Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Cisco-Linksys WRT610N Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router
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on February 8, 2010
Pros: Great speed. Wireless is only less than 5% slower than ethernet connection. USB link port is very solid.

Cons: Not designed for people who want plug & play devices with no knowledge of networking.

I will agree with a lot of people regarding people that stated that this router is no good. Those people do not know what they're doing.
I bought a REFURBISHED version 1... and it works perfect. After reading so many bad reviews, I had the feeling that all refurbished WRT610Ns were probably from people who didn't know how to get it to work properly.

****HOW TO PROPERLY SETUP A WRT610N ROUTER****

1) Download the latest firmware to your computer from Linksys' website. Do this even before you receive your WRT610N. Reading all the comments about the firmware, I didn't even bother trying the stock firmware.

2) Upon receiving the router, plug in the power cable and plug it into the AC outlet. No CAT5 cables yet.

Once it powers up, hold the reset button for a few seconds until the power light starts to blink. Release the reset button.

3) Once it powers up completely, plug your computer to the router with a CAT5 cable. Log into the router. Upload the new firmware.

4) After the upload is complete, unplug the power cable from the router, wait a few seconds, then plug it back it. This is to be assure the load was good.

5) Wireless configurations:
#1 Rule: Do not use auto on both G and N. Set 2.5Ghz band for B-G only and to a certain channel (6 or 11 works best). And set 5Ghz band for N only.
#2 Rule: Do not use the same encryption on both G and N. Set different encryption methods (example., WPA2 for N, WEP for G)

6) Disconnect the CAT5 cable, and try connecting to the N-wireless (do not connect to G. this is for testing purposes) Once your pc connects to the N network wirelessly, log into the router wirelessly.

7) 5Ghz in its nature is a sensitive frequency. The higher the frequency, the weaker the signal gets... but also gets faster. With that said, the 5Ghz N portion needs to be tweaked to what works best.
- On your computer, open up the Wireless Network Connection Status window. Leave this window open at all time so you can see the connection speed (If you have more than one pc with wireless N, do the same thing).
- Log into the router via wireless N. Go to Wireless Advanced section. Band: do not set AUTO on the band. Start off with 40Mhz. From there, pick the first channel (44 or something like that).
- Now check the speed(s) of the pc connection(s). Try out ever 40Mhz band until you find the best speed. If no band is solid, then result to 20Mhz. Once most solid and fastest speed is achieved, save the configs.

COMPLETE!

USB Link:
The USB link worked great. But there are some pointers. I tried two harddrives. 320GB 5400RPM SATA and 320GB 7200RPM SATA. Both were clones of each other; clean NTFS formatted with nothing but videos and music. I would recommend to edit SHARE and click on SHARE ENTIRE PARTITION. It seems much more fluid with that on. Ok, after I named my drive, shared the whole partition, and clicked on access rights, I mapped the drive to each computer to test the stability and speed. I did have a problem with my music folder that had 355 sub-folders (individual albums); it would randomly see all 355 folders. It would see 210, then 340, the 290, etc. It was a strange behavior. Since both harddrives were clones of each other, I formatted one harddrive using the Linksys Router function. It formatted the drive to NTFS FAT2. First time I've used FAT2. After I copied the contents back to the drive, I tested it again. It actually finds the files much faster than before. Don't know why. I haven't had a problem with missing folders either. Everything is found instantly. So I would highly recommend to format using the Linksys Router function. I did test out between 5400rpm and 7200rpm to see which would be better for a media storage. Attached to the linksys, neither one of them showed an real differences. I tried file transfer, playing lossless music, pictures, HD movies... all had the same performance. So I would recommend to just pick a 5400rpm since it runs on lower power consumption.

