Pros From a guy who have setup numerous Wireless Router (IT Guy)
1. Pretty straight forward setup.
2. Very sleek design (almost too sleek)
3. Familiar interface if you're familiar with linksys WRT54 series (they never change!!)
4. Pretty cheap ($39.99)
Cons 1. Not much to configure, hence not much to debug
2. Range Sucks
3. Too much dropped signal, especially when not using WPA2 encryption.
4. Did not hide your WPA/WEP key setting in the web gui interface, which I see this as a big Security risk.
Summary I got this to replace my old Linksys WRT54G. I customized that router with dd-wrt.com firmware and it was great, but only after serving its purposes for years, it's getting unstable and problems with leasing dhcp, so I decided to get a new one.update: I forgot to mentioned that I had update the firmware to 1.0.01 (build 3) which is the latest, so everything I said is based on that.
I was looking for Linksys line, so WRT54G2 caught my sight. It's so cool, so I bought one for $39.99 from local fry's.
Setup wasn't too complicated, almost as exactly the same as setup my old WRT54G before the customized firmware.
as soon as I brought up the device, my laptop took about 15 sec to connect to it (which i considered slow). I can browse the web, VPN, etc. only about 5 to 10 minutes later, i saw my Intel Proset client lost the signal and tried to reconnect. It did reconnect, and everything seems normal.
I decided to do a continuous ping to the router and to an external site. (ping -t www.yahoo.com). as soon as I noticed something is wrong, the ping lost packets, and the intel pro-set lost connection and trying to reconnect again, which happen like every 5-10 minutes or so.
I started to play with the settings, google it. Wow, I'm not alone!! Google "WRT54G2 disconnect" and followed some suggestions, also changed the encryption from WPA to WPA2, now it seems to work fine. the connection last about hours, and then it starts to lost connection again. I have to hard reset the device to gain back access.
It also has problem connect to my pppoE ISP setting, always lost IP from the ISP when I still have access to the router but no internet.
Also, there is no "reboot the device" button on web gui management, so I have to walk to my router and reset it all the time.
After 3 days of playing with it, I finally gave up and google "best wireless router" and replace this piece of crap with Trendnet TEW631BRP. It was really good, almost as good as my customized dd-wrt firmware. Check out my other review on cnet about this.
Overall, this is a big disappointment, either that, or I have a bad luck with that particular device..
Updated on Feb 1, 2009
Pros It's wireless...
Cons Everything else
Summary This is probably the worst router I've ever purchased. I've been getting unbearable inconsistency with this router. One minute it works great, the next I have trouble doing anything. Also the router will not actually forward any ports for me at all. I have set everything up properly and know what I'm doing. This router is awful. Time to go drill through walls so I actually have internet in my computer room. What a waste.
Pros Antennas inside, good external design, good price.
Cons Disconnects often (wired + wireless), wireless setup a nightmare, Setup CD never worked, installed old CD unit to run. Great connection+DSL modem no issue, 2-3 times/day have to reset power. "Keep Alive" auto-reconnect feature useless. Piece of JUNK.
Summary Good design will never save poor hardware and software or functionality. This is no sculpture, you need a reliable connection and you just won't get it here. Feel like charging Linksys for all my wasted hours and frustration. Back to the store it goes. Very hard to find reliable routers today under $100. Had Dlink DI-624P before for 5 years, never a single disconnect! Why is there so much garbage ont he market today that users/buyers essentially test for the companies. These are prototypes companies improve based on the free beta-testing done by suckers like us.
Pros It looks nice
Easy set up
I works, for what it is
Cons Poorer range and reliability than the previous model.
Summary After many years of faithful service, my WRT54G gave up on me. I usually check reviews before tech purchases, but tend to be a sucker for brand loyalty under the assumption that "If I liked the last model, then the newer one should be even better!" Right? Wrong. WRT54G2 does what it claims. It is an easy to use wireless router. However....IT IS A POORER ROUTER!!
At the end of the day, the most important, non-negotiable features of a wireless router are range and reliability. The G2 is behind the G on both these counts. I don't know whether this was an trade off for style over performance, or if it was a calculated move to drive people towards N routers, but it is a step back.
My Web surfing is slower, my Netflix takes longer to load, and I can not longer use it to work on my patio as I had done in the past.
Pros I find that it has awesome range and I have mine mounted under a desk in a corner in a two house and get 5 bars on all my laptops.
Cons The only con that iI have really found is that the internet controls to turn off the wireless at a specific time does not work well.
Summary Works great love it !!!!!!