Exterior and Interior Design
ASUS’ designers went a well-trodden path when they were working on the WL-600g. The router looks like most other WL-xxx series devices, including the WL-500g Premium, differing with the number of antennas, indicators, and the rear panel. It is still the same rectangular straight-lined case with rounded-off angles, made from white plastic. The router is girdled with a gray band that goes along its sides and front and serves as a background for the indicators. The device can be placed horizontally on a desk or hung on the wall using the special grooves. The WL-600g is an elegant device overall, following the latest fashion of the computer world, but still they might have created something original keeping within the same design style – there are just too many same-looking routers in ASUS’ product range nowadays. You expect some creativity from such a renowned firm as ASUS, you know. There are vent holes in the top and bottom panels. The side panel is perforated near the corners for the purpose of ventilation, too. This is enough to keep the router moderately warm at work. The WL-600g’s indicators are based on two-color SMD LEDs soldered near the edge of the router’s main PCB. Their light is transferred to the front panel by means of light pipes made of translucent plastic.
Like the WL-500g Premium, this model has a “shining” top vent grid. You can see a rather bright light (it is green this time) shining through the router’s top panel in semidarkness because the light from the LEDs not only goes through the light pipes but also penetrates them. A modder may be delighted at this illumination, yet it can hardly please an ordinary user. With all this excessive luminescence, the indicators on the front panel lack brightness as well as contrast. Their light merges into the color of the front panel quickly as you are moving further away from them. And if you are looking at the panel at an angle, active indicators can hardly be told from inactive ones.
Now that we are talking about the front panel, we’d like to tell you which exactly indicators are located on it. We’ll take a look at the router’s rear panel, too. So, the front panel of the WL-600g offers the following (from left to right):
- Power (if this indicator is alight, it shows that the router is working; its fast blinking means that the router is reset to the default settings and its slow blinking denotes an unsuccessful firmware update)
- ADSL (a constant green light means the router has established an ADSL connection; blinking in green means the connection is being established; red means a failure to connect or a disconnect; if the indicator is off, the router hasn’t attempted to connect to the provider)
- IP (a green light means the router is ready for data exchange with the provider; red means that the physical connection has been established, but data transfers are impossible, e.g. due to the router’s having not passed authorization)
- USB (if this indicator is alight, the router has spotted the connected USB device)
- AIR (when this indicator is alight, the WL-600g is ready to transfer data via its wireless interface)
- LAN 1-4 (these four indicators are responsible for the router’s LAN ports. When an active client is connected to the router, the corresponding indicator is alight. Their blinking denotes data transfers via the corresponding port)
The WL-600g’s connectors and buttons are placed on its rear panel. Here they are (from left to right):
- ADSL connector for your phone line
- Power connector
- Power switch
- Four LAN ports
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- EZSetup button
- Reset button
- Antenna connector
Now we can dismantle the router and take a look at its internal design. It is easy to take the WL-600g apart – you only have to unfasten four screws in the router’s case to access its PCB. The screws can be found under the rubber feet at the bottom of the case, so you have to unglue the feet first. The screws unfastened, you just take the top panel off the case to access the PCB. The router’s PCB is fixed within the case by means of two upright guides and two screws. We removed the screws and took the PCB out of the case to examine.
The PCB is far smaller than the router’s bottom but all the elements are placed at a big enough distance from each other. It carries a WLAN module besides traditional chips. The components are installed neatly and properly, which is just what you can expect from a top-class device from a renowned brand.