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

LevelOne N-One WBR-6000

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
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 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
4 min read

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 ="">int="/routers/netgear-rangemax-next-wireless/4505-3319_7-32468712.html">Netgear WNR854T RangeMax 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.


LevelOne N-One WBR-6000

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.

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.

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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.

You can't judge a router by its cover. Unfortunately, for the slick-looking WBR-6000, its showing in CNET Labs was miserable. When tested with its companion PC card, the WPC-0600, the router failed to impress in terms of both its speed and its range. On our close-range (15 feet) maximum throughput test, the WBR-6000 scored only 47.3Mbps, about half of what we saw from the other Draft N routers we've tested recently. On our mixed mode test, where the router is set up to work with multiple devices of different wireless standards, the score reduced to 23.8Mbps, which is less than half the throughput we saw from competing Draft N routers from EdiMax and Netgear. Even the next slowest router on this test, the D-Link DGL-4500, was more than twice as fast. The theme is no different on our long-range test, where the WBR-6000 trailed the Draft N competition when measuring throughput at 200 feet, posting a woeful 5.3Mbps.

In fact, we could hardly pick up any signal from the WBR-6000 at a distance of about 200 feet. With others, such as the D-Link GamerLounge DGL-4500 or the SMC Barricade SMCWGBR14-N, even at 300 feet, we were still able to get a steady signal. It's necessary to note that our test environment is an office building and is not the best for range. The router worked smoothly at closer range, however, offering a stable signal.

LevelOne backs the N-One WBR-6000 with one-year limited warranty. From its Web site, you can download new firmware and manuals and browse FAQ pages. You can also send an e-mail to LevelOne's support team, but we couldn't find a phone number listed anywhere.

Maximum throughput tests (at 15 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput max  

Maximum throughput tests with mixed 802.11b/g and draft N clients (at 15 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Mixed throughput  

Long-range tests (measured indoors at 200 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput at 200 feet  

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LevelOne N-One WBR-6000

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 6Performance 3Support 6