Stress Test:
I ran a very thorough performance test to see if this router could handle it.
Laptop #1 - wireless N 300Mbps connection
Laptop #2 - wireless N 280Mbps connection
Laptop #3 - wireless G 54Mbps
PS3 - wireless G 54Mbps
Wii - wireless G 54Mbps
NAS Harddrive on USB Link port

Laptop #1 to download multiple 3-5GB files from the internet.
Laptop #2 was streaming an HD movie 1080p from the NAS harddrive.
Laptop #3 was streaming lossless music from the NAS harddrive (54Mbps is too slow for HD movies)
PS3 was in an online game session (Marvel vs Capcom 2) as a spectator watching everyone play
Wii was set to stream a tv channel (Japanese Wii)

Laptop #1 was downloading at 35Mbps (which is about 2Mbps slower than when directly connected to the internet modem without Linksys). So that was still downloading at flying speeds even with all the traffic. Laptop #2 had no problem streaming an HD movie. There was some bit delay if I paused the movie or FF. But playing the movie, switching languages on the fly, etc... had no problems at all. It played smoothly. Laptop #3 was playing flac lossless audio files while browsing through the folders with no problems. PS3 never lost the connection to the online game. And the Wii never froze with the tv channel. I ran this test overnight with no problems at all.

Conclusion: This router works. It's very fast, stable, and had no problems. Just make sure you configure it properly. One piece of advise regarding wireless cards, stay away from the Intel N cards. They work poorly with the Linksys N routers. I tried three different Intel N cards and two Linksys N routers. I was never able to achieve a 300Mbps connection with any configuration.

I hope you will find this review helpful.
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on July 14, 2008
Updated:
As my title states it is a very good router, but only if you need it. The simultaneous feature only means that you can have items connected to the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band. However, please note that this does not mean that your laptop can connect to both at the same time. (I know some people who thought that it would.) That being said, what this feature is good for is if you are surfing the web on your laptop and are also streaming some high definition content to your television. That is when this router is beneficial, or if you are sharing the router with other people this can be a good feature allowing you to keep your own band without slowing down your bandwidth. But if you are like most people who will only be using the router to mainly surf the web on your laptop, then this router is not for you. It has too many features and is not worth the price.

The only complaints I have about the router are very minimal. Before I upgraded the firmware, anytime my laptop was connect to the 5GHz band it would lose the connection. The firmware update solved that problem. The other complaint involves the software that comes along with the router. While trying to install the software on my Vista desktop computer, it took over thirty minutes just to get it installed, and it still seemed a little "buggy." To me it was easier setting it up without the software, as I did on my Mac laptop. If you are skilled with Windows, you can also setup the router without the included software using the wizard found built into Vista and Win 7.

One downside to this router that I have noticed is that it does not have as good of a range as my other Netgear 2.4GHz wireless-N router. My laptop does not pull as strong of a signal from it even being just a few feet away, as it does on my other. My distance is also shortened quite considerably. However, my primary uses are using it within adjacent rooms, so that it not as big of a concern. It just does not get the same range outdoors as my other.

So if you are an advanced computer user who has a fully networked home then this is the router for you, or if you are somewhere with a lot of other signals causing interference such as a dorm, office, or apartment then this router can be good as you have the option to swap over to the 5GHz band without having to reset the router. *The 5GHz band has less interference so you get a cleaner signal but it cannot travel as far.

But, all-in-all, if your needs are simpler, then don't waste the extra money for features you don't need.

After a year of using the product:
Well I have had the product for close to a year now, and it works like a charm. I use it in my college dorm and find it to be perfect as I can use the 5GHz band and not have a lot of interference to my signal. The 5GHz band also seems to stream data slightly faster, which is beneficial when watching YouTube videos or an Amazon video-on-demand movie. Again, if you need the product - buy it - else look for something more reasonably priced. I might suggest the Netgear WNR834B. That is the router I have at home and it works wonderfully - also has a really nice range, even outdoors.

