Sitecom WL-143 review

£60
Price when reviewed

Sitecom claims the WL-143 will muster up to 140Mb/sec, making it theoretically the fastest wireless device we’ve seen. It’s said to achieve these speeds by using its ‘Nitro’ mode. When passing data between two clients, the router creates a direct link between the two stations, effectively creating a temporary ad-hoc network.

But with our client to router test scenario, performance was average. Although a 100MB transfer in one minute, 12 seconds at close range isn’t bad, it still pales in comparison with the KCorp KLG-575. Transferring files in our medium-range test took one minute, 24 seconds – about 10Mb/sec. Moving the laptop outside settled the argument – the connection dropped out completely.

Fortunately for Sitecom, the WL-143 offers a reasonable range of features to make up for the shortfall in performance. It can operate as a WDS station, so you can link it with other routers to expand wireless coverage. It’s also compatible with WPA and RADIUS encryption. MAC cloning and filtering help with network security and, like all the routers here, there’s an SPI firewall built in.

There’s no keyword or URL filtering but a setup wizard simplifies configuration. At present, only BT and NTL subscribers are catered for in the automatic configuration stakes.

But all these features are available with most other routers too. In spite of the low price, the disappointing performance prevents the Sitecom taking an award.

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