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June 16, 2006

Linksys - no longer a great wireless router

This week's Windows Secrets newsletter from Brian Livingston recommends the Linksys WR54G series of routers in a review of Internet security [ in which it rates ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite the top security software and WebRoot Spy Sweeper as the best anti-spyware tool].

Brian probably wouldn't feel so sure about that if he'd read Tom's Hardware's report on the latest WR54G release. The heading sets the tone: "Yes, the Linksys WRT54G V5 Really Is a Lousy Router".

It's not just that Linksys has replaced the Linux software which spawned a busy alternative firmware industry [Sveasoft, HyperWRT, Ewrt, DD-WRT, and OpenWrt for instance].

It's not just that the new units contain half the RAM and Flash memory. They also suffer from packet loss and problems with P2P, failing to support any more than 16 continuous connections.

As they point out at Ewrt, the WRT54G/GS version 5 routers can be identified with serial numbers starting with CDFB or CGN7. Don't buy them.

The WRT54GL model still uses Linux, but it didn't perform all that well in Tom's Hardware testing. They recommend, instead, that you look at other top-performing routers. The Netgear RangeMax 240 seems to be the pick of the field.

Posted by cw at June 16, 2006 01:07 PM

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My WRT54G v5 has been pretty solid since I installed it about 6 months ago. No complaints here - works perfectly wth my Bigpond cable connnection. Just don't upgrade the firmware to 1.00.9 since this may cause problems in Australia, especially with Bigpond. IMHO there probably isn't a better router around for Bigpond cable users.

Also, you really shouldn't believe everything you read on Tom's Hardware.

Posted by: Jeremy at June 16, 2006 06:59 PM

I'm using a Di-624 D-link router with my big pond cable and it works fine

i am having trouble getting my mums laptop to connect with it though, dont know why, PSP works fine on it

Posted by: Smith at June 16, 2006 10:46 PM