Also, when I last wrote this article I forgot to mention that one nice feature found on this router is the gigabit ethernet connections. This is wonderful for when transferring content from a desktop computer to a laptop or for a home media server. It has a much higher transfer rate than routers using the megabit connections. Please note that last time I had updated this article, I had said that the speed was not close to a "1 gigabyte per second" transfer rate. However, that was incorrect. The router has gigaBIT connections not gigaBYTE ones, which is a huge difference. My thanks go to the reviewer who pointed that out for me in the reply section.
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on July 14, 2008
I replaced an existing wired router/wireless access point combination with the WRT610N. The replacement was painless, taking about a half hour, including retyping all of my DHCP reservation and port forwarding information.

The only glitch was that running the Linksys EasyLink Advisor (a tool that among other things, shows you everything connected to your router) reset the router. This is fixed in the latest firmware (level 17, my router shipped with 16).

Speeds have been good. I only have one machine that is connected with Draft-N, and it has been able to connect about 4-5 times faster than my Wireless-G connections on the 5Mhz band. My Wireless-G connections have had consistently better quality than through my old WEP54G Access Point.
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on July 14, 2008
I bought this router to replace my old linksys and I have been pretty pleased with it so far. Somewhat foolishly I started installing this whilst I was in a hurry but all was well as it simply plugged in as a replacement and the software installed without issue. The LELA (or whatever its called) software updated the firmware to the latest version automatically and the software worked without fault. The router initially failed to connect to the internet but this was my ISP locking the connection to the mac address of my previous router. This was easily solved by using the MAC spoofing feature of the WRT610N - the router connected first time after that.

I liked the fact that it persuaded you to change the default passwords (there are so many people that don't change them on there routers). This thing seemed fairly security conscious.

The media connection feature allowed me to plug in a 750 WD USB external HDD (which it didn't see at first - this required a reboot) and I can configure it to share either the whole drive or certain folders - this worked perfectly in both XP and vista - I haven't tried this extensively so I don't know how it works long term. There is also a UPnP server and an FTP server built in (require the USB drive connected). These were really easy to set up.
Overall I have been pretty impressed by this product - setup was so easy that not only did I get it set up in a rush but I also had time to play with a few of the more advanced features.
.
This thing is not for the casual user - you need to know what you are buying and that you are going to use its features - if you are not there are other routers that will do a great job - this one happened to tick all the right boxes for me and I have not been disappointed so far - I was going to buy the WRT600N a few weeks ago but I am glad that fate stepped in and delayed me placing the order as the 610N is so much better looking than the 600N which is v. boxy and covered in antennas.

Overall a nice product so far and initial impression have been favorable. Only time will tell how good this holds up to some heavier testing. HD TV streaming here I come! :-)

Update: this thing crashes like a car at a demolition derby. It gets too hot and the only way to fix this issue it to switch off one of the aerials. .
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on March 2, 2009
I bought this router primarily because it was the most expensive, lol. I didn't really think it through at first. My main reason for getting it was that I had a Netgear wireless G USB adapter which I hated because of the poor software. I decided if I was going to buy a new adapter I would get an N adapter. So, I went an bought this router before I ever got the N adapter so that when I got the new adapter I'd be N ready.(I know, I did it backwards considering I had no problems with the old router, only the adapter). My previous router was an old Belkin G router. I had also used a Belkin N router for a short period of time (temporary housing while on an assignment for work). I eventually ended up with the Linksys WET610 dual band N bridge for my network adapter, after I bought this router. It's a good combination.

My observations on the WRT610N router;

1) Setup - Setup was extremely easy. One thing I should mention though is that I never even opened the disk that came with the router. I used the manual configuration through the web browser. The interface is pretty good, and I like the help feature that opens a new window and explains each of the settings on the page. I think the Belkin web interface is better, but this one is certainly functional and not difficult to use. Many people report problems with the setup, and all of them are using the setup wizard on the disk. My advice is either have someone who knows what they are doing set it up for you, or if you have the knowledge or think you can figure it out, then use the manual configuration. I should also confess I upgraded the firmware before even trying to use the router, so some of the problems others have experienced were probably fixed with the firmware upgrade.

