We bought our copy of the Linksys WRT300N wireless-N broadband router in early 2008 for roughly $125; our first-ever WiFi router purchase.
Linksys WRT300N Router Intro
The WRT300N worked well and non stop even though it was a DRAFT N router. It served us for nearly seven years before it broke down. It gave vast signal coverage for all the more transmit power it had. Indeed, the dual antennas along with the reflect plate between them yielded full-bars signal all over our home. Plus, in another place, it gave stable WiFi in a one-bedroom apartment, amongst many other WiFi networks there.
Later, we replaced the Cisco firmware with dd-wrt. This added a range extender function. So we got a stronger WiFi signal at our backyard pavilion with it. Though doing this halved the max WiFi data rate, radio streaming still worked well. Our broadband speed at the time was just 25 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up.
But with today’s speeds topping 100 Mbps, we avoid WiFi repeating. Why? Because of this bandwidth cut.
But when you need a solid range booster, then the WRT300N is second to none with the dd-wrt firmware.
The unit stands up on its side via a detachable stand. Or it sits on its belly, as shown above.
The WRT300N makes no noise. It’s fanless after all. Nor does it collect much dust inside as a result. It’s true though that this router does run a bit warm. So be sure to keep all vent holes clear. Without a fan, open vent holes are a must.
Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features of the Linksys WRT300N Broadband Router
Front Panel Status LEDs
- LAN ports 1 through 4 status.
- Internet status.
- WiFi status.
- Security status.
These LEDs either glow or not, or they blink to show router status as it runs. See the Users Manual for a full list of these displays.
Few Buttons and Switches
There’s a “Reserved” button on the top of the unit (pictured above). This seems to do nothing when you press it.
The only other button is the RESET push button, found on the back, and shown below.
All Ports on Back
Rear panel ports, shown below, include the…
- WAN port (blue).
- LAN ports 1 through 4 (yellow).
- Power adapter port on the far right.
Find a recessed reset button between the LAN and ports on the back. Press this with the end of a safety pin to restore the WRT300N to factory default settings.
There’s no cooling fan inside to draw in dust. This router seems well vented. Yet it has no blower.
Add On Power Supply
Power adapters are the largest workhorses in a WiFi router setup. So they tend to fail more often than the router itself. Thus, keeping the supply outside the unit means that you can put on a new one easily. So if the supply does fail, the user can attach a new one without much tech knowledge.
The Linksys WRT300N router may sit flat on a table, as pictured above. Or, it can stand on its end when you snap on the little stand that comes with it.
Now you get good WiFi coverage ether way by setting the positions of the antennas. But you might wish to side-end the router when you only have a little foot-print space for it. Or, put it on its belly if you want to install it under a low clearance cabinet. This router works well in either position.
Though you cannot take them off, you can still adjust the antennas through lots of positions. This shapes the WiFi signal bubble to best blanket your space.
The square shaped middle antenna acts as a beam. So, aim this at distant or weak-signal areas around your home to strengthen them.
Four LAN Ports
Has four Fast Ethernet ports for wired LAN devices. You can add more ports if you wish, by connecting any one of these to an Ethernet switch or hub.
Runs at Fast Ethernet Speed
All ports run at 100 Mbps. No gigabit Ethernet speeds on the Linksys WRT300N router.
Uses a few radios for increased range, faster, and a more solid WiFi network.
Wireless N Speeds
We saw data rates of 130 Mbps through this router’s wireless access point (WAP). This is more than twice as fast as Wireless G speeds at 54 Mbps.
Our streaming audio and video devices work better. E.g. DVRs, tablets, smart TVs, and iPhones. Also, movies from Netflix streamed stutter-free, with no “buffering” errors.
Short Boot Time
The Linksys WRT300N WiFi router goes online in well under a minute after power up. But other routers can take as long as three minutes and more.
Supports Older Wireless Standards
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n on 2.4 Ghz. only.
Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS)
The WRT300N supports auto IP address updating of your DDNS address if you have one. Handy with services like DynDNS.org or TZO.com. With this function there’s no need to run a DDNS updater program on a local computer. This router detects IP address changes by your ISP. Then it updates your DDNS record to match.
The Linksys WRT300N fast Ethernet router can do the following.
- Port forwarding.
- Port triggering.
- Basic QoS traffic handling.
Universal Plug and Play (uPnP)
Either wired or wireless uPnP clients can find and talk with each other though the WRT300N.
Dynamic and Static Routing
Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall
The Linksys WRT300N router inspects each inbound packet from the internet. Then it drops those it thinks are malicious. It will not route these packets onto your LAN.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Pass Through
Supports devices on the local or WiFi network making secure VPM connections with remote servers via the internet. This ensures secure workplace-to-home connections.
DMZ lets you bypass the built in firewall on one LAN port. This allow direct internet access to one DMZ (demilitarized zone) server computer on your network from the internet.
Wireless MAC Address Fencing Option
The WRT300N Linksys router can block wireless devices via their MAC addresses. All device clients are allowed by default. Then you manually enter the MAC Ids of those you wish to keep out of your network.
