Linksys by Cisco WAG320N review

15 Mar 2010

Sluggish, and with one radio this router may as well not bother being dual band

Linksys by Cisco WAG320N
Price when reviewed 
88
4

ADSL users are restricted when it comes to top-end router hardware. Due to the expense of building in an ADSL modem, routers tend to lack features such as Gigabit Ethernet, and there aren't many dual-band models either.

The Linksys by Cisco WAG320N is one of the latter, but disappointingly it isn't full-fat dual band. In fact, it boasts just a single internal radio, which forces you to choose between running it in either 2.4GHz or 5GHz mode.

That, for most purposes, renders the 5GHz mode useless, because even if your laptop and PC both support 5GHz, devices such as internet radios, smartphones, printers and Wi-Fi photo frames won't. Most will end up running it 2.4GHz mode, purely for reasons of compatibility.

It's a shame, because the WAG320N shows signs of being a competent home router. It's primarily an ADSL2+ device, but you can also turn one of its Ethernet ports into a WAN port to support a cable connection.

A USB port allows the sharing of external storage devices, and a media server function allows music, video and photos on an attached drive to be streamed to UPnP devices and players around the network.

Linksys by Cisco WAG320N

Its four Ethernet ports are also Gigabit, but that isn't reflected in its performance. We'd expect faster trasmit and receive transfers (from and to the router using a test laptop equipped with Intel's powerful WiFi Link 5300 chipset) than 92Mbits/sec and 65Mbits/sec from a 300Mbits/sec 5GHz router at close range.

And although capable of middling close-range 2.4GHz speeds, it wasn't particularly stellar in our 2.4GHz long-range test, achieving transmit and receive rates of a lethargic 44Mbits/sec and 36Mbits/sec.

That middling speed combined with a relatively high price puts us off the Linksys WAG320N. And, given the 5GHz mode will be all-but useless for most people it makes more sense to go for the ADSL version of the DrayTek Vigor 2110n (the 2710n) or combining an ADSL modem with the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH.

Details

Price ex VAT £75
Price inc VAT £88
Overall rating 4
Performance 3
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 3
WiFi standard 802.11n
Modem type ADSL

Wireless standards

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

LAN ports

Gigabit LAN ports 4
10/100 LAN ports 0

Features

MAC address cloning yes
Wireless bridge (WDS) no
Exterior antennae 0
802.11e QoS yes
User-configurable QoS yes
UPnP support yes
Dynamic DNS yes

Security

WEP support yes
WPA support yes
WPA Enterprise support yes
WPS (wireless protected setup) yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ support yes
VPN support yes
Port forwarding/virtual server yes
DoS protection yes
Web content filtering yes
Email alerts yes
Activity/event logging yes

Dimensions

Dimensions 202 x 160 x 34mm (WDH)