2) build quality - plastic fantastic, just like all the rest out there but at least it looks cool. It gets super hot on the bottom, but that hasn't caused any problems SO far. LEDs look nice and give you enough information without having a silly screen.

3) features - I didn't realize it when I bought it, but the best reason to get it is the dual bands. I've got it configured now so that my desktop is on the 5Ghz N band and the laptop (which doesn't support N) is on the 2.4ghz band which is set to "mixed" to allow both G and N connections. Something many people don't realize is that your connection is only as fast as the slowest device connected to it. So, with the two seperate bands, I can set the 5ghz to N only and always get N speeds. The 2.4ghz band gives me 5 bars signal on my laptop in any room in the house which is much better than either the belkin G or N routers I tried. The 5ghz band doesn't give all that strong of a signal, but you have to realize that 5ghz is a shorter range technology which is why 802.11B and 802.11G were 2.4ghz in the first place. I don't suspect that this router is any weaker that any other 5ghz router, and in fact based on the signal strength im getting from the 2.4ghz I suspect it's probably stronger. However I don't have any other 5ghz routers to test it against. The nice thing is that I can have my dual band N adapter fall back to the 2.4ghz if I move it out of range of the 5ghz N only band. In any case, if you are going to be hooking up any G devices, such as a game console, media extender, or older laptop or adapter, then you will definately be able to benefit from limiting one of your frequency bands to N only.

This router also has alot of different firewall features, like letting you lock out connections by time (so the kids would not be able to use the internet when they are supposed to be in bed, etc.) or monitoring connections, or locking out connections by MAC address. You can also easily block or open specific ports. It also has a feature which lets you give priority to specific applications. I have it setup to give high priority to skype or MSN, so no matter what my webcam calls will be high quality. This is nice for the media streamer, the chatter, or the gamer as these can all benefit from priority in the router.

You can also attach a USB device and make it a Network Attached Storage drive. I have to admit I have not tried this feature although many complain it has a clunky interface. The only words of wisdom I can offer here are "BACKUP your drive, stupid" especially if it has anything on it because I've seen more than one report of some bonehead accidentally formatting the drive while trying to connect it.

Finally, it has a four port gigabit switch built in, which is nice for those who are going to be connecting multiple computers through wired ethernet. most of the other N routers are going to be 10/100.

4) value - at $199 most places this is definately one of the most expensive routers out there. It's almost a full $150 dollars more than the belkin 2.4ghz N band router and it's generally about $100 dollars more than most other N routers. However, the dual bands, the gigabit switch, the firewall and QOS (quality of service) features, and the network storage attachment all add value to this router. My advice is if you need any of those things, you won't go wrong with this router. If you don't then buy something cheaper, like a single band N router, and don't bitch about this one because of the price.

Conclusion;

There is certainly more to this router than most of the critical reviews on Amazon.com might lead you to believe. Certainly I think the vast majority of those that ranked it low either used the setup wizard, had a mac and tried to use the setup wizard, didn't know what the heck they were doing, or had the older firmware and didn't upgrade it. Probably also some sour grapes about the price I would guess. I like this router and I gave it four stars, primarily because it gets so darn hot, and also because other routers I've used have had a better web interface. It definitely deserves kudos for it's performance and it's features. I'm definitely not a brand loyalist, I've used AT&T, Trendnet, DLink, Netgear, Belkin, and Linksys products. They all had some things I liked and some I didn't. As for this router I do recommend it!
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on August 15, 2008
I've been working with wireless routers since my first Beadlenet, seemingly a lifetime ago. I recently decided to upgrade my WRT54GS with the 610, primarily for the N band, but also because the 54GS kept requiring a reboot about twice a day. The 610 is my fifth Linksys router, and I have been a reliable Linksys customer - all my adapters are Linksys, every router (since the Beadlenet) has been a Linksys, and I honestly never even looked at D-Link or the others. That has now changed.

