If all you want is a basic ADSL2+ modem with an Ethernet switch, and you aren’t looking for a fancy all-in-one wireless modem/router to distribute your broadband connection, the Linksys by Cisco ADSL2+ Modem Router AG300 is for you. It’s relatively small, has a 4-port Ethernet switch, and it can handle the fastest ADSL2+ speeds currently on offer from Australian ISPs.
The Linksys by Cisco ADSL2+ Modem Router AG300 is a square unit with green indicator lights and a power button. It’s not often we see a power button on ADSL2+ modems, and it’s useful if you want to quickly switch off the modem at night and back on again in the morning. What we hate about the AG300 is the huge power adapter it ships with, which will intrude on adjacent power outlets.
The ADSL2+ Modem Router AG300 features Linksys’ standard Web interface, which is reasonably intuitive to use and has plenty of features and settings to play with. The first feature to catch our eye was the second PPPoE setting. You can actually configure the modem with up to two ADSL2+ accounts. We’re not sure if this will be a useful feature unless you plan on taking the modem with you to work everyday and you want the login settings for the work account to be saved; or if you have two ADSL2+ accounts with your ISP and switch quickly between them when your main account gets shaped due to excessive downloading.
We configured the Linksys by Cisco ADSL2+ Modem Router AG300 to connect to our iiNet ADSL2+ account, and using PC World’s Broadband Speed Test, we achieved a download speed of 15.6 megabits per second (Mbps). This is on par with other ADSL2+ modems we’ve tested, such as Belkin’s N+ Wireless Storage Router.
The 4-port switch on the rear of the Linksys AG300 is 10/100, so you won’t get blistering performance out of it if you want to move big files across your home network. You can use one of these ports to attach a wireless access point should you want to expand your network in the future.
An SPI firewall is enabled by default and the Web interface also allows you to set up keyword and URL filters. Scheduling is also available so that you can cut access to the Internet during the periods you specify. Port-forwarding can be configured very easily and the unit also has port-triggering and DMZ settings. A QoS setting is present in the Web interface, but this feature is not actually available: clicking on it just brings up a '404 Not Found' error.
Those of you who want to use the ADSL2+ Modem Router AG300 for work purposes will appreciate the built-in VPN passthrough support, which is present for IPSec, PPTP and L2TP protocols.
You should be able to find the Linksys by Cisco ADSL2+ Modem Router AG300 for around $80 at many online stores, which is reasonably good value if all you want is an ADSL2+ modem and four Ethernet ports.