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    Review of Airlink AR670W Wireless Router.

    For our June test, we decided to test a bargain basement wireless router. We see cheap wireless routers advertised in the flyers all the time, and we ask ourselves, "Are these cheap wireless routers worth it, or do you get what you pay for?". Surveying the shelves at the local computer electronics retailer, the Airlink AR670 was the cheapest router (at $14.99) and the specs matched up with the higher priced Netgear and Linksys wireless routers.

    airlink router picture Specs for this router are impressive considering the price, 300mbps 802.11b/g/n in the 2.4Ghz spectrum (personally I always like having that 802.11a radio in there for even better performance), with WPA2-AES, QOS, SPI, VPN passthrough, 802.1x and 4 10/100 ethernet ports. This is everything a family needs from a wireless router!

    In the past, some manufacturers were able to offer cheaper prices on products at the expense of something, and that something is usually support, documentation, and configuration support. This router has a good manual (very surprised) and configuration is much easier then a linksys.. I might of done this hundreds of times, so I let a non networking literate family member configure the router, and they completed the task in 5 minutes. Well done airlink!

    We are comparing this router against our existing Cisco WRV210 (also a 2.4Ghz wireless router), and were very surprised to find performance (throughput) increased substatially. MIMO on the Airlink worked perfectly, well done Airlink. We also found a 30% increase in range vs the Cisco WRV210 with RangerBooster which is also a welcome surprise. No issues were reported when we loaded up non windows/mac machines on the network including a linux desktop, Android OS smartphone and an WebOS HP tablet. We did find a bug that popped up every couple of weeks, there is a bug in the DNS caching, where you can't resolve and DNS queries. Simple solution, reboot the router.. After such a strong performance, to find a reoccurance of bugs of 1st and 2nd generation wireless routers in this product was a disapointment.

    To fix this bug, we went off to the Airlink website, a well done website, easy to find the make and model, shows the specs, features, and you can download the drivers/manual.. Excellent.. except, there are no driver updates.. just the original firmware.. Checked out some other routers, the 686, same thing, 1747 camera.. same thing... Now it makes sence how Airlink is able to keep the prices so low, the after purchase support/upgrades/patches area seems to be underfunded.

    Back to the original question, is this 'cheap' wireless router worth it, and the answer is a resounding YES. There is a bug, where yes you need to reboot the router every once in a while, but performance, security and ease of configurations make this a good quality router you can buy for your parents, family friends and average internet users. Personally, I'm still using it, and not going back to the Cisco WRV210.

    Mark Breakdown:

    Category: Comments:

    Performance: Excellent speed, throughput, and range for this wireless router, also handles congestion very well thanks to MIMO and 802.11n. The 4 Ethernet ports also work well for LAN users, no issues with connectivity to older 10mpbs half duplex devices and connections to the gigbit switches on the network.

    Supportability: Menu's on the router are easy to navigate and help in troubleshooting, which is nice. The company website is also easy to navigate and usually has the owners manual and original firmware on it... BUT no updates which is hard to believe, no product is bug free. Lack of updates to firmware/patches is a major disapointment

    Ease of Use/Configuration: First time configuring this router was simple. Quick start manual well done, easy to follow. The Memu's in the router again are simple, logical and easy to find this you wish to configure especially in the wireless section, again job well done.

    Compatibility: The website says compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac, but this is TCP/IP networking and any device can and will work with this router. We tried many different non standard OS's (WebOS, Android, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac 7.5.1) and no problems at all. DNS, DHCP, all worked as they should with the exception of hte DNS cache bug.

    Features: Lots of great features, comparible with more expensive wireless routers, WPA2-AES, 802.1z, SPI (stateful packet inspection), DNS, DHCP, access control, but the best feature is the low price.

    Personal: I really like this router because of it's ease of use, excellent performance and low price point. Well engineered product, although if the company provides the same level of support (firmware updates, patches, etc..) to the more expensive products (IP cameras, larger switches, routers) I'd be a bit concerned. Personally I don't think Airlink is ready to support products to the enterprise level customers, but if they improve their post sales support/engineering, there is a bright future for this company.

    Overall: Airlink, you have engineered a very good, high performance, cost effective wireless router for residential use. I love it and this is great for your average family or light use internet home.