A flexible but cheap ADSL 2+ router
This router is designed to work with ADSL broadband connections (over standard phone lines, not cable), and it’ll work with even the fastest ADSL2+ connections. It’s fairly cheap but it offers wireless connections at the fastest 802.11n standard, at a blistering top speed of 300Mbits/sec. It also has four wired network sockets, though these are not at the fastest ‘gigabit’ standard found on more expensive routers.
The supplied CD includes a pictorial setup wizard, although it wasn’t the friendliest we’ve seen, littered with jargon phrases such ‘POTS splitter’ and pictures that didn’t look like the items we received in the box.
We tried it with a ‘static IP address’, a slightly specialised type of broadband connection, and used the settings provided by our ISP, BE Broadband. Unfortunately the automated setup program wouldn’t let us enter the ISP’s DNS address, which allows the router to find websites. We had to go into the more complicated web-based setup process and finally found the correct settings in a sub-menu.
It was slightly unpolished in other ways - instead of coming pre-set with a secured wireless network, it gave us a choice, with an unsecured network selected as the default - a very bad idea. Likewise it didn’t prompt us to change the administrator password from the default ‘admin’ - another security risk.
Otherwise, it worked very well and the wireless connection was as fast as we expected. It ran perfectly well and we didn’t have to delve into the settings again. You may have to do so for online gaming (through the games console-based Xbox Live, for instance), and this was not too difficult, though a little more help and explanation in the settings would be useful.
If you’re looking to replace the router that came with your connection, this is a very impressively priced model. It worked well, but setup is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re happy to delve into the jargon it’s fine but otherwise a more user-friendly model will be better.
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A good, cheap router - if you're willing to put up with the unfriendly setup process
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