- Fast 802.11g speed, well-priced, URL and keyword filtering, SPI firewall enabled by default, ran cool during our tests
- Slower-than-expected 802.11 draft-n performance, Web interface sluggish at times, Web interface doesn't have a 'restart' setting, lacks QoS settings
The WRT150N delivers plenty of features at a competitive price-point. Its 802.11 draft-n networking is slow, but its 802.11g performance is excellent. It ran cool during our tests, was easy to set up and use, but its Web interface is sluggish at times.
Price$ 179.95 (AUD)
The WRT150N is an inexpensive wireless router for those who want to move to 802.11 draft-n networking, but, don't expect a major improvement over 802.11g speeds yet.
The WRT150N supports 802.11b/g and 802.11 draft-n wireless networking standards, has a 4-port switch for wired 10/100 Ethernet connections, and can be used with either an ADSL2+ or cable modem. It's a fairly easy router to use, but its Web interface does, at times, get sluggish - sometimes it takes more than a few seconds before changes take effect and even navigating from one settings page to another is slow. Unfortunately, its 802.11 draft-n speed also isn't as fast as we'd hoped it would be.
Implementing an 802.11n network can be a little tricky, especially if you aren't sure which settings to use. The WRT150N allows either 20MHz or 40MHz channels to be used; the latter should theoretically provide much faster speeds than 802.11g. However, we couldn't get a fast connection when using 40MHz channels - in fact, file transfers using 40Mhz channels produced speeds slower than what an 802.11b connection can achieve. We didn't have any problems testing with 20MHz channels, and that's what we used to record our results.
Testing it with a Linksys WPC300N notebook adapter, with WPA2 (AES) encryption enabled and from a distance of 1m (in order to provide a best-case scenario), we achieved an 802.11 draft-n transfer rate of 2.99MBps. This equates to 23.93Mbps, which is a far-cry from the theoretical maximum of 300Mbps that the 802.11 draft-n standard can achieve, and it's not much faster than the 2.86MBps (22.86Mbps) that was recorded in 802.11g mode.
Its 802.11g speed is notably faster than Netgear's WNR834B (2.1MBps) and Belkin's N1 (2.5MBps) routers. It can easily be used for streaming most types of video files, and it's theoretically fast enough to even stream 1080p HD files from a server to a media centre PC.
The WRT150N offers a 'mixed' wireless mode, which allows 802.11b/g and draft-n devices to co-exist, as long as they all support the encryption method that's been employed. The WRT150N includes WPA and WPA2 encryption methods, which provide the most secure wireless networking environments. Encryption isn't enabled by default, but the built-in firewall is.
In addition to the firewall, security can be tightened by using the 'access restrictions', which allow you to block specific services and ports. A filtering policy can be applied to PCs on your network, with which you can block specific content by using a keyword or a complete URL. Sneakily, filtered content brings up an error page telling the user that the server might be busy, instead of notifying the user that the content is restricted.
For using Bittorrent and other applications that need to act as servers, you can use the router's port-forwarding function, in which you can specify either a single port, or a range of ports. This works best when you use static IPs for the PCs on your network. We used static IPs for our testing, but we also tried the router's DHCP function. It supplied IP addresses to all of our machines without any problems, except for one isolated incident in which one of our notebooks couldn't obtain an address.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- Can Wi-Fi and LTE-U live together? The tests are ready
- New wireless tech from MIT promises password-free Wi-Fi
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- FTWeb Developer / Applications AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPDatabase Integration SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Technical Consultant - MicrosoftACT
- FTInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- CCBusiness Test Lead - BRT/UATNSW
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - Wealth AdviceNSW