Stylistically, the Linksys WRT610N closely resembles the spaceship that is the WAG160N - and then some. It has a bigger casing, with an ‘aerofoil' at the rear, as well as a USB port. The front of the router features a row of LED status for the ports, the wireless network, the internet connection and the Storage Links feature.
Storage Links allows the router to work as a network-attached storage (NAS) device when you hook an external hard drive to its USB port. The Linksys WRT610N has a slightly convoluted way of sharing this storage, but it doesn't require any software to be installed on your machine. In use, the shared drive supports Windows SMB (so it's browsable) and can operate as a plug-and-play media server or an FTP server, or both.
This router is a little bit special. The Linksys WRT610N is a ‘true' dual-band draft-n router. This means it can simultaneously broadcast a draft-n signal on both its 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios, in theory doubling its bandwidth. The 5GHz frequency promises better wireless signal strength, range and stability. And in the UK, where 802.11a is rare, this band is free from clutter. If you want, you can reserve the 2.4GHz band purely for 802.11g or b/g/n duties. Naturally, it has four gigabit wired ports as well.
Setup is performed with a wizard, following which your router settings are automatically saved to a file on the desktop - a neat touch. It also employs the useful Linksys EasyLink Advisor (LELA) to help monitor and troubleshoot your network. Speed-wise, the Linksys WRT610N's draft-n performance was very good. It managed a very creditable 66 Megabits per second (Mbps) throughput.
The dual-band Linksys WRT610N doesn’t come cheap but this is an advanced-spec router, with USB storage and great performance. The dual-band feature is most useful for those with a mixture of 2.4 and 5GHz clients.