- AC1600 WiFi 300+1300 Mbps speeds
- Dual Core 800Mhz processor
- 256MB Memory and 128MB Flash
- 1 USB 3.0
- Open Source
- Simultaneous Dual Band WiFi - 2.4&5GHz
- WiFi Boost
- $258.99 258.99
- $129.99 –
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Blows my old router away, as if that's surprising 06/29/2013
- Router has a very nice look, which is a definite plus since as a wireless router, it would be counterproductive to hide it away.
- The build quality of the router and everything it came with are top notch. The router itself is made of nice heavy plastic and the RJ-45 ports feel good and secure. The power supply for the router is one of the sturdiest I’ve ever used. The router also came with the nicest cat-5e Ethernet cable I’ve ever used, it was also clearly labeled as to which end should be plugged into which device; a nice touch to make setup that much easier for somebody less experienced in doing such things.
- Set up is about as easy as expected for a router, not quite plug n’ play, but close. Was up and running within 10 minutes.
- Settings manager has everything you need to set the router up to work for your network and more. In particular I like being able to see devices which are currently connected to the router, hard-wired and via WiFi. (After reading some other reviews, I'd like to point out my intended target for this statement was the average home user. I certainly didn't find myself wanting a setting that I couldn't find in that situation.)
- You can remotely reboot the router. Could be useful.
- The ability to network a printer through the router using the router’s USB port is a fairly useful feature for several situations. In particular if you have a printer which by itself can’t be networked, you can network the printer without having to keep a computer running for the purpose of sharing the printer on the network.
- Another useful feature enabled through the USB port is the ability to connect a USB storage device to the router and turn it from a local storage device to a network storage device (essentially a NAS).
- One of the most commonly performed tasks with a router is made slightly easier by the settings manager. When forwarding a port you can manually type in the IP address you intend to forward to, however, you also have the choice to select one of the currently connected devices and forward to that device.
- Compared to my old router (Linksys WRT150N) the wireless range and reception are much better. All around my house anything using WiFi shows very solid WiFi connectivity, and more objectively, I’m able to use the WiFi to do things such as browse the web and stream videos via WiFi, something my old router had trouble with even if you were within 50 feet of it.
- The range and speed of the WiFi are something which highly impressed me. My friend brought his car over one day to run some diagnostics on it, however we needed to emulate the diagnostic software on his laptop. To figure out how to do this we connected to the router which was in my house with several walls and 100 feet between it and the laptop. The reception (according to the Windows WiFi prompt) was exceptional, and the download speeds were fast enough to match my wired internet speeds (3.2MB/s) . This was using the 2.4GHz WiFi.
- The setup guide for the router lists a url which you are supposed to type into your browser in the event that your browser doesn’t automatically access the router start-up page. There are two listed in the setup guide and only one of them is correct (www.routerlogin.net).
- The Genie application has a couple neat things in it, but none really that aren’t already included either in windows, or the router settings page accessed through your browser. Overall I didn’t find it particularly useful.
- The Genie application for mobile devices is some weird combination of what you get on the desktop version combined with some kind of file browser/streaming application. Again, I didn’t find it very useful beyond being able to see who’s connected to my network from my phone. It would have been more useful to make it into a more mobile friendly version of the settings manager. After about 10 minutes of clicking around both in Windows and on my phone I was unable to actually figure out how to include my files for streaming using the application and got bored. It also has a built in QR code scanner? Why?
- The layout of the settings manager is a bit unintuitive. Netgear for some reason decided to split the settings between “Basic” and “Advanced” tabs. I can see where somebody would have thought this was a good idea, but in practice, it just isn’t. I spend a lot of time divining where the software designers decided to hide particular features in every router I use, so this layout only contributes to the convolution. It would have made more sense to have a layout which puts as much control at your fingertips as possible (I could say this about every router I've used, but this one in particular).
- Annoyingly despite this router being gigabit capable, I have yet to see such speeds. When transferring large files the speed seems to peter out around 105MB/s. I’ve tested this over every gigabit capable computer in my house and this seems to be consistent.
- The orientation of the router is a little odd. I imagine the intent was to allow the router to contain a more powerful antenna, however the base of the router is too small, and the router itself quite tall, making it quite easy to knock over. Unruly Ethernet cables could also make positioning the router to sit just how you want it more annoying than it should be, because of how small the base is it neither has a large contact patch with the ground, or a very stable one.
- The guest network is enabled by default. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like people leeching my WiFi. Best to disable it if you intend this router for use in your home.
- The router produces quite a bit of light from its indicator LEDs and the Netgear logo prominently displayed on the face of the router. Keep this in mind if your router is somewhere where the light could become an issue. There also doesn’t appear to be a way to turn off the LEDs either on the router or through the settings manager.
- Unsurprisingly the WiFi signal drops off quite a bit when it has to pass through many walls. At the bottom of my driveway (one wall, 100 feet) I get an exceptional signal, in my garage (several walls, 100 feet) my signal is quite poor and inconsistent.
- Overall I really like this router. I may be biased because I owned my previous router for many years and over that time it faded into near obsolescence as my home gained more networked devices each demanding more and more speed; that aside, in the two weeks I’ve owned this router it has performed as I ask any of my devices to perform; perfectly. After my initial setup and forwarding a few ports it has worked with no need of my intervention. The router has quite a few neat little features which some customers may find useful, they’re certainly features which I could see people actually using. As a standalone router it works admirably. My (wired) network speeds when necessary reach within 10% of the theoretical maximum of the router, and my wireless devices as far as general use (web browsing, watching videos online) may as well have a wired connection. The cons I listed were quite minor overall, and really nothing that put me off. Overall as a home, office, or small business router, I would recommend it.
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