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Linksys WUSB6300: Mediocre performance doesn't jibe with higher price

Michael Brown | Jan. 30, 2014
Any number of reasons might explain why Linksys's WUSB6300 802.11ac Wi-Fi client USB adapter was so slow in most of the places I tested it, but its USB 3.0 interface can't be one of them.

Any number of reasons might explain why Linksys's WUSB6300 802.11ac Wi-Fi client USB adapter was so slow in most of the places I tested it, but its USB 3.0 interface can't be one of them.

The adapter itself is nicely compact and will protrude from your PC by just 3 inches. Similar to most of the other adapters in my test group, it hides its two antennas inside its plastic shell, and it has a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button to simplify the initial connection to your router.

But Linksys doesn't provide a USB cradle, and the adapter itself is not hinged, so you don't have much flexibility in positioning the adapter for optimal reception. Linksys doesn't offer a software utility, either, but that's no great loss (and some people might view that as a plus, since such utilities consume a negligible amount of a computer's memory and CPU power).

Aside from its third-place finish in my home theater, 35 feet from the router, the WUSB6300 was a pretty mediocre performer. That's unfortunate, because I've been using it to evaluate 802.11ac routers for the past year or so. Needless to say, I won't be using it any longer.

The Linksys adapter finished dead last when the client was in the same room as the router, separated by 9 feet, producing TCP throughput of 230 megabits per second. The Asus USB-AC56, which came in first, delivered 404 mbps at this location, while the second-place Netgear A6200 posted a rate of 310 mbps. The WUSB6300 was slightly faster when I moved the client into the kitchen, registering TCP throughput of 232 mbps, but that's a long way from the 347 mbps that the Asus adapter delivered.

The Linksys WUSB6300 finished third, fifth, or last in my tests, besting only Trendnet's weak TEW-805UB. Combine that decidedly average performance with a $70 street price, and I find very little to recommend this adapter over four of the others I tested.

 

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