Articles: Networking

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External and Internal Design

Linksys must have set a goal of creating a product that would be new and would also look new. That’s why they developed a completely new case design for this model with all its variations. This design differs from all other company products. The designers must have tried to make the device ergonomic and functional, but also elegant and appealing so that the WRT300N could fit well into the room interior. And they have succeeded. Just like a TV-set or a DVD recorder, this device won’t look out of place in a living room. The router’s innards are packed into a small passively ventilated stylish case with three antennas. One antenna is shaped like a locator. Combined with the other antennas and the overall case design, this makes the router look like some spaceship component.

Inside the plastic casing there is a card with a dual-sided planar antenna. The spring-loaded feet on the router’s case can be turned around by 180 degrees. If the router stands horizontally, they stick out sideways, providing more support. If the router is positioned vertically, you can turn the feet around to hide them from view.

There is one peculiarity in the product’s color scheme. The color of the top and bottom panels (or side panels if the router is positioned vertically) tells you which version of the router you are dealing with. If the color is blue, it is the American version. Silver indicates the European version. The WRT300N doesn’t have too many indicators and connectors. All of its indicators are gathered on the front panel. Here they are, from left to right:

  • Power indicator
  • Four indicators that show the current status of the wired LAN ports
  • Indicator of the WAN port
  • WLAN interface indicator
  • Indicator that shows if the wireless connection uses encryption

The leftmost and rightmost indicators are based on dual-color SMD LEDs. The others use single-color LEDs. The light from the diodes is transferred to the front panel through plastic light pipes.

The front panel is made of translucent dark plastic. Indicator labels are painted on this panel in white.

This looks stylish for sure, but is not very practical. The lights in the front panel are too small and are rather dull (especially if viewed at an angle). By the way, there are excess light pipes in the front panel which are not used at all. Perhaps other versions of the router will have some additional indicators.

The router’s back panel offers Fast Ethernet connectors for local and external networks. Here you can also see a power supply connector and a reset button.

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