One-year warranty

Boasting an orange-and-black chassis, the router looks as if it has been customized specifically for a funky fashion store or a modern art gallery. On the front, there is a handful of status LEDs that display the network activity of the corresponding ports by the color (you want to see them in blue, which means everything is working properly). Overall, the N-One has a nifty, simple and friendly design and feels very sturdy. Like the Trendnet TEW-633GR, the WBR-6000's three antennas reside on the side, away from the network ports on the back. This translates into easy access to the ports while letting you tuck the router away in a tight corner, especially in vertical potion when the antennas are swiveled straight up. Given its high style and low throughput, however, you're probably only buying this router for a high-traffic area and only for minimal network usage such as sharing Internet access.

Setup is simple and straightforward, aided by the included manual and CD. The installation wizard will have you up and running within minutes. For those who want to access advanced networking features, the WBR-6000's Web interface is a snap to use. There's one catch, however; unlike the Web interface of most routers that keep you at a single page, the WBR-6000's opens up a new page each time you change a setting. The annoying result is you'll have a lot of open browser windows (or tabs) to close.

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