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Linksys WRT160N Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Broadband Router
List Price: $99.99

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Product Description

The Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Broadband Router is really three devices in one package. There's the Wireless Access Point, which lets you connect to the network without wires. There's also a built-in 4-port full-duplex 10/100 Switch to connect your wired-Ethernet devices together. The Router function ties it all together and lets your whole network share a high-speed cable or DSL Internet connection. The Access Point built into the Router uses the very latest wireless networking technology. By overlaying the signals of multiple radios, Wireless-N's Multiple In, Multiple Out (MIMO) technology multiplies the effective data rate. The robust signal travels farther, maintaining wireless connections much farther than standard Wireless-G. Wireless-N can dynamically enable double-speed mode for Wireless-N devices, while still connecting to other wireless devices at their respective fastest speeds. In congested areas, the Good Neighbor mode ensures that the Router checks for other wireless devices in the area before gobbling up the radio band. To help protect your data and privacy, the Router can encode all wireless transmissions with industrial-strength 256-bit encryption. It can serve as your network's DHCP Server, has a powerful SPI firewall to protect your PCs against intruders and most known Internet attacks, and supports VPN pass-through. Configuration is a snap with the web browser-based configuration utility. The incredible speed of Wireless-N makes it ideal for media-centric applications like streaming video, gaming, and Voice over IP telephony, and gives you plenty of headroom to run multiple media-intense data streams through the network at the same time, with no degradation in performance. With the Linksys Wireless-N Broadband Router at the center of your home or office network, you can share a high-speed Internet connection, files, printers, and multi-player games, and run media-intensive applications at incredi

Features:
  • Internet-sharing Router and 4-port Switch, with a built in speed and range enhanced Wireless Access Point
  • MIMO technology uses multiple radios to create a robust signal that travels farther and reduces dead spots
  • Much faster than Wireless-G, but also works great with Wireless-G and -B devices
  • Wireless signals protected by wireless encryption, and your network protected from Internet attacks by a powerful SPI firewall

Customer Reviews:

  • Weak 11.g signal - cannot recommend
    This item replaced a similar item from netgear and the 11.g signal strength is DRAMATICALLY lower. We have a laptop about 50ft away that is getting 25% signal strength now that was getting 75%. Also a PS3 that consistenly could stream from the netgear 11.g cannot even successfully download a file using the Linksys...more info
  • Excellent router --- with some drawbacks
    I've installed or troubleshot 3 different wireless routers since I installed the first on four years ago. This is by far the easiest. In the past, an installer spent about half a day, perhaps up to 3 days, sorting out the problems between vendors. There was the internet provider, the modem, sometimes provided by the provider, sometimes not, then, there was the router vendor and the PC card vendor. The blame game could get pretty intense. Those early routers, sadly even those by Linksys, had limited range. I had to install a booster on the first one and that only communicated with the basement.

    The Linksys N router, if used with a Linksys PC card is the best way to go since it can acquire the WEP code. Isn't self-programming marvelous. This technology only works with matching router and card. I tried initially with a Netgear router. In the old days, you'd have to patiently work through the WEP code issues to assure wireless security.

    Here's the problem: it only works once. A few days after installing the router, which did not cooperate well with my firewalls, I was forced to re-format my computer. When I installed the router, I found that it would not self-program. This problem cost me 3 hours with Linksys help. Now, it runs smoothly at a faster uptake speed than before: 50 .v.s. 130 Mbps.

    Linksys has excellent customer support. So does HP, which tells you how important this is.

    There is another problem with this router. It is limited to only about 50 feet through obstructions, maybe more without walls and such.

    If this review was helpful, add your vote.

    PS
    When I moved, I thought I would have to reconfigure the router. Nope! It worked well even with the Comcast modem.

    Dirk Willard:

    When I moved back to Chicago for a job, I rented a room. A wireless router was needed because of the way the landlord configured the modem.
    Although I am only 23 feet through 2 walls in a modular constructed house, the signal is down to about 75% (strong).

    When I was in a well-constructed older brick home, through 3 walls, and a distance of maybe 70 feet, the signal was down in the 35-45% range (weak). Based on a rough estimate, I would say that 80-90 feet would be an absolute maximum with this router. ...more info
  • Get something else
    I purchased this unit, and have had nothing but trouble with it. wireless connections dropped constantly, and even the wired connections are having trouble. Really, for as long as routers have been around, the setup should be clean, easy, and the connection should be solid and reliable....more info
  • Helped my connection quite a bit...
    I was having terrible problems connecting to work from home over VPN. My MS communicator (IM) and Outlook just wouldn't work right over VPN. The help desk at work blamed by bandwidth and ISP (comcast). This didn't make sense since everyone nearly else at work also uses comcast and has the same bandwidth.

    Many folks at work were also having issues with IM and said switching to a Linksys router fixed their isses - so I took the plunge. It did fix my IM. And, the wireless signal strength is better than before.

    But, it didn't fix Outlook. Linksys and my IT help folks looked at it. I spent more time rebooting my computer in the past week than I could stand.

    Outlook still would not work over my wireless but I could connect with no issues over my neighbors unsecured network. I called Comcast and they wanted to upgrade my modem's software but said the thing was soooo old it had to be replaced. A comcast guy was at my house by later in the day and replaced my modem in less than one hour - half of that on-hold waiting for the tech guy at comcast proper to pick up the phone so they could work together.

    Within minutes of the modem being set up I was happily working away over VPN using Outlook and IM and everything else. It's nearly as fast as being in the office. My connection over VPN and not over VPN is clearly faster than before - it's also less prone to drop outs.

    Long story short. It's a great router but don't expect it to fix everything. Make sure your modem is the most up to date both in terms of hardware and software too. Basically, any piece of anything between you and your internet could gum up the works and it's hard knowing where the issues is (router, modem, network card, etc.) I can't believe the number of well trained tech people I spoke to and not one of them questioned the modem. All of them seemed to think since I could get to the internet not over VPN that using VPN should make no difference. Clearly it did - apparently older modems don't play well with VPN....more info
  • STAY AWAY
    Horrible product at least in V2 WHICH YOU WILL GET!!! I contacted Linksys and they walked through the guide book to tell me it is defective.(will have very spotty wired connections to include total lose of signal, freezeing and not so strong wired signals). They only option was to send it back for an exchange of the exact same model!! NO THANKS, i suggested that I would pay them the differnce to upgrade to the higher model but they refused. BUYER BEWARE!!...more info
  • Terrible router; returned for a refund
    I purchased one of these routers from a local store after ruining the power cable of my old reliable Linksys WRT-54GS. This router gave me nothing but problems with a very inconsistent wireless signal throughout the house on multiple devices. The installation CD did not work with my laptop (not compatible with Vista?). I ordered a Buffalo router, flashed Tomato onto it, and happily returned this Linksys device for a refund. Maybe I just had a bad device or terrible luck but it failed to provide the basic functionality expected - a stable wireless connection....more info
  • DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT
    this router is fine as a network access point for local assess only.
    however, it loses connection very very often to the internet and requires rebooting frequently.

    linksys tech support is a joke, outsourced to overseas reps who read less than helpful answers from a screen (and god forbit you get transferred to the wrong department ... get ready to hold for another 20-30 mins)

    i have found by combing through forums for hours, that this is a common problem for this router.

    save yourself some hassle and get the wrt54g it's a little slower but much more reliable...more info
  • Blocks internet access randomly.
    This router was great when it worked, but it randomly blocked access to the internet preventing some sites from loading properly. Then a few minutes later, it would work again. I verified that everything worked OK when the PC was directly connected to the DSL modem, which made it a router problem. Lynksys customer support wasn't able to help despite multiple calls. So, I tried returning the first one in the hopes that it was just one defective unit. I received the second one and it did the exact same thing. I'm pretty good at troubleshooting this sort of thing, but even with technical support, we couldn't figure out how to fix the problem. I returned the unit and I'm now searching for an alternative router. (My old Lynksis Wireless G router is still working fine with no problems accessing the internet.)...more info
  • internet with headachs
    Although this is a nice router, but for me i was having to unplug and plug back in the device in order to have all my computers work and still had problems with web pages not wanting to open correctly, error messages all the time and that got old quick. a person should not have to call the tech support everyday to get this product to function as it was indended for it's use. product went back to store with-in 3 weeks of owning. may never buy a linksys product ever again....more info
  • Really Rotten Router
    DO NOT SHUT OFF OR RESTART YOUR COMPUTER IF IT CONNECTS THOUGH THIS ROUTER.

    We bought this router to get extra range on wireless N; previously we had used an extender, but had had problems. The router will not willing connect to the systems, either hardwired or wireless. The hardwired systems stayed off for hours while the router's software detected the MAC clone we needed. (We have Charter Communications as our ISP). If a system got shut off, it would not reconnect, period. Finally, on bringing up a system recently, the router shutdown the entire network.

    The wireless connections also had connection problems; the router was using the wrong DNS and wouldn't connect to the Internet. This was resolved by forcing an IP address on our network and hand feeding a DNS, but this has to be undone to take the laptops on the road. A real headache.

    Linksys support was generally impossible, suggesting in each hardwired case that we take the computer back to the manufacturer. We had four support calls, with four separate systems.

    For reference, we have 3 hardwired computers and a secondary router, itself with one more computer and a printer, plus two wireless computers in separate parts of the building. The signal was strong, but... ...more info
  • First Router
    This unit is really nice it can be put anywhere and also like it being there is not antennas. It works great my Wife has used her laptop all over the house also outside with not problems with the wireless connection....more info
  • Works great but DO NOT install the LELA software
    This router is slick looking, provides great coverage and acts like it's supposed to so long as you don't install the LELA software. I had my personal laptop and my work laptop. I installed LELA on my personal laptop and connectivity kept cutting in and out. It was extremely frustrating. Most of the discussions about the router recommended uninstalling it and it absolutely worked. My first clue was when my work laptop connected to it just fine. To be clear, this is not the internal administration software for the router - which has a web interface - I'm referring to the software you're supposed to install on your machine that is supposed to allow your PC to connect to the internet. When you open the box you'll see "Install Software First!" - ignore it, seriously. I had a Wireless-G router that seemed to always drop the connection after a few days, requiring me to unplug it and plug it back in. Never had such an issue with this one.

    My new personal laptop has a wireless card that supports N (and of course A, B and G) and Windows will register 84.0 Mbps at times (though it fluctuates). I have a PS3 connected to it as well - never has any issues with a dropped connection.

    While there are dual antenna models that are more expensive, for my 1bd apt this is more than adequate.

    Great router, bad software. Just use the windows networking to connect and you'll be fine....more info
  • best damn router ever
    I got this router because my old one bit the dust since I got this one I have had no problems getting online I can get connection in virtually every room in my 3 bedroom house and with even greater speed than the last. the start up disk made it super simple to get it up and running and setting up a password is easy as pie, I would recommend this router to anyone who wants a dependable router. ...more info
  • CONNECTION PROBLEMS
    This router was very easy to install. It makes internet connection with my notebook very easy, however it has created connection problems on my desktop. I usually keep it disconnected and only plug it in when I use my notebook now....more info
  • Worst Router in the galaxy
    This is the worst router in the world! No Internet Connection a lot of times. You have to reboot many times a day. Tech Support is terrible. Some girl from the Philippines named Marisol Yllaya, doesn't even know how to update firmware. Don't buy this product. I'm going to search for a much better brand. If you want Internet connection then don't buy this item. ...more info
  • NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME - Runs Hot and drops Wireless
    It's one thing to configure a router to suit you needs, it's quite another to have to troubleshoot a product right out of the box. General release products that have been out on the market as long as this one has been should not be PNP. (Plug'n Pray) I bought this to replace my Linksys WRT54GS. Not that my WRT54GS was faulty, I just wanted to take advantage of the newer "N" technology range and bandwidth. Specifically to reach my HP Media Extender (great product btw) from two floors up where my office PC is at.