First, LELA (their Easy Link Advisor) caused a lot of problems. After going though it numerous times, it would just stare at me at the end of setup with "Cannot connect to router". OK, on to manual setup - no big deal, I've done this probably a hundred times or more.

I was able to finally get connected. With the router in the exact same place as my old one, my range on the 2.4Ghz band was well under half of what I was getting before. The router is in the basement, which with the 54GS allowed me to go anywhere even on the second story. Now, I cannot go to even the first story, nor can I go to the other end of the basement. Note that this is with the 2.4Ghz band, same as before. I've also successfully connected to the 5Ghz band, but that is even more limited; anything beyond the next room and I'm out of luck. I tried moving the router around - first floor, second floor, etc. - with no good results anywhere. The range is just severely limited compared to the older Linksys products.

Finally, being a glutton for punishment, I decided to try the USB storage. Keep in mind I work on computers and networking for a living. After 6 HOURS of setup, I could not reliably access the disk. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn't. Upgrading firmware did not solve this problem, nor did calls to Linksys.

I returned the router, tried another, with the exact same results. I suspect they have a significant problem with these internal antennas; Linksys is more than aware that their range is limited, but they prefer the sleek, "sexy" look over actual functionality. That's just too bad and will prove their undoing.

I am returning this unit and shopping for another brand. I've finally had enough with Linksys.
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on November 15, 2008
Linksys and all other router manufacturers advertises the greatness of the wireless 5ghz band (especially with 802.11n), but I'm beginning to have my doubts. It is true that the 5Ghz band is hardly being used so you'll have virtually no one to compete with,. However, the 5Ghz distance in no way compares to 2.4Ghz, and as a matter of fact, I find it to be quite terribe. At approximately 20 feet away, both my Linksys DMA2200 and HP notebooke barely get 1 bar using the 5Ghz N band with my WRT610N router. In comparison, while only using my 2.4Ghz WRT54g router, I get 5 full bars at that range, and at least 2 bars from anywhere else in my house.

I have all Linksys equipment in my house as I have been impressed with all of their 2.4Ghz in the past. However, I've recently upgraded everything to dual-band N equipment and found numerous flaws in each of the new devices, plus none of them really even play well together. My setup is: Linksys 610n router, DMA2200 media center extender, and a WUSB600N Dual-Band Wireless-N USB Network Adapter for my laptop - all of which are currently using the most up-to-date firmware. Other devices include a WRE54G extender and Nintendo Wii.

Problem #1) The LELA software with the new N devices doesn't even recognize that my DMA2200 is a media center extender. Using LELA, I should be able to select my media extender and allocate more bandwidth for streaming media. However, since my extender only shows up as an "unknown network device" those options are greyed out. I tried to manually change the device to a media center, but still no go. I suppose you can manually allocate bandwidth in the router setup somewhere, but considering these are all Linksys products, it's absolutely ridiculous that an option specifically incorporated in the LELA software for a Linksys Media Extender does not work!!!

Problem #2) If you are only using one system with the router, the router might actually work as intended. For most of us though there are going to be at least 2 or more systems connected to the router (wired, wireless, or a combination of the two) such as a PS3, Wii, laptop, PC, media extender, Xbox, etc. If that's the case, you're probably screwed because you WILL experience frequent dropouts... ESPECIALLY if just one those clients is a VISTA machine. Check the linksys forums and you will find that this seems to be a problem with all of the new linksyss routers (610N, 310N, and 110). Here is a microsoft article that explains the problem [...] do to a problem with the way VISTA accepts DHCP requests from certain routers. Unfortunately, there is no real fix for this, even with the suggested registry modification which really doesn't fix the problem.

