“ ASUS WL-600g - Wireless router + 4-port switch - DSL - EN, Fast EN, 802.11b, 802.11g „
I bought this in March 2007. It has a smart appearance, which is fortunate since it is so bulky ... 160x210x40mm approx.
The CD-based manual is more informative and helpful than the manuals for the other 2 routers I have owned, although I still needed to consult a few forums to get my head around the wifi security configs.
I was surprised how easy it was to connect my old printer (HP Laserjet 3200) to one of the Asus's USB ports and get it working via wifi: the instructions in the manual were pretty clear for my XP computer and it wasn't hard to work out the equivalent steps to take on my Vista computer. I was quite worried that it would somehow not be compatible with my printer (even the quick-start guide gives a worryingly short list of just 14 'compatible printers') but during the installation process, there is an option to choose from a huge list of printers (presumably Windows' selection of in-built drivers) and also the option to use an installation disc if your printer is not listed.
I haven't yet tried the FTP USB HDD. I hope that I won't have to use an FTP program within the home network to access the drive (as the manual implies). I noticed that the closest model on Asus' UK website (WL-500gP V2 ... the 600g is visible on the global site) claims that you can access the drive through 'network neighbourhood' so I presume I won't have to use FTP. Incidentally, I noticed that the 500gP doesn't promote the extremely useful feature of a built-in printer + HDD connection very much... weird for such a rare and useful feature!
Router functionality... Like my previous router, I couldn't get my PCs to talk to it with WPA security, but WPA and MAC filtering works fine (XP-SP2 and Vista). I think the WPA problem is on the computer side (eg firewalls).
A few months ago I happened to come across a tech blog reporting on the recent introduction of several networking products from Asus.
The Asus WL-600G wireless G ADSL2+ network router caught my attention due to the advertised built in ftp capability and print server support, two highly useful features which are hard to find despite the maturity of the ADSL network products. Plugging in a USB flash or HDD drive the WL-600G can host an ftp server either locally or over the internet. Attaching a USB printer to the WL-600G this can then be shared over network.
Available for reasonable £55 and based on these two hard to find features I purchased the WL-600G.
Upon opening the box, the usual various accessories are included: setup CD, microfilter, aerial ethernet cable and phone cable. Visually the unit looks impressive, with a white finish attractive in the home environment. While the unit appears smart, the build quality feels very flimsy and fragile. Asus is Taiwanese, and unfortunately this product has that cheap Taiwanese feel to it. The unit lacks a solid build and casing especially in comparison to other networking products I have used from a wide range of manufacturers. If the unit would happen to fall it would most likely break.
Unsurprisingly switching on the WL-600G for the first time, the unit appeared dead.
After the inconvenience of obtaining a replacement unit, I managed to get round to the setup. Connecting to the router for the first time is just as straight forward as any other network product. This can be done via wireless or Ethernet. The various default settings such as default gateway IP address, username and password are in the manual. There's another feature included called Ez setup. By installing the CD software on the PC this is supposed to create an simple first time connection to the PC. However since using the normal method was successful I had no need to use this software.
General interface options and browsing
The interface consists of a quick, easy and accessible layout. As one would expect from ADSL routers, the usual range options are available.
While the unit supports IP blocking, it does not appear possible to block websites based on the key words in the URL. Previously with my old Netgear router if one wanted to block access to most gambling websites one could just add key words such as "gamble", "casino" and "bet" into the keyword menu interface. From this any website URL that included such words would automatically be blocked. Unfortunately such options do not exist with the WL-600G. Instead one must enter the original IP address of each individual URL.
Connecting a flash drive to the USB port, the WL-600G's FTP interface has lived up to expectations. The unit includes ftp, user account and password configuration with user rights. One can access the router's ftp within the network or from a remote location. This is an extremely useful to retrieve or share files with others.
Using a Samsung laser ML2510, I have been unable to get the printer networking feature to work. Due to the time consuming nature of this task and little support from Asus on compatible printers I have abandoned this feature for the time being.
The wireless connection is reliable and solid. With many routers, if a wireless b and wireless g product both happen to be connected simultaneously to the host router, the unit will drop its wireless connection to the slower wireless b for all connected devices. However with the WL-600G, it appears to be able to sync to wireless G devices at full speed despite other wireless b devices simultaneously connected to the network.
Connecting to the internet
Since my internet connection is ADSL 2+, there are many configuration options that have to be entered. Despite being given accurate configuration details from my ISP there were still many problems obtaining a first time ADSL connection. Calling ASUS for technical support I was told that they do not have telephone technical support for networking products which seemed odd. They only provide tech support over the web. After browsing the web for configuration settings I finally found the correct settings posted by another user on the same ISP. Finally the router was able to obtain a full sync to my ISP. However, while with the previous router my sync was at approx 17mb with the new WL-600G the adsl sync is just under 15MB.
Internet connectivity with the WL-600G appears solid, able to handle multiple connections without trouble. There's also the option to prioritize bandwidth. If one is into online gaming this would be extremely useful especially when others are using the internet at the same time. Despite running torrents from several different computers at once and multiple streaming and downloads, the unit has remained stable and hasn't crashed once.
In comparison to the Speedtouch router provided by my ISP, the WL-600G has been a far more stable, with a greater choice of configuration and options. However, the build quality of the WL-600G is questionable; while the exterior design is impressive, the unit appears rather flimsy. Further to this it does not help that the unit arrived dead on arrival.
Asus technical support for networking products is rather poor. When I called Asus they informed me that they do not provide over the phone tech support for networking products. In comparison with various LinkSys and Netgear network products I have always been able to access quick and easily accessible over the phone technical support.
Asus is not known for networking products. Their main strength still remains with motherboards and notebook computers. The main appeal for the WL-600g includes built in ftp and possible print networking, two very useful features which few other manufacturers seem to provide. Other than built in ftp and print server, all the other major features can be found on many other routers. If built in ftp and print server is not important to you it would be better to buy an ADSL router from the major networking manufacturers that can provide a solid product and proper product support.
UPDATE: After spending some time reconfiguring the settings, I have managed to get the basic printer function working over the network.
The WL-600g enables multiple users to use a single printer remotely without having a PC or server turned on 24 hours a day.
The WL-600g helps you backup and share digital files and MP3 through Internet and download the files remotely while you're not home!
The WL-600g prioritizes bandwidth for gaming applications to get rid of action latency when battling online.
The WL-600g intelligently optimizes network resources and automatically prioritizes network traffic to better execute time-sensitive applications including IP phone and multimedia applications. Your IP phone or A/V streaming applications will be transferred without interference.
Extend network coverage as an Internet gateway so that other routers can connect to the Internet through WL-600g.