- Simplified and boosted security for everyday Wi-Fi users
- No mounting bracket, slightly slower than competitors
Linksys has done a good job at simplifying the process of installing a secure wireless network at home with the WRT54GS, and though it isn't as fast as some of the competition, the bolstered security is worth the trade-off.
Price$ 419.00 (AUD)
Configuring security for home wireless devices used to be a difficult task. You needed to be an expert in networking in order to set up a simple home router, and as a result, many people didn't bother to configure security at all. In fact, as testament to this, many vendors prefer to ship consumer wireless hardware with security disabled to minimise technical support calls. A quick drive around suburbia with a Wi-Fi enabled notebook reveals countless unsecured wireless networks, and it's easy for hackers to log in and poach Internet access from across the street.
Linksys has come up with a clever solution to the problem by simplifying the process of configuring robust wireless security. The company is offering a technology called SecureEasySetup (SES), which is a software program that ships with some Linksys hardware to allow one-touch setup for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security. All the user needs to do is press a button on the router, and a button on a SES-supporting Wi-Fi adaptor to establish an affinity and automatically configure security settings. It's that simple. A networking novice can go from having a completely open, unsecured network to one locked down to the same level as most business networks in a couple of minutes.
The first SES-enabled devices were Linksys' WRT54GS Wireless G router and WPC54GS Wireless G PC Card adapter. Both products also include SpeedBooster v.10 channel bonding technology to achieve a claimed 35% leap in performance.
The WRT54GS is designed to share an Internet connection, both wirelessly and to a wired network. It features four Ethernet ports, in addition to supporting both 802.11b and g networks, and we found SES works a treat. Both the network card and the router were able to establish a secure WPA-encrypted link and we were transferring data back and forth within minutes. A fast start guide is included, which helps navigate some of the setup pages.
During testing, the devices managed to communicate at a rate of 35Mbps (with a range of 5m).
The router incorporates a stateful packet inspection (SPI) firewall, offering maximum security to the network from Net-borne nasties. Unfortunately, the device doesn't feature a mounting bracket, which makes it difficult to install neatly in a cabinet.
Linksys is pushing out updates via its Web site so that existing owners of Linksys hardware can patch their devices to work with SES. Further down the track, the company will be working with other manufacturers to produce SES-enabled hardware.
With SES, Linksys has done a great job of simplifying a complex process for the mainstream consumer. Who'd have thought wireless security could be so easy?
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- 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
- Facebook to begin testing its Internet drone this year
- Consumers let down by broadband speed and performance: ACCAN
GGG Evaluation Team
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.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager - Site MoveNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- CCContract Junior Programmer (J2EE/SQL) 161019/JP/552Asia
- CCSiebel Technical Integration SpecialistACT
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FT.Net CRM Dynamics Developer LeadVIC
- CCBuild and Release ManagerNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- CCWeb Content EditorQLD
- CCCloud Security Services SpecialistVIC
- CCWindows EngineerACT
- FTSoftware Developers | .Net 4.6 | Multiple RolesNSW
- CCSystems Engineer - NetApp, Exchange, ADNSW
- CCInfrastructure ArchitectNSW
- CCFunctional Consultant - MS Dynamics AXQLD
- FTCRM Developer - MS Dynamics CRMNSW
- FTData Governance Project Manager | 6 month ContractNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperSA
- CCSenior Business Analyst - experience in IDAM a MUSTNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - PIMAsia
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistVIC