- 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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Wi-Fi Alliance introduces a certification program for new smart home construction
- Netgear expands its Orbi Wi-Fi system into a product family, adding two less-expensive models
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSecurity TesterNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst, BankingOther
- CCCloud Engineer - Multiple roles - AWS/AzureVIC
- FTProgramme ManagerACT
- FTLead Business Analyst, MortgagesOther
- FTLead API DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperWA
- FTSenior Software EngineerACT
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPDemand Analysis ManagerNSW
- FTDigital ProducerOther
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsOther
- CCPerformance TesterNSW
- FTSolution Architect - CloudQLD
- FTDirector ICT Programme Management Office – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- TPSAP TrainerACT
- TPData Analyst/MungerVIC
- TPFull Stack PHP / Web DeveloperQLD
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- FTService Desk EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCSenior Drupal DeveloperNSW
- FTData Analytics & Visualisation Analyst - SQL, TABLEAU, VBAOther
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCBMC Remedy Business AnalystVIC