Review: Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router

by Parm Mann on 28 November 2017, 14:00

Tags: Linksys, Rivet Networks

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Specification and Test Methodology

Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router Specification

Wi-Fi Technology Dual-band AC3200 MU-MIMO w/ MU-MIMO, DFS
Key Features 802.11a
Wi-Fi Speed AC3200 (N600 + AC2600)
Wi-Fi Bands 2.4 and 5 GHz (simultaneous dual-band)
Wi-Fi Range Very Large Household
Number of Ethernet Ports 1x Gigabit WAN port
4x Gigabit LAN ports
Other Ports One(1) USB 3.0 port
One(1) Combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port
Antennas 4x external, dual-band, detachable antennas
Processor 1.8 GHz dual-core
LEDs Power, Internet, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, eSATA, USB1 (USB 2.0), USB2 (USB 3.0), LAN 1–4 (activity/10/100 Mbps), LAN 1–4 (1 Gbps), WPS
Wireless Encryption WPA2 Personal
VPN Support PPTP
IPSec pass-through
Storage File System Support FAT, NTFS, and HFS+
Easy Setup Browser-based Setup
Certified Operating Systems MacOS (10.X or higher), Windows 7, Windows 8.1 (Works with Windows 10)
Minimum System Requirements Internet Explorer 8
Safari 5 (for Mac)
Firefox 8
Google Chrome
Dimensions (LxWxH) 245.87 x 193.80 x 51.82 mm (9.68 x 7.63 x 2.04 in.) without antennas
Weight 798.32 g (28.16 oz)
Security Features WPA2
128 bit AES link encryption
Regulatory Compliance FCC class B
Other Certifications FCC DFS Certified
Additional Information Open Source ready for OpenWrt
Power Supply Input: 100-240V ~ 50-60Hz; Output: 12V, 3.0A

Comparison Routers

Model HEXUS Review Reviewed Price Product Page
Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router November 2017 £300
Synology Router RT1900ac January 2016 £120
Synology Router RT2600ac January 2017 £210
TP-Link Archer VR900 October 2015 £140
TP-Link Archer VR2600 October 2016 £200

Test Methodology

Evaluating the wireless performance of a router can be something of a minefield. The sheer amount of surrounding wireless broadcasts is such that the test environment is always subject to change, and performance will fluctuate as a result. With this in mind, please be aware that our performance results may not mirror your own and the following benchmark numbers should be viewed as theoretical.

To provide examples of real-world performance, the routers are installed on the ground floor of a three-storey house built in 2006. Routers with a built-in modem are connected directly to a BT Infinity line, whereas standalone routers are first connected to an external DrayTek Vigor 130 VDSL modem. Wireless performance on non-Killer routers is tested from a ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop outfitted with a TP-Link Archer T4U dual-band wireless adapter. Killer-enabled routers are tested from an Alienware 15 R3 laptop equipped with a Killer Wireless-AC 1435 adapter.

Wireless performance tests are conducted at multiple locations. Location A is defined as a first-floor room directly above the router, representing a distance of roughly 15ft and one separating floor. Location B is on the ground floor at a horizontal distance of roughly 45ft from the router, with multiple separating walls. Finally, Location C is on the top floor at a vertical distance of roughly 40ft, with two-floor separation.

In each location, we test wireless performance by copying 2GB of data to and fro a Synology NAS wired to the network via a TP-Link TL-SG1024 Gigabit switch. For comparison's sake, we also run the same file transfer using a wired connection to the laptop, and we also test transfer speed to a router-attached storage device - an SK hynix Canvas SC300 SSD installed in a basic USB 3.0 caddy.