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Pros: Before I get into too much detail, I want to clear up the issue people might have had with this router and the 2.4Ghz signal. The router shipped with firmware 1.0.00, however after upgrading the firmware to 1.0.01 build 14 Nov 26, 2014, the 2.4Ghz wireless signal has not dropped any of my connections. I've been streaming for a good ~18 hours without any session disconnects.
If you are still experiencing 2.4Ghz wireless signal drops, I recommend upgrading your firmware and giving your router a hardware reset.
Back to Pros:
- 4x4 AC
- MU-MIMO Ready
- Qualcomm QCA IPQ8064 Dual-core 1.4GHz processor
- VLAN support
- Wall mountable
- Nice design, cute antennas
- Feels sturdy enough, warm to the touch, not too hot.
- 1x eSATA/USB2.0/USB3.0 storage support (really like how the eSATA and USB2.0 port are together)
Storage transfer speeds on this router are very nice.
USB 3.0 w/ External WD Black HDD NTFS
USB 3.0 w/ External WD Black HDD FAT32
eSATA w/ External WD Black HDD NTFS
eSATA w/ External WD Black HDD FAT32
USB 2.0 w/ External WD Black HDD NTFS
USB 2.0 w/ External WD Black HDD FAT32
Cons: - Guest WiFi is 2.4 GHz only
- No front LED lights, I can't tell if this thing is ON or OFF, I have to look around at the back.
- No VPN server
- No secure remote access to storage
- No advanced/downstream QoS
- No individual internet service blocking
- DDNS only has DynDNS.org and TZO.com. (Should've at least allowed custom DDNS or added noip.com)
- No Apple Time Machine target support for storage
- No information about wireless clients
- No Bandwidth use monitor
- No USB Print server
- No Linksys log or syslog viewer
For a router with this much muscle, having these missing features is a huge oversight on Linksys' part. ASUS and NETGEAR all have their equivalent routers to this and those routers are more feature rich.
No OpenWRT or even DD-WRT support, at least not yet. No word from Linksys at all about this.
Other Thoughts: - Skip running the CD or even installing the Linksys Connect software. Just connect straight to http://192.168.1.1.
- All storage tests were done via a Gigabit LAN connections and copy speeds were monitored through Windows Copy Tool.
- Admin UI timeout time is a little short in my honest opinion.
- WPS comes enabled by default and ALL wireless signals are also NOT password protected on default. Make sure you password protect your wireless signals ASAP and disable WPS if you don't plan to use it.
- Router firmware tested is 1.0.01 build 14 Nov 26, 2014.
There is a lot more room to grow for this router, but I am not sure how much more time/money Linksys is willing to throw at this product. It will work for most standard users, but advanced users looking to have more control over their network probably should be looking else where.
No secure remote file access, no VPN support and very limited DDNS support is an immediate egg knocked off. I would rather rate this product closer to a 3.5 rather than a solid 3.
Pros: - Small and fits into any USB port.
- Very low profile, once plugged in, can be left in a laptop's USB port.
- Relatively easy setup and driver install.
- Little green indicator light is nice.
- Reaches advertised speeds of 150Mbps when connected to an 802.11n network. Make sure you have channel bonding enabled on your wireless router (20Mhz/40Mhz). Without it, your device will only connect at a minimum of 72Mbps for an N network.
- Supports ad-hoc.
Cons: Impractical for most uses. I don't know of a single laptop made in the past decade that did not come with a wireless adapter built in. As such the next best application is for an immobile desktop computer that needs a network connection. While it does fit the bill here, being so small, and plugged into the back of the computer, it is likely that unless the router is in the same room, you aren't going to get a very good signal. I would recommend getting a USB 2.0 extension cable and giving this USB adapter some space away from the metal frame of your computer acting as interference.
Drivers cannot be auto-detected and installed from Windows driver update if you're on Win7. You must go to the TP-Link website before hand and download the appropriate drivers for this USB wireless adapter. The version I got was ver 2.0. Installation afterwards was a breeze.
Other Thoughts: Regardless of the cons, the device works perfectly and exactly as advertised. Can't really knock TP-Link for making a device like this. This isn't the first one of its kind, and definitely not the last.
Cannot connect to 5Ghz signals. Not a huge deal, but would've been nice.
Tested this with an ASUS RT-N66U router. Installed on a custom built PC running Windows 7 64bit.
Pros: - DD-WRT. Simply by default, DD-WRT makes a router that much more functional. Most other companies that write firmware for their lower-end routers don't include this much functionality. So to have something like this for sub-$50 router isn't too bad.
- Obvious benefits are OpenVPN, VLAN, command line access, VPN passthrough, QoS, WDS wireless bridging, DNS caching, wifi hotspot, RADIUS authentication, multiple SSIDs, firewall, iptable NAT, telnet and ssh root access.
- DDNS service has a lot of options and even a custom one, which is nice, in the event you use a DDNS service not listed in the drop down.
- Router offers PPTP VPN server and client as well as OpenVPN server and client.
- Hotspot portals include Sputnik, Hotspot System, Wifidog, and Chillispot.
- For parents, access restrictions allow you to set up policies that filter by PC, time/day, p2p protocols, website blocking through URLs and even website blocking by keyword.
- Router has the option for https web access (disabled on default), which is nice.
- Has router based Wake-On-LAN.
- Small form factor and does not generate much heat at all.
Cons: - I am not a fan of the physical switch on the back that determines either Auto, Router or Bridge functionality. Most people log in and setup the router through the administration page anyways.
- While no 5Ghz radio is offered and only 2.4Ghz is available, the range is lacking in general, especially compared to my ASUS RT-N56U, which also has no external antennas.
- 10/100. Who still uses 10/100? Most computers that you buy, even netbooks from years ago came with Gigabit network cards. Don't expect to add a NAS or see acceptable file transfer speeds across your internal LAN network with this router.
Other Thoughts: This is a budget router that has a great firmware base added on top of it to make up for the lack of good hardware. Just know what you're getting into when purchasing.
The size of the NAT table is unlisted. Not sure what will happen if you push the router with a load of high peer torrents and allow hundreds of incoming connections.
I am not sure if BUFFALO's spec sheet stated it anywhere, but the router houses a 600Mhz processor and 64MB of RAM.
Firmware included was DD-WRT v24SP2- (11/05/13) std (SVN revision 22750).
Display Name: Benjamin C.
Date Joined: 09/24/07
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