Problem #3) Because of problem #2 I will never be able to get rid of the dropouts since my network is using one of Linksys's media center extenders. The DMA2200 is essentially a VISTA PC to some extent and accepts DHCP requests the same as a VISTA PC. Since it is not really a PC though, there is no registry modification that can be done to alleviate the VISTA problem (not hat the registry mod really works anyways). So as long as I try to use my DMA2200 wirelessly with my WRT610N router, the frequent dropouts will occur and there's nothing I can do about it. This is REALLY TERRIBLE since the DMA2200 is specifically designed to be used with the WRT610N router in order to take advantage of the 5Ghz band and wireless N transfer rates. You absolutely need 5Ghz wireless N to effeciently stream HDTV WIRELESSLY, but if you lose your connection every 10 minutes, it is impossible to watch any type of streaming media.

Problem #4) As mentioned already, when the "N" 5Ghz range is working on the WRT510N router, the distance sucks compared to standard 2.4Ghz G, N or mixed mode networks. You can try to make it better by strictly using N products, disabling the 2.4ghz band all-to-gether, and using the wider 40mhz frequency, but it doesn't really help. The higher 5Ghz band is a more concentrated signal and therefore simply does not reach as far as the lower 2.4ghz band. I wonder why all of these new products state that the 5Ghz range will increase your distance, when in fact it actually makes it worse?

So... basically, this router does nothing that it claims too and is basically rendered useless on any network with a VISTA machine. This has not been addressed by any Linksys firmware updates or VISTA software updates so there is no reason to even consider using this router if you you're using VISTA or some type of VISTA Media Center Extender such as the Linksys DMA2200.

Although, I've always sworn by Linksys in the past, the amount of wasted time, frustration, and horrible support has really changed my view about them. I've reverted back to my old trustworthy WRT54g router and had to run cable through my house so that I wouldn't have to box my DMA2200 extender up and let it collect dust in the attic. It's really disappointing that I spent all this money to buy this equipment specifically because they're supposed to work together, but in fact they don't. Plus what's the point of having top notch wireless equpment if you have to run cables in order for them to work?
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on September 30, 2008
I bought mine at a local retailer to replace a WRT54G. I wanted dual channel to support streaming N to a Media Center Extender. It kept dropping wireless connections every few minutes. Tech support gave suggestions, but they didn't help. Finally I did three things to stable it out. 1) Updated to the latest firmware (B18), 2) Reset to factory defaults to wipe out all the (non-successful) changes recommended by tech support, and 3) (the one that really fixed it), switched to WPA2 / AES for my encryption type. That caused other problems, because some of my older laptops with XP didn't support this. There is a Microsoft update to add this (web search for WPA2 & KB893357)- or you can install XP Service Pack 3 to get it. After that, this thing works reliably, fast, and is totally worth the price. I switched back to WEP to connect an older machine to update it - and the instability immediately returned.
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on April 20, 2009
Before you think about even touching this router, go to Linksys' support forum and read this thread:

[...]

This router appears to have serious issues, which still appear to be unresolved. Serious issues as in, the router hangs and requires rebooting. I have purchased 3 of these units, and 2 are essentially paperweights.

I contacted Linksys' support forum and they say this problem isn't even listed under this product.

What's scarier are some of the solutions... people suggest its overheating so they put laptop fans on it, or disable features to cool it down. Some of the security code is unstable so people use lower security.

Even my 3rd one which "works" has issues. I can't have it auto select the channel and share different protocols on the 5Ghz channel.
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VINE VOICEon August 9, 2008
I'm writing this review after everyday use of this router for approximately the past 2 weeks. I use it mainly to connect to DMA2100 Media Extender via wireless-N on 5GHz and latest firmware version 1.0.0.17. On 5GHz, it is set up to accept only wireless-N and DMA2100 is the only device connected to it on this frequency. I've been experiencing disconnected every 30-minute or so. It is annoying because now is the olympic season, and I can't watch a game without any interruptions. Today I watched 1.5 hour divX movie with 2 disconnects. I have to play the movie again and fast-forward to the last frame, which is not easy on divx format. We use HD cable TV, and I think this device cannot maintain high bandwidth connection for long time. I have another 2 weeks to test this and try to find remedy on the disconnected issue, otherwise I will return to amazon.com for a refund.
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