Medialink – Wireless N Broadband Router 300 Mbps – 2.4GHz 802.11n w/Internal Antenna the Medialink MWN-WAPR300N isn’t flashy. It doesn’t promise tremendous speeds or an expansive suite of unique features; it just sets out to provide you with the core functionality that you’re looking for in a router, in a reasonably affordable, reliable, and effective package.
most people need much the same things from their wireless routers, and there’s a place for a basic, no-frills product like this. Medialink knows their audience, and it’s a sizable one.
The question, though, is how well the MWN-WAPR300N performs in its role. There are lots of routers in the same position as this one, and only the best of them stand out.
Medialink Wireless N Broadband Router 300 Mbps Hardware
Let’s start by talking about wireless speed. The MWN-WAPR300N is an 802.11n router with a hypothetical maximum bandwidth of 300Mbps; in real-world use, it averages around 20Mbps to 25Mbps in an area of around 80 feet, before the signal starts to degrade to the point of unusability.
These aren’t dramatic figures, but they’re good enough to cover basic Web browsing, video streaming, and the like on several devices at once, and they’re absolutely rock-solid; performance is predictable and reliable, which means a lot.
High peaks can be interesting, but there’s something to be said for the stability on offer here.
In terms of wired networking, you’ve got four 100Mbps Ethernet ports, which usually manage around that level of speed.
These don’t provide you with the sort of really impressive performance that you can manage with the gigabit ports present on higher-end routers, but – again – they’re more than sufficient for the vast majority of residential Internet connections.
If you’re moving a lot of big media files between devices over your local network, then this router isn’t for you; it’s for the typical user that just wants to share their Internet connection between a handful of devices in their home.
Under the hood, there’s not much to speak of. You’re not running DD-WRT on this router; it’s designed to do what it says on the box and not a whole lot more.
It’s good at that, of course – but there’s not a lot to tinker with. Once more, if you want that functionality, then this is not a router for you.
Medialink MWN-WAPR300N – Software
Medialink’s firmware combines user-friendliness with a relatively robust set of features.
The MWN-WAPR300N is a fully plug-and-play device that can start broadcasting as soon as you plug it in and turn it on, and the browser-based control panel is sensibly laid out and makes it very simple for you to get to the functionality that you’re looking for.
It’s very, very simple to go in there, set up basic networking and security settings, and get to using your router without a lot of fuss.
That’s not to say that the MWN-WAPR300N doesn’t give you options for anything more advanced!
There are some fairly robust tools for configuring static routing and port forwarding, and the router supports No-IP DDNS. You’ve got a full suite of routing functionality, and all of it works very well; the MWN-WAPR300N is a workhorse that can serve a fairly sizable portion of the market.
If you want, you can even use a utility in the firmware to set it up as a repeater, quickly and easily.
There is an interesting point that it’s missing, though
You may have noticed that the USB ports weren’t mentioned above; that’s because there aren’t any, and there’s none of the functionality that normally accompanies them.
There’s no media server, no BitTorrent client, none of the other bells and whistles that rely on USB connectivity which have become pretty standard at this point.
That’s not a bad thing – again, the MWN-WAPR300N is a basic wireless router; it routes, that’s its job, and it’s pretty good at it – but it’s worth being aware of before making a purchase. If you get a lot of mileage out of those functions, you might have a problem.