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71PRO SCORE
GIVE IT AN OVERALL RATING
3.53448275862069 29 5 0
3.53448275862069
116 VOTES

The Linksys WRT54G series of wireless routers, that includes variants: WRT54GS, WRT54GL, and WRTSL54GS.

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Pros

External antennas provide greater range

19 agree

Firmware can be upgraded to third-party open-source software like DD-WRT, Tomato Firmware, or OpenWRT

16 agree

Upgradeable antennas

14 agree

Rock-solid operation

10 agree

Device includes 4-port switch and Wireless-G (802.11g) access point

8 agree

Device is downward (or backwards) compatible to 802.11b clients at 11 Mbps

7 agree

Backlit SES-button on the front that can be programmed to run scripts using 3rd party firmware

5 agree

GUI is relatively easy to work through.

3 agree
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Cons

Factory firmware does not allow for user bandwidth customization aka QoS (Quality of Service)

6 agree

More expensive because it can be modded

6 agree

Not as "pretty" as newer routers

5 agree

slower than the latest Gigabit / 802.11N options

4 agree

Some versions use VxWorks stock firmware that cannot be upgraded to third-party

4 agree

can be bricked easily while upgrading firmware

3 agree

"Low or limited connectivity"

2 agree

after 2 years it just stops working. (at least for me, it's either wlan, or lan. both don't work simultaneously)

2 agree

No tech support for Mac

1 agrees

Device has trouble provisioning new IP address under heavy use

1 agrees

After 6 years router started dropping connectons.

0 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Edit

 

The Linksys WRT54G series of wireless routers, that includes variants: WRT54GS, WRT54GL, and WRTSL54GS, is an extremely popular among computer enthusiasts because of it's ability to run third-party open-source firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato Firmware as it's firmware source code was released publicly under the GNU GPL. The first version was released in December 2002, but many different versions with hardware/firmware variations have subsequently been released. All feature two external antennas, 4 LAN ports, 1 WAN ports, and 802.11b/g support. The most recent version in the series is the WRT54GL, which returns to a Linux-based firmware, allowing for upgrades from third-party firmwares. It retails for around $65.

Upgraded Third-party firmware

The popularity of this router is largely due to the ability to unlock advanced features, tweak power settings, and view advanced QoS statistics by running third-party firmware. By flashing the firmware, you void all warranties, and likely cannot return the router for any store refund if you inadvertently damage it.

Note: Most WRT54G and WRT54GS models (not WRT54GL) sold in stores right now are the v5.0+ variety running the VxWorks firmware instead of the Linux-based version and cannot be flashed.

Post Review
Dan (Shrek)
06/28/2009 09:43

Just a note, I have the older version of the router, don't get me wrong, I still love the router contrary to what I used to think about Linksys :)

Yale
06/27/2009 09:59

This thing with Tomato is unbelievable. Rock solid and highly configurable. Makes my life so much easier with automatic DDNS updates. Had a similar looking wireless B router from Linksys (with the default firmware) which always required reboots after wireless would stop working or my connection would die and not automatically reconnect - would drive me up the wall, and couldn't be trusted when I needed to remotely connect for time sensitive work.

Howlsthunder
08/26/2008 09:32

I have this router and use it for two Macintoshes (one wired in, the other wireless) and our Nintendo Wii, plus the occasional visiting MacBook. Its a solid router and I never have problems with it. Good range, good reception all throughout the house.

My only complaint is that there is NO Apple support for it via Linksys themselves so it takes a bit of router know-how to get it set up on a Mac. However, we did find Linksys support to be helpful even when they couldn't help ;).

Erik
08/20/2008 11:54

Ok, bonehead manoeuver on my part. I had mobth the WAN and LAN side of the Vonage router setup on the 192.168.0.x subnet. I changed the router LAN subnet to 192.168.100.x and bingobango, dialtone.

I love this router!

Erik
08/20/2008 10:46

I won't get a dialtone. I've connected the Vonage router's WAN port to a LAN port of the WRT54GL, and then forwarded ports according to Vonage support:

http://www.vonage.com/help.php?article=1098&category=44&nav=

Anybody have any good links on how to setup QoS in Tomato/DD-WRT?

Manzabar
08/18/2008 03:10

@Erik: What kinds of problems do you have with the Vonage router when put behind the WRT54GL? Is the Vonage routher wireless/wired?

Dialupinternetuser
08/18/2008 10:46

Try using DD-WRT, it actually uses the same code as the defualt firmware because Linksys based their stuff on some open source stuff so after some litigation they were forced to release it because of GPL. It's what I use.

Erik
08/18/2008 10:38

I just bought the WRT54GL version of this router and flashed it with Tomato over the weekend after coming across it on Newegg. So far it's lived up to it's almost legendary reputation as a rock solid performer with the upgraded Tomato Firmware. I boosted by Tx power to 70 mW (up from 42 mW) and I doubled my bandwidth when connecting wirelessly through a single floor.

I originally bought this router to function as merely an access point, but since it's QoS and bandwidth monitoring is so sweet I want to make it my main router. However, I have a problem. I also run a Vonage router that doesn't seem to work properly when setup behind the WRT54GL (even after forwarding ports according to their support). I would still like to run this topology. Any ideas?

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