THE LINKSYS WRT54G2 has a lot to live up to; its predecessor, the WRT54G was one ofthe world's largest selling routers, and the iconic blue and black box is still seen all over the place. The new WRT54G2 is a completely new design. The old boxy look has been replaced by a swoopy, glossy black, sting-ray design. The antennae have been concealed inside the box, and the new design definitely looks very modern and 2009-ih. The back panel has the four LAN and one WAN port, and the top has a button for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, an easy way to connect clients securely, if they sup¬port this method.
The web-based interface hasn't got a facelift; it's still the standard blue and white. It works well, and there's no real need to fix this, since it ain't broken. The features are nothing to write home about, but all that you need is there, neatly labeled and with adequate help. Linksys also has something it calls LELA, the Linksys Easy Link Advisor. This is a standard, wizard based method to set up the router, and as wizards go, it's better than most.
We were apprehensive about the performance of this router, since it had no external antennae. It turned out to be the way we feared; at shorter distances, the router did well, but at forty feet, it had almost the worst performance of all the routers. Only the Compex NP25G did worse, and that did a lot worse. This router is good for a small apartment or house, but don't expect too much from it. At shorter ranges (up to twenty feet, with one wall), it did alright, with a maximum throughput of 11.8 Mbps. It did very well at the wired performance test, beating all the others, so if you have a couple of desktops that you intend to hook up via Ethernet, this router will be a good fit.