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Eminent wLink 300 Pro review

Barry de la Rosa
28 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
40
inc VAT

With a big list of features, the w300 Pro is a capable router, but its wireless speed is disappointing.

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Specifications

802.11n, 4x 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Eminent's new w300 Pro is a small cable wireless router with twoantennas. It's single-band at 2.4GHz, and so can’t use the 5GHz band, which has more channels for less interference – though this omission isn’t surprising on a router at this price. It ships with channel bonding enabled by default, but we’d disable this as it often causes interference problems.

Eminent wLink 300 Pro

Setting up the w300 Pro is fairly simple. There's an IP address and login details printed on the underside of the router, so it's a case of opening your browser and navigating to the setup page. You're first prompted to complete two wizards, one for the internet connection and one for wireless (this gets you a secure network), while a third icon takes you to the main setup interface.

The wizards are straightforward to use, and the main interface is clear, with a hierarchical menu on the left. A Basic Setup section covers the options selected during the wizard process, while the bulk of the options are in the larger Advanced Setup section.

Eminent wLink 300 Pro ports

Although it's presented as basic text fields and checkboxes, the setup page has some clever touches. For example, the DHCP section displays a list of devices that are already connected, with the MAC address and current IP address filled in automatically so you can quickly assign a static IP address to a connected PC by choosing it from the list. The same list is generated in the MAC address authentication section.

There's no shortage of options. You can set up multiple wireless networks and limit them to either the internet or the LAN, perfect for guest networks. Alternatively, the w300Pro can be set up as a wireless bridge, extending an existing WLAN, or using Wireless Distribution System (WDS) it can be used as a signal booster for an existing internet-connected router.

You can set up 60 port forwarding rules, plus there's a DMZ option and advanced access control, including up to 200 URL filters. You can set up a VPN easily, and dynamic DNS is available via the free DynDNS service. QoS can be set either manually or via a simple Smart QoS setting, and there's also Wake On LAN, remote management and even a port scanning utility.

We ran our speed tests using our Centrino 2 notebook as well as Eminent's own wBUS 300 adaptor, a large box with two antennas. With channel bonding turned off, speeds were disappointing, averaging between 30Mbit/s and 34Mbit/s. The wBUS 300 produced consistent speeds even at 20m, whereas the Centrino 2 adaptor was slightly faster at close range but failed to copy files at 20m.

Using channel bonding we managed to achieve 75Mbits at close range with the wBUS 300, but speeds fell to 17Mbit/s at 20m, slower than un-bonded speeds, demonstrating how channel bonding can be affected by interference. As expected, none of these speeds are anywhere close to the theoretical 300Mbit/s maximum.

Despite its advanced features and twin antennae, the w300 Pro suffers from low speeds compared to our favourite devices. If you need advanced networking features, the Linksys WRT320N is more expensive but offers far higher speeds, and if all you need is a basic router, the TP-Link TL-WR741ND is far better value.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Modem typenone
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOyes
Stated speed300Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPAPSK (TKIP, AES)
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size25x134x93mm
Antennas2
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100Mbit/s
Other portsnone
Wall mountableno
Power consumption on3W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportno
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£40
Warrantyfive years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.eminent-online.com