For sheer abundance of features, the ASUS WL-700gE is in a league of its own. The inclusion of an embedded hard drive allows for so much flexibility, as we have already seen in hard drive-based media players.
The big selling point with this unit is the embedded BitTorrent client and download manager. While this functionality is certainly great, regular torrent users will find it rather frustrating. Really, the router only has the ability to download using the BT protocol - it doesn't offer the same level of functionality in managing BT downloads like those found in a dedicated application such as Azureus. It's more of a fire-and-forget approach. Having said this, this method works well for HTTP and FTP downloads, so it's not all bad news.
However, it would be unfair to judge the WL-700gE on its downloading capabilities alone, as it's such a mature and robust unit. If you were looking for a full networking solution for a home network, you'd be hard-pressed to look beyond this device. Its gateway and routing capabilities are as good as any other device out there, for the home market. It has a full suite of commercially-available security protocols, and the firewalls are as robust as anything else you'd find.
With the in-built hard drive it's instantly available as NAS storage, a print server, UPnP media server, backup facility and even a web server.
There is, of course, the security question mark about storing important files on a device permanently attached to the outside world, and this is a legitimate concern. All devices can be compromised in time, this is true, but to achieve greater security for a home network beyond what this device can offer, you're heading down the path of dedicated firewalls and physically segregated network components, which is a completely different playing ground. The WL-700gE offers more than adequate protection for the vast majority of home users.
This is simply a fantastic device, with the capacity to expand in future functionality. It would sit proudly at the heart of any home network.
Amazing feature set
Secure and robust networking
Great storage and sharing ability
Easy to use and setup
Basic download management
Still requires a computer for interaction
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editors Choice Award
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