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ZyXEL P-336M review

Fast wireless router aimed at professionals

Our Verdict

A fast router that offers loads of features and great value for money


  • Flick-switch wireless functionality

    Three 802.11 modes

    Three Super G modes


  • Not for first-time users

    Quirky operation

Where other manufacturers have moved on through Pre-N to Draft-N in a determined bid to persuade you that newer is better, ZyXEL takes a modest stance by describing its P-336M MiMo router as a Super G design.

We review this router alongside the matching M-102 PC Card. Although the price of the router is £73 and the adapter is £52 (both inc. VAT) we found numerous outlets with a bundle for sale at £93, which is comparable with the price of a Draft-N router on its own.

The ZyXEL has a few quirks, so when we updated the firmware we were told that 'the upload may take up to 113 seconds', followed by a message that the upload had succeeded and then one stating that reprogramming will take 120 seconds. Not, you will note, two minutes.

Someone at ZyXEL has a strange idea of what constitutes Basic Settings, as this screen gives you a choice of 13 transmission rates, three 802.11 modes (b, g and mixed), and three Super G modes. In Advanced Options you can configure the router as a host for games and it is also possible to reduce the power level to reduce the risk of interference with other wireless devices.

The good stuff is on the back of the router where you find a flick-switch that enables and disables the wireless connection, as well as a USB port so you can use Microsoft Windows Connect Now - which is part of Windows XP SP2 - to configure the router with a USB flash drive, thus enabling security without typing in an endless WEP key.

This is a fast router that offers loads of features and value for money. However, it's best used by the experienced rather than the first-time user.