The desktop software also offers some original post-setup features. We especially liked the capability to see a map of all clients connected to the network and the capability to manage each of them in real time. For example, if you see an unidentified device connected to the network, the software lets you mark it in red to distinguish it from other known devices. If a client in the network has EasyLink Advisor installed, you can do more, such as viewing its complete status including its MAC, IP address, operating system, CPU information, and more.
For security, the WRT160N supports all available wireless encryption standards including WEP, WPA personal, and WPA Enterprise. The router allows for VPN pass-through for all existing VPN protocols including IPsec, L2TP, and PPTP. If you're using the router from your home, you can use a VPN client to access your work offices via a VPN connection.
Apart from , it also has an SPI firewall that you can turn on or off, or further customize with different options.
The WRT160N's performance met our expectation for a single-band Wireless-N router.
On our throughput test, where the router was set to offer the best possible performance, it achieved 40.3Mbps, just a little slower than the 45.3Mbps of the WRT320 and a bit faster than the 40.1Mbps of the WRT400N. At this speed the WRT160N would take about 99 seconds to finish transmitting 500MB of data over its wireless network.
On our range test, where the router was 100 feet away from the client, it got 36.8Mbps, which was faster than the WRT320N and about the same as the WRT400N.
In mixed mode, the WRT160N remained at 36.7Mbps. The mixed-mode test was done with the router set to work with both Wireless-N and legacy Wireless-G simultaneously.
We noticed that the WRT160N, like most of Linksys' recent routers, offer consistent performance with small degradation over range and mixed mode, which is impressive. The Belkin N+, for example, has a faster throughput speed of 55.4Mbps, but its range speed reduced by nearly half to 29.4Mbps.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
We were also satisfied with the WRT160N's 270-foot range in our testing facility, which is not range optimized. In the real world, depending on your location, you might get even longer range.
Service and support
Like with its other new routers, Linksys backs the WRT160N with a one-year limited warranty. This is short, but standard warranty period for most routers on the market. Linksys' toll-free phone support is available 24-7, as is online chat with a support representative. Linksys' Web site includes software, drivers, firmware downloads, as well as an FAQ section.