Pros It's a Cisco System, Wireless Security is stronger than Dell
Cons Range through the house
Summary I think this router is great for most people. If you have a cable modem or DSL, you won't notice a difference by making the jump to wireless A so I don't think it's worth the cost. The wireless security on it is relatively good so long as you don't have any serious hackers in your area... supposedly it can be hacked in 10 minutes so that's a little worrisome. Bottom line, secure is not secure, but the router itself works awesome. Make sure it is in a room that the door is open to... I have found that if the door is closed, the reception tends to go down. I would also recommend going with linksys recieving cards too. Their third party software does a much better job at keeping a signal than does the windows xp client. If you find that you use the internet a lot more often that not, make the jump up to wireless a... there is a notable difference, especially if you are on t1 internet.Updated
One thing I forgot to mention in the review... make sure to enable wireless security. Nothing is iron clad, but it will keep the honest people out. If you didn't read your manual, this can be done by opening your web browser and typing in 192.168.1.1 (default anyway) and typing in the default passwords you find in your manual... Click the Wireless tab and the Wireless Security subtab. Here you can create the hex codes for your network. This will keep the MAJORITY of people off your network. Don't ask for 100% security, because if the computer connects to the internet, that doesn't exist. But if you use WEP at 128 bit encryption you will keep those hackers busy and not in your network.
Pros Accepts third party firmware.
Cons Overuse of LEDs
Summary Im surprised at the low reviews this router has received. Considering all of the third party firmwares available WRT54G and WRT54GS, these are some of the most versitile and feature rich routers on the market. These free firmwares offer features that are normally offered in routers that cost around $500-1000. The firmwares also allow you to crank up the antenna power or use the factory disabled frequencies. No other sub $100 router even comes close to this router. My only real complaint is that, like every other electronic devide, this router is LED happy. I ended up covering the LEDs so that I dont get distracted with all the flikering.
"They should update the CNET review. Router has had many updates, and is now an excellent performer"on by dfichtner
Pros Has all of the strength I need for my small home and outside in the yard. Easy set-up.
Cons The "one-touch-set-up" button is sort of a fluke unless you have the right equipment. No manual in the box, but I think that is planned so you follow the step-by-step set-up.
Summary I am an American living in South Korea. This is my second attempt at owning and operating a wifi router. My first wifi was a poor-quality (yet expensive) system I bought from Hi-Mart. The name was "I-Link", which I know now to have been some cheap knock-off of the D-Link name.
My Linksys WRT54G is version 4, and works beautifully. You can find out the version on the box's UPC code, as well as under the router itself. According to what I have read, earlier versions of this wifi router had many issues. These issues have now been fixed. This product is mature enough that it has worked out the bugs, and does what you want it to do. That is saying something. Through buying a lot of computer products, I have learned that the "newest thing" in computers is often a headache because no one knows what the bugs are for a few months. This product has the bugs worked out, and has the fast 54mps "G" functionality that my Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG card in my NEC laptop seems to work well with.
Set-up with my unit was fast. Unless you know you have the "one-touch-set-up" hardware on your other peripherals, I recommend that you don't bother with touching that button. It only causes you more time in setting the router up. Just do it manually, as the documentation and CD explain. Anybody can very easily get this router running wifi (with no security) in about 5 to 10 minutes by following the simple steps. Setting up the security takes more time, but is the same learning curve as with any router. I recommend you read the information at: http://www.54g.org/pdf/Wireless-WP200-RDS.pdf for lots of detailed information dealing specifically with this router and its capability.
I might also say that one thing which turned me off on buying any router at all was the whole, "ports" thing. I like to run some software (Shareaza) that gets blocked by routers such as this. Opening the port wasn't difficult once I learned to navigate the set-up menus online. There is tons and tons of great information online, so this isn't an issue. That link I gave above has what you want.
As for signal strength, I am very, very satisfied. I can now sit on the toilet and use my laptop (something which the other I-Link unit, which I returned, wouldn't allow). I can also pick up a signal outside on the 5th floor deck (I live on 7th and the walls are concrete, and the windows are double-glass with some dark tinting). The router is near the window, but not line-of-site with the deck.
It took me maybe an hour of playing to figure out the security I wanted. Actually, it took me two, because I had it going with WEP 64 encryption after 30 minutes, but accidentally pushed the SEC (or SES?) button on the webpage and changed all of my router settings. Doh! So don't push that unless you have the one-touch-set-up feature available on your external wifi card. After reading a bit more about encryption, I got the WPA2 incryption working, typed the same keys into my laptop's card set-up, and now I'm encrypted and working just great.
I'm very happy with this router, and glad I didn't waste money buying a 108mps router that my card can do, anyway. The "turbo" and 108mps stuff on the newer (and much more expensive) wifi boxes seems to require special cards and stuff, and many of those have bugs because it's a newer technology, as of this writing: Nov. 2005.
I highly recommend this router. Mine is version 4, and version 5 just came out. The only difference between v4 and v5 are that v5 runs on 3.3 volts instead of 5 volts, and the Linksys people locked out some 3rd party software that allowed people to mess with the internals of their router somehow. Nothing I would mess with, anyway. Oh, and I also recommend setting your router to run on channel 1, because every router out there defaults to channel 6, I think. Channel 1 is apt to have much less interference. You can do that at the website menu.
The only reason I give this a 9 instead of a 10 is because of the confusion with the "one-touch set-up" capability, and the lack of a nice owners manual (although everything can be found easily online). I also didn't like it that when I opened the ports using the website, it didn't seem to keep a log of what ports I had opened, unless I am looking in the right place. It just says they are open and resets the page to blank.
Anything v.4 or above is bound to work great! Enjoy!Updated
Still going strong after one month. The issue with the port forwarding was due to my error. It does keep track of the forwarded ports. I am still very happy, but drooling over the super-fast SRX400 from Linksys, which just came out. Mimo sounds great! I don't have a need for it, though. My place is very small.
Pros Good throughput, good range, very easy setup.
Cons Incredibly ugly.
Summary I just installed the WRT54G as a replacement for a Netgear WGR614. There is no comparison.
With the Netgear unit, Internet throughput was erratic and slow (never over 300 kbps). Antenna placement was critical and required frequent tinkering to get it to work at all.
Right out of the box, this Linksys unit performed superbly. Measured throughput increased by a factor of 10 over the Netgear unit's best. Range appears to be more than acceptable. I have not had to do any tinkering with antenna placement despite having several walls and a floor between the unit and one of my computers.
Most Linksys products are rather ugly, but mine is working great on the top shelf of a bookcase - where I can't see it unless I stand on a chair.
My Netgear 614 went straight into the garbage. I wouldn't wish its performance on my worst enemy.
Pros It's strong, durable and reliable.
Cons The firmware is somewhat user unfriendly.
Summary I fix PC's and set up home networks all the time. And for the price and reliability, I tell my clients to purchase this device. So far, Linksys has never let me down. Shame on CNet for such a bad review. I've been using this device for the last 7 months and I may have had to restart it two or three times?
I have 2 laptops and 2 desktops (one of which is wired in via RJ-45) on 3 floors. Our house was built in 1930, so instead of dry wall, our walls have this plaster and gravel mixture... Thus making the composition of our walls thicker. We can get signal on all 3 floors. The signal on the 3rd floor is between 50- 80%. We could do better if we had a hi-gain antenna.