Linksys Dual-Band Wireless A+G Router reviewed

Basic Features

The 55AG comes in Linksys' signature purple and grey plastic box. All indicator lights are on the front of the box and are bright and viewable from a wide angle. The indicators include Link/Activity, Full/Collision and 100Mbps for the four 10/100 LAN ports and one 10/100 Ethernet WAN connection, separate Activity and Link lights for the wireless LAN connection, and Power, and Diag general indicators.

Although the 55AG has many things in common with its single-band sibling - the WRT54G [reviewed here], there are a number of differences that I'll be pointing out as I go along. First is that the the 55AG drops the 54G's DMZ front-panel indicator - fine with me, since it didn't work anyway.

But on a negative note, the 55AG has taken a step back to the WAP54G's wireless Activity indicator mode of operation - dimly and rapidly blinking constantly both when there is no activity and, gee, also during most normal activity. Only when I blasted data over the link as fast as it will go during my throughput testing, did the Activity LED do something different. But under those conditions, it counter-intuitively lit up brightly and steadily. C'mon guys, pick a method - preferably the mode used in the WRT54G - and stick with it!

The wireless Link LEDs are actually more like wireless On/Off indicators, extinguishing only when you set the Wireless Mode selectors in the admin interface to Disabled to independently shut off each radio

Four 10/100 LAN ports, one 10/100 WAN port and power jack are on the rear panel, along with the Reset switch, which serves both reboot and reset-to-factory-defaults functions. Note that all ports, WAN included, are auto MDI / MDI-X which means they'll figure out how to connect to whatever you plug into them, including switches or hubs if you decide to expand the number of ports.

Linksys includes a wall-mounting plate that does double-duty as an adapter to allow Linksys' smaller boxes (such as their 5 port switch) to be stacked with their "normal" sized boxes. Also included are a CD with the PDF User Guide and Windows-based Setup Wizard, normal UTP Ethernet cable, and second CD with a trial version of Symantec's Norton Internet Security suite.