    Originally, this router would simply drop DNS. In fact, if you haven't already read other reviews, this router has tremendous DNS issues with the latest firmware from Linksys. The fix is to back rev to the previous firmware. Once I did that, the DNS issues disappeared. However, this POS runs too hot, and would still drop wireless connectivity within an hour to my laptop that was sitting less than five feet away from the router itself. Afterwards, I could not re-connect to it, but I could connect to my other router which is still active.

    The bottom line in my humble opinion is that this product is not ready for prime time yet. Same for a lot of other brands too if you read the reviews. Maybe that's why they call it "N Draft"? Unless I can find another product that lives up to its marketing propaganda, I'll stick with my WRT54GS. It's been stable for years, and I never have any of these issues. ...more info
  • Awesome, Fast Router!
    I am very pleased with this router than my last linksys product (which was a Wireless G!) It was amazing how easy set up was and how it helped to provide you with a password that isn't hidden or unknown to the user. Before setting up the router, I had to install the Easylink Advisor that came in the disc, restart, and start making connections with the router. Connection is fast, Easylink helps to setup other wired or wireless adapters that need connection to the router, plus security is great on it! ...more info
  • Keeps kicking me off the net
    I had high hopes for this router, having had good success with a previous Linksys wireless router. Our setup is we have one desktop computer wired direct into the router and one desktop and a laptop on wireless. Both the laptop and the 2nd desktop get booted off the net at random, each several times a day. This is very inconvenient.
    I am going to try updating the firmware with either Linksys or maybe an "after-market" firmware. If that doesn't solve the problem I'll have to live with it I guess...
    FOLLOWUP: 3-9-09: Tried to update firmware. The version I have is the latest available. As another reviewer noted, the DD-WRT firmware update is not avail for Version 2 of this router yet. I tried changing channels etc.-no luck there. I've had with this thing (I just got kicked off the net again during this review) I'm going to pack it back up and try to return it to Amazon. For now I will reinstall my old router until I get a good unit....more info
  • Do not buy this - just go to URL provided to see user feedback!
    Before I bought my WRT160N I was a bit worried about the negative comments. But since I have used Linksys for many years - the b router from way back; and then the WRT54GS g router - none of them give me issues. And since I work in the computer industry, I figure I will not have the problems that others posted here. Boy, was I wrong!

    Install was easy - then immediately I have DNS issues - cannot resolve name such was www.cnn.com. I can do nslookup and that work. So it is the router - luckily my laptop has a separate wireless card and wireless access so a quick search shows hundreds of users having the same problem -just search on "WRT160N DNS issues" and you will see what I mean. I copied/pasted one of the links - Linksys Forum below -

    http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Wireless_Routers&thread.id=119107

    Bottomline is - if you have WRT160N v2 build 11 you are out of luck - you need to find the build 08 Firmware and DOWNGRADE your Linksys router.

    Like I said, my day job is Technical Specialist and I soon have it fixed - but the point being, I don't want to spend my weekend fixing a brand new router and downgrade it just because Linksys sits on its known problem (since Oct of 2008). And as far as I know, Linksys does not have a fix yet and since build 11 is the latest build, chances are if you buy this now (April 2009) you will most likely get build 11.

    Oh, by the way, downgrade to build 08 means you now have DNS vulnerability.

