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Networking

Hardware

Linksys WAG160N review

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With its latest range of routers, the Linksys design department appears to have thrown away the rule book. The Linksys WAG160N and its sister devices now sport a curvy, sleek, lounge-friendly appearance, quite unlike their boxy predecessors. These smooth lines aren't spoiled by the presence of aerials, either - a pair of 2dBi gain aerials is built into the chassis. This means you can't swap change them for something more powerful, but it gives a better overall visual impression.

The 'WAG' part of the model number denotes that the Linksys WAG160N is a gateway device that incorporates an ADSL 2+ modem. It also sports the obligatory four ethernet ports, but these are only 100Mbps Fast Ethernet and mark the Linksys out as an entry-level device. Aside from the WPS button, the front edge has a row of status icons which are useful when it comes to diagnosing connection faults.

One thing that hasn't changed is the Linksys web interface which, although comprehensive, is now looking a little dated. However the inclusion of Linksys EasyLink Advisor (LELA) makes up for this. The software tool has two parts: an initial setup wizard and a network-monitoring tool that identifies the elements of your wired and wireless network.

Thanks to LELA, getting connected with the Linksys WAG160N shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes - even for a complete novice. Unfortunately, this fairly basic router's draft-n performance is then rather disappointing, averaging no more than 40 megabits per second (Mbps) throughput.



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