Linksys WAG160N-UK review
draft 802.11n, 4x 10/100 Ethernet ports
Linksys's streamlined WAG160N-UK looks considerably better than most routers.
It's easy to set up using the CD installation wizard, prompting us to enter the details of our ADSL account and then to secure our network. Warnings appear if you try to continue with an unsecured wireless network. The CD also includes Linksys's EasyAdvisor software, which lets you view and manage your entire network.
More advanced options are configured through the clean, easy-to-follow web-based management page. A neat feature is the ability to quickly define three static IP addresses. This is handy if you've got a NAS, printer or other device that needs to have the same IP address constantly in order to be accessible.
As with other Linksys routers we've seen, the WAG160N has in-depth QoS settings, so you can prioritise real-time sensitive traffic, such as VoIP, video and games. To use QoS, you have to choose the application or game you want to prioritise and select its priority level and decide how much bandwidth it's allowed to use (an Auto setting makes this easy). A number of games are preconfigured, but MSN Messenger, Skype and Yahoo! Messenger are the only preconfigured applications. You can add your own applications, but you'll need to know the TCP or UDP ports they run on.
Access restrictions let you determine which computers can access which services, and you can filter websites by keyword and URL. These settings are easy to configure, but for parents looking to control their children's internet access we recommend investing in dedicated web-filtering software.
Performance was good, particularly when using Linksys's WUSB600N USB wireless adaptor (£27 including VAT). This produced some of the fastest transfer speeds we've ever seen, with 81.3Mbit/s at 1m, which is close to 100Mbit/s Ethernet speed. At 10m we achieved speeds of 55Mbit/s, which is easily enough for HD video streaming and large file transfers.
With its low cost, high performance and excellent configuration options, the WAG160N-UK wins our Best Buy award.