    Everything wireless in my house is Linksys - Linksys USB adapters, Linksys internet wireless cameras - but this is surely a big disappointment! As I was reading the threads, some have said that WRT310N may be better and it has 32m RAM. Not sure if that is true but I include it here for your reference. But next time I think I will go ck out some other vendors other than Linksys. My advice is to steer clear of this model!
    ...more info
  • Problems with the Switch
    I got this router to replace a Linksys wireless-G router. The G router lacked enough range to allow printouts over wifi. The range of this router was terrific. I could connect from anywhere in the house at good speed and printing worked as well as if the wifi PC was plugged directly into a switched router. But there was soon trouble. The Vista desktop PC connected to the router through its switch kept getting dropped off my home LAN. I was unable to resolve this problem short of frequently resetting the switch and/or the PC. This problem kept happening until I returned the WRT160.

    I've used Linksys hardware for over a decade and I've never had any trouble with their products before but I needed a working wireless router so I replaced it with a D-Link DIR-625 RangeBooster Wireless Router. It isn't quite as snappy as the Linksys WRT160 but its range is very good. I've been using the D-Link for about a month now with no more problems....more info
  • Works well under interference environments
    You can't expect to use all the poewr of the N draft range if your laptop Wireless card doen't support N draft, so be wary before of purchasing.
    I have an interference problem at home, and this router has better coverage than others I've tried before so it was a solution in my case....more info
  • Beware!!! Ensure you have the right version!!!
    I have had version 2 of this router for about 2 months now. I have learned a lot about this router during that time, and I DO NOT recommend that you buy it unless you are somewhat network savvy and want to deal with a potential hassle in order to get it working.

    Here's the explanation: there are 3 versions of this router. All of them have suffered from problems with the firmware provided by Linksys to run the router, such as failures to resolve DNS. In the case of versions 1 and 3, there have reportedly been improvements in the firmware, their chipsets are based on Broadcom, and version 1 is supported by the 3rd party DD-WRT software program, which is supposed to solve a lot of problems for these routers.

    Version 2, unfortunately, has the Ralink chipset, reduced RAM, has no DD-WRT solution, and as of its latest firmware build cannot resolve DNS for most users. The best and most common solution for V2 owners seems to be that of downgrading the firmware to build 8. I have done this, and my router work fine right now, but there are concerns in the Linksys forums about security risks in this older build, so it's not a perfect solution.

    What is perhaps most disconcerting about this router is the complete lack of acknowledgment and concern on the part of Linksys for the failures of the version 2 firmware. There is a Linksys support forum thread that has persisted for over 6 months now, with numerous complaints from V2 router owners about the router's failures to resolve DNS. What does Linksys do about this? ALL THEY DO IS SPEND TIME CENSORING THE POSTS AND EDITING OUT COMMENTS THAT ARE CRITICAL OF LINKSYS'. There has been virtually no response from them on this thread. Some of the router owners have called Linksys tech support to ask for help. Sometimes the techs try to offer limited help, but most puzzling is that we are told that this is the first time they've heard of this problem (which is not likely true at all).

    DD-WRT has reportedly been working on a firmware replacement for V2, but it's been going slow and the DD-WRT developers have not been very forthcoming on the status of development. So who knows when it will happen.

    In conclusion, what would I have to say to anyone interested in this router? Make sure that it's a V1, not V2 and probably not V3 either. You can at least get DD-WRT for V1. How do you determine the version? First, buy it in a store, so that you can physically open the box, take out the router and look at the model number on the plating under router. There is nothing on the box, wrapping or documentation that says the router's version. You must look at the router itself. If you buy it online, find out from the seller what version it is, maybe even demand that they send you a picture of the bottom of the router so you can verify.

    If you still get stuck with a V2, either try to exchange or return it for a refund, OR downgrade the firmware to build 8. If you're like me and prefer that this router work the way it should out of the box, then stay away from it and look for something else.


    Another note: These routers also come with a network management tool called LELA (Linksys Easy Link Advisor). While it has a pretty user interface, not everybody likes it, either because it simply won't work (what with all the errors that may pop up, especially if your router firmware doesn't work), or because it changes your network settings (something you won't like if you already have a network set up a particular way). You don't have to install LELA to use this router, and I would recommend not using it at all even if your router is working well, unless you want another background program taking up computer resources....more info