Linksys WRT310N Wireless-N Gigabit Router review: Linksys WRT310N Wireless-N Gigabit Router

Features
Where the WRT110 router supported near Draft N speed, the WRT310N is a certified Draft N 2.0 router. Both routers feature Linksys' proprietary wireless enhancing technology called RangePlus. This means the WRT310N can potentially offer higher than wireless-G speed to non-wireless-N adapters that support this technology (You'll need to get those from Linksys; they are availalbe in PC Cards, USB, and PCI adapter form factors). In real life, you might not find any chances to take advantage of this at all and you won't miss much, either, as a Draft N adapter would get a much faster speed than a RangePlus adapter anyway.

The WRT310N has basically the same Web-interface layout and networking features as the WRT110, which is similar to most Linksys routers. It has a very elaborate content filtering feature called "Access Restrictions" that allows for restricting/filtering access of particular computers in the network to the Internet. You can also set up special port forwarding/triggering using the "Applications & Gaming" feature. This feature allows for setting specific ports for specific applications such as games or Remote Desktop or FTP, HTTP server, and so on.

The router supports all available wireless encryption from WEP to WPA and WPA2, as well as Remote Authentication Dial In User Service and higher-end features such as Firewall, VPN pass-through, and access restriction. For quick wireless network setup, it uses the Wi-Fi Protected Setup push button mentioned earlier.

Performance
The Linksys WRT310 blew us away with its performance. It easily topped the charts on both CNET Labs' max throughput and mixed mode tests, scoring 110.6Mbps and 95.3Mbps respectively. These scores are still no way close to the claimed theatrical 300Mbps throughput of the 802.11n spec, but they come the closest that we've seen from any Draft N router. On our range test, the router lost its top position to the Asus WL-500W 802.11n but only by a small margin.

We were especially pleased with the WRT310N's performance in mixed-mode testing; we believe this is the most common scenario for Draft N routers in real life, where you are adding newer N clients to existing B and G devices.

The WRT310N offers excellent range too. We had no problem picking up its signal at 200 feet, and we were able to maintain a connection at 300 feet. Our testing environment is not optimal for broadcasting a signal over long distances, so the WRT310N may offer even better range in your home where there is less interference than in CNET Labs. It's worth noting that a router's range depends a lot on the environment it is in, especially for routers that operate on 2.4GHz frequency, which is used by a lot of other electronic equipment like cordless phones and Bluetooth devices.

As mentioned before, the router ran very hot during our testing process, to the point that you might not be able to rest your fingers on its bottom for longer than a few seconds. It's more of a design flaw than a performance problem, from what we saw. In testing, its performance was not adversely affected by the heat, but we didn't work with it for longer than a few days.

Service and support
Linksys has the same amount of love for the WRT310N as it does the WRT110, backing it with disappointing one-year warranty. The fact that the router runs hot makes this a bit worrisome, as the excessive heat may reduce the lifespan of the device. Linksys' toll-free phone support is available 24-7, as is online chat with a support representative. Its Web site includes software, drivers, and firmware downloads and a FAQ section.

Ixia IxChariot maximum throughput tests (at 15 feet)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Linksys WRT310N - Wireless-N Gigabit Router
110.6 
Apple Time Capsule
65.1 
Asus WL-500W 802.11n
62.9 
Apple Airport Express
52.8 

Ixia IxChariot maximum throughput tests with mixed 802.11b/g and draft N clients (at 15 feet)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Linksys WRT310N - Wireless-N Gigabit Router
95.3 
Asus WL-500W 802.11n
55.1 
Apple Time Capsule
51.5 
Apple Airport Express
50.5 

Ixia IxChariot long-range tests
(Longer bars indicate faster performance)
Asus WL-500W 802.11n
29.7 
Linksys WRT310N - Wireless-N Gigabit Router
28.8 
Apple Time Capsule
21.36 
Apple Airport Express
11.7 

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Where to Buy See all prices

Linksys WRT310N Wireless-N Gigabit Router

Part Number: WRT310N
MSRP: $129.99 Low Price: $75.98 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Weight 12 oz