One of the best, yet potentially overlooked, features of that router (as well as other Linksys routers) is the ability to turn off wireless administration.
After all, why would I want someone to be able to do this? The biggest issue with wireless access is locking it down; hence WPA2, MAC filtering, etc. If it's a vulnerability that doesn't involve someone having physical access to your home, then why would I want to bet the house on red and allow settings to be changed? I like my DNS settings just as they are, thank you.
From what I can gather, Linksys and I are the only people who seem to share awareness of this issue and the feature that prevents it.
My current router (a Linksys e1200) has been functioning just fine, but I want to update my network to gigabit ethernet. That said, finding a router with favorable ratings and the ability to disable wireless administration is proving fruitless.
So far, I've tried:
- Apple Airport Extreme: solid as solid gets in terms of hardware; very fast, excellent UI, very responsive, but no lockdown of wireless administration. Even more disturbing was the Airport Utility's ability to maintain a session for administering the router that didn't expire, or at least didn't appear to. I asked about this feature on the Apple discussion board, and was largely disregarded as a tinfoil hat wearing clown. If Apple fixes this issue, I'll buy one the day it's fixed.
- D-Link DIR-655: I tried this one last summer, and I can't remember all of the details of my experience. The only thing that stands out in my mind was that I was laughing out loud at the firmware when I was trying to configure it. Perhaps I should give it another try given that it has largely positive feedback. I don't know if you can lock down the wireless admin setting though.
- Asus RT-N66U (and RT-N66R): I have the R; the U and R are functionally equivalent except one is sold in brick and mortar stores and the other online only. The firmware is pretty decent overall; considerably more responsive than that of the Linksys when using SSL. However, I still can't block wireless admin. It does let me set what port the router listens to for admin, so I'd be content if I could block wireless clients from hitting certain ports, but alas this option doesn't exist. Admittedly, I haven't tried it out yet, so I can't attest to how good of a router it is in general.
That said, I haven't tried:
- Linksys E4200: I have a feeling this has the setting I want, but it really seems to draw the ire of online review writers everywhere. That said, it appears to have been succeeded by the...
- Linksys EA4500: yet another Linksys product that is drawing some serious negative attention. I generally consider anything that has over 50 reviews and a score below 4 stars to be of mediocre quality, and generally unacceptable for a mission critical device like a router. This is managing 3 to 3.5 star reviews on both Amazon and Newegg (though the crowd on Best Buy appears to be happy), with issues ranging from constant connectivity issues requiring reboots, to outright failures within a few months. Also, it sounds like the GUI was updated, so who knows if my precious wifi admin banhammer still exists.
I'm open to suggestions from others for routers I should try or avoid. I'm a self confessed pedant and elitist when it comes to consumer electronics (which is likely evident from the above post), so don't be offended if I end up not being a fan.