Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Review: Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Gaming Router

With all the work I have been doing with Windows Home Server lately, I needed a faster solution for my wired and wireless Internet access at my home office. My Linksys Wireless-G Router has been a workhorse for the last few years, but every computer in my house has a Gigabit Ethernet port, and my workhorse can't handle them. So it was time to say goodbye to my old friend, and say hello to the Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Gaming Router.

DISCLOSURE: This device was *not* a gift. I bought it with my own money.

Before I go into that, I have to mention that my previous solution for jacking my Xbox 360 into my network was the Netgear Powerline HD Adapter. It says the throughput is 200MB, but the actual throughput was less than 50MB, which was not enough to show HD content without serious issues. I think the problem was due to wiring in my apartment, and I've heard other people have had better results.

Though it does not yet say so on the box, this router is a Windows Vista certified device. It shows up as a Network device, which allows you to configure the basic setup from inside Vista, without having to log into the website. Hopefully Microsoft will expand more on this functionality in future versions of Windows.

One of the best things I like about this device are the QoS features for prioritizing network traffic. It has a setting specifically for Windows Media Center, so that even though my Xbox 360 wireless adapter shows that the bandwidth isn't quite enough for HD-quality TV streaming, DiscoveryHD doesn't skip a beat. True to it's name, it also prioritizes traffic over Xbox Live. While I won't go as far as to say that it was "lag-free", the latency was definitely comparative to a wired connection, and my Xbox 360 wasn't even on N-band wireless. And on my other computers, I'm experiencing far fewer dropped connections than I did before. In fact, I think I've only lost a connection once. It's fantastic.

My experience over the wired network has been fantastic. I'm consistently getting over 20MB/sec throughput to the various machines on my wired network. Backups through Windows Home Server are lightning fast (well, they were already pretty fast), and I can even host my virtual machines on my WHS box. I think the only thing holding my speed back at this point is the fact that the drive in my WHS server is SATA-I and not SATA-II.

All in all, this device has lived up to every single one of my expectations. It's a great router, and I would *highly* recommend it to anyone feeling the need for speed.

Posted on May 09 2007, 12:12 AM by Robert McLaws
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  • Chris said:

    Am I missing something here?  You are able to stream Live High Definition from your Media Center to your Xbox 360?

    Doesn't that require an OCUR?

    May 9, 2007 9:19 AM
  • It does, and I have one. I blogged about it a couple of months ago, I've been beta testing it for AMD and Microsoft.

    May 9, 2007 1:54 PM
  • Well, since I got my new Wireless-N router , I won't be needing my Netgear HD Powerline Ethernet Adapters

    June 3, 2007 12:48 AM
  • Once you thoroughly conceive this, you will be able to work more quickly.

    August 8, 2007 1:18 AM