You may turn on event logging in the WRT300N. Then, the router keeps a log of routine events and errors in memory. Then you can view this log on its admin web site. Or, the router can email you the log info every so often. Note that the WRT300N keeps both a general log as well as a wireless system log.
WPA and WPA2 Security
Supports both personal and enterprise key mode via a RADIUS server.
AES and TKIP Encryption
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Concerns, and Drawbacks of the Linksys WRT300N Wireless Router
No mention of Hardware Based Network Address Translation (NAT)
If done through firmware only, this could mean slower WiFi in high data traffic apps. E.g. video surveillance, or movie streaming services.
No wireless AC Support
Not that the WRT300N does not provide 802.11ac WiFi speeds. The fastest protocol on the WNDR4300 is 802.11n.
No WPS Button
To connect to this router, you must manually choose the WiFi network and enter its password.
Old Fashioned Linear Adapter comes with the Linksys WRT300N Router
The 12-volt, 1-amp, positive tip power supply, is not as efficient as today’s switch mode models. These transformer-based units of the 1990s offer less regulation. E.g. they protect less against voltage spikes and surges. Yet the Linksys WRT300N router always seemed stable. So, while we often prefer a switching supply, the linear supply here never failed us. The router never crashed with it.
Non Detachable Antennas
This limits WiFi antenna choices. As such, it may limit the best attainable coverage somewhat. But since the built-in antennas are external, you can set their positions easily.
So we think that the best routers have removable aerials. Indeed, if you need precise control of the signal through Yagi or dish antennas, do not buy the WRT300N. Why? Because you won’t be able to connect these special antennas to it.
Single Band Only
The WRT300N router by Linksys runs only on the 2.4 Ghz. radio band. The higher speeds of dual band mode with 5 Ghz. are not present on this router.
No USB Device Support
You cannot directly access USB storage devices via the WRT300N. So, no file sharing from a USB storage device. Instead, you must attach said storage to a computer on the network. Then share it from there.
No Reboot Scheduling
Some high-end routers let you set a time when they auto reboot. A reboot clears any slow-growing memory and handle leaks due to bugs in the firmware. Thus, rebooting every so often improves router reliability. But we found no such option in the Linksys WRT300N router though. So if you want regular rebooting, you must do this manually on the WRT300N.
Single WAN Support Only
So, no load balancing or internet fault tolerance on this router.
Non Adaptive QoS on the Linksys WRT300N Router
The WMM QoS in this router prioritizes network traffic among connected devices and the internet based on static rules only. That is, it does not dynamically change priorities based on prevalence of certain types of network traffic. More recent routers like the Asus RT-AC87R, do provide this function though.
No System Recovery Option
Do not stop a firmware upgrade as it happens. Why? Because this could corrupt the install and brick your router. Sadly, there’s no easy means restore the router to its previous, working firmware should that happen.
Note though you can restore firmware settings if you saved a backup of the router’s settings file. So this may bail you out of some issues where the router does not boot.
No Guest Networks on the Linksys WRT300N Router
This router offers no WiFi guest networks. A guest network lets people access the internet from your network. But it restricts access to your local devices.
So with this router, all clients connect to the same WiFi network, not a separate guest one. And, by default, they all have the same resource access rights.
Manual Firmware Upgrades
No auto firmware updating on this router. These installations need a computer connected to the router’s local wired network to complete.
May Need Rebooting if you Restart the Attached WAN Equipment
If our network slows, we had to reboot both our cable modem and this router. But rebooting just the modem often did not fully fix the slowness issue. Sometimes the WRT300N after a modem restart, runs slow until you also cold start it as well. But later router firmware updates have largely fixed this problem.
No Wireless AC Support
Note that this router does not provide 802.11ac WiFi speeds. Further, the fastest wireless protocol here, is 802.11n on 2.4 Ghz. only, which is 130 Mbps.
Our Rating for the Linksys WRT300N Router
To wrap this all up, the Cisco Linksys WRT300N broadband router is an okay-priced and decent performing Wireless N router among the few we’ve owned. Indeed we loved the 130 Mbps speeds, which at release, were state-of-the-art. The setup and control web site gives control over tens of LAN, WAN, WLAN, and security settings. The seasoned IT tech will like this vintage router’s suite of advanced settings. Yet also enjoy its very streamlined admin web site.
The WRT300N was at first dubbed as a Wireless DRAFT N device. Yet we saw no instability, data slowdowns, or lockups while using it. It was a very solid router for a draft model.
At last, we hope that Cisco Linksys keeps up with this nearly faultless design and build that this router has. If not for the higher data rates and faster hardware of today’s routers, we’d certainly buy another one. So we’d rate the Linksys WRT300N router at 96 out of 100.
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References for Linksys WRT300N Router
- Official Cisco Linksys WRT300N Product Page
- Users Guide for the WRT300N (PDF)
- Where to buy the Linksys WRT300N Broadband WiFi Router
- What is Wireless N? on Wikipedia
- 2019-06-13: Added key phrase targeting for ‘Linksys WRT300N Router’, removed ad code, and added more links and tags.
- 2016-10-27: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-09-08: Minor revisions.
- 2015-08-01: Originally published.