Linksys WRT54GS

Linksys WRT54GS
  • Linksys WRT54GS
  • Linksys WRT54GS
  • Linksys WRT54GS
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Simplified and boosted security for everyday Wi-Fi users

Cons

  • No mounting bracket, slightly slower than competitors

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?