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Linksys E1700 N300 review

Richard Easton
25 Jul 2015
Linksys E1700 teaser image
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
40
inc VAT

The Linksys E1700 won’t break the bank, but it has dreadful 2.4GHz performance and no 5GHz mode

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Specifications

Modem: None, Wi-Fi standard: 802.11n, Stated speed: 300Mbit/s, USB ports: None, Wall mountable: Yes

The Linksys E1700 N300 is a basic router with a plain design. The shape is slightly strange, in that it’s a flat rectangle with a large footprint, with two external detachable antennas protruding from its rear. There are holes on its base if you want to mount it on a wall for better wireless reception.

The E1700 only supports 802.11n rather than 802.11ac, so it was never going to be the quickest router out there. Disappointingly, it’s also only capable of using the 2.4GHz band without any support for the less-congested 5GHz band that typically offers better speeds. The router only has a theoretical maximum throughput of 300Mbit/s, which is slow by current standards.

We found the setup process slightly convoluted. The included documentation and quickstart guide didn’t prove to be particularly helpful as it simply tells you to use the setup CD. However, the setup program failed to detect the router connected to our system, which wasn't a good start. 

Also, conscious that many people have systems without optical drives, we were disappointed that the default username and password for the web admin interface were not written on the router itself or on the included documentation, which is the case with most other routers. This meant we had to visit the Linksys website to find out the default credentials, which of course requires a working internet connection – something not everyone will have readily available if they’re in the process of setting up a new router.

Linksys E1700 ports

Once you do get the router set up, you’ll find it defaults to Wi-Fi Protected Setup security. This uses either a WPS PIN or the WPS pairing button found on the router itself to add devices to the wireless network, which is convenient. However, the router defaults to not having any passphrase to secure the wireless network, meaning the network is left unsecured at first and anyone can connect. Setting a passphrase is one of the first things you should do.

The router's admin interface is otherwise easy enough to use, with the ability to forward ports and set up Dynamic DNS all within easy reach. As the router is so basic, there aren’t any USB ports or other connections. If you’re looking to share storage or a printer over your network you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Linksys E1700 wireless settings

The router's 2.4GHz wireless speeds are poor. With our laptop’s built-in 802.11n wireless adaptor we saw a crawling 8Mbit/s at 10m and just 4.5Mbit/s at 25m; at least the router managed to hold its connection at 25m, which is more than can be said for some basic models.  

Even at 1m distance from the router we only saw 40.1Mbit/s. The router’s saving grace is that our testing environment is a rather extreme test with a multitude of wireless devices that could cause interference on the 2.4GHz band. In a home environment the E1700 might perform fractionally better. Performance was actually worse using a Linksys WUSB6300 adaptor (£30 inc VAT from www.maplin.co.uk). At 10m with the dongle we only saw 3.6Mbit/s and 1.9Mbit/s at 25m.

While the Linksys E1700 N300 isn’t very expensive, its performance is woeful. There's no real advantage to this router over the one provided by your ISP. 

Hardware
ModemNone
Wi-Fi standard802.11n
Bands2.4GHz
Stated speed300Mbit/s
SecurityWEP, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-PSK, WPA2-Enterprise, WPS
Upgradable antennaYes
WAN ports1
LAN ports4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s
USB portsNone
Wall mountableYes
Size152x189x31
Software
Guest networks1
Media serverNone
USB servicesNone
DDNS servicesDynDNS.org, TZO.com
Buying Information
Price including VAT£35
WarrantyTwo years RTB
Supplierwww.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.Linksys.com
Part codeE1700 N300