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Conclusion

The WL-500W proved to be nothing else but the WL-500g Premium with the addition of Draft N. The firmware for each router is about the same quality. The functionality and hardware platform are the same, too. Yes, the WL-500W is good but it lacks new features. You do expect something more – a new exterior design at least – from a router that supports a new Wi-Fi standard. This can be explained by ASUS’ desire to minimize the cost of development of the new device, which should affect its pricing positively. The average price of the WL-500W is indeed about $125 – quite appealing for such a router. For example, the WRT300N costs about the same money, but is far inferior to the ASUS router in terms of functionality.

Talking about specific features of the WL-500W, it performs well in tests and offers full-featured USB ports for more functionality – you don’t often find them in a home router. I haven’t had a chance to test the router with a Wi-Fi card based on the Intensi-fi chipset, but I do think its performance is going to be even higher with it. So, if you have been planning to buy a WL-500g Premium, the WL-500W should be an even better choice. Another point in favor of this router is the availability of good alternative firmware.

Highs:

  • USB 2.0 ports
  • Good results in tests
  • Big number of simultaneous connections
  • High-quality case design
  • User-friendly web-interface
  • Fasteners for wall-mounting
  • Excellent hardware foundation that allows for a considerable enhancement of the product’s functionality
  • Download Master software
  • Good alternative firmware

Lows:

  • Combines Draft N with Fast Ethernet
  • No USB indicator
  • Small indicators
  • Stray light from the case
  • Non-detachable antennas
  • Low functionality of the Download Master
 
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