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This review is from: NETGEAR CMD31T-100NAS High Speed Cable Modem - DOCSIS 3.0 Ethernet Port
Pros: -DOCSIS 3.0
-Compatible with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more.
Easy installation. Unhooked my old modem, hooked this one up, waited 15 minutes, called my internet provider and gave them the model # and MAC address. 15 minutes later I had internet access. Speeds were on par with the speeds of the modem I replaced. (NOTE: I'm currently on one of the slower/cheaper internet plans.)
Other Thoughts: There's not a whole lot to say about this device. It's a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem which means you should get all the benefit of DOCSIS 3.0 without having to pay your provider their monthly rental fee. I note there are a number of comments about devices dying. I had no problems in the short time I used this. If you're looking for a modern DOCSIS 3.0 modem I see no reason not to consider this. Just keep in mind it's a modem only, most of you will still need/want a wireless router to plug into this - though you likely already have a separate modem and router.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Linksys AC1900 Dual Band SMART Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (EA6900)
Pros: -Gigabit LAN
-Up to N600 + AC1300 Simultaneous Dual Band
-3 Internal and 3 adjustable external antennas
-USB 3.0 + USB 2.0
-Dual Core 800 MHz processor
Performance of the router was very good. In a file transfer test of 3.6GBs of hundreds of varying sized files it performed consistently well across 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It beat out all of the previous generation routers that I have tested on 2.4 GHz, and most on 5 GHz.
This router worked fine during the time I tested it. That is, it never hung up, I never had to reset the router. It just worked. I haven't been able to say the same for some competing products.
The device is stylish if you like antennas. The silver band down the middle get a little warm to the touch, but sitting in the basement at 55F it never gets hot. Since it is wide and flat it requires a larger footprint than other 'tower' style devices. However, it is mountable.
Linksys has made improvements to the settings/configuration options since I tested their EA6500. Or maybe they've just made more options available on this model. For example, you can now turn on a guest network on either the 2.4 GHz band or the 5 GHz band, or both. You can also specify the name and passwords, although not using the wizard.
Cons: One thing I really don't like about the guest network is Linksys's insistence on forcing people to a browser window to type in the password. It's annoying. And the access is Open, anyone can connect to it and then when they open a browser they get taken to a webpage where they type in the password. I personally hate this kind of security. Always have. Especially with modern devices it just doesn't work well.
Other Thoughts: I saw somewhere in a professional review a comment that the device didn't have a power switch. Mine does so I don't know if they made a mistake or there's been a revision. I always appreciate a physical power switch on routers.
I read around the net that the EA6900 supports 600 Mbps over 2.4 GHz - but that this is done by increased QAM with supported wireless clients. Meaning only Broadcom wireless adaptors will work at this speed.
One touted feature is cloud configuration - "Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Account". I see arguments at times about helping parents / friends by being able to manage their router remotely. Personally I think if you have that many problems you need a new router. And it seems like most of the time I need to help someone with their network it's because there's no access at all. But perhaps it's worth it to you for the occasional instance when you need it. Or maybe if you're running an FTP server.
On their EA6500 Linksys promoted something called tap to connect, an NFC feature. I was not a fan for this and saw little benefit. I'm not surprised or sorry to see they dropped it for this model.
This review is from: TP-LINK RE200 AC750 Universal Wireless Dual Band Range Extender (Wall Plug)
Pros: Basic configuration is a breeze. If you just want to extend a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz network the wizard is fine.
Advanced options give some nice flexibility.
I already get decent coverage in a small/medium two story house with a wireless router in the basement. However, due to the old construction, brick, stuff in all the walls, etc., I get poor reception outside of my house even immediately outside my door. However, with this device configured and then plugged in near the back of my house on the first floor or second floor I get good coverage in the back corner of my yard, roughly 50 feet away. I'd have tested further, but the neighbors don't like me climbing their fence and lurking in their yard.
When you plug this into a wall outlet the second outlet is still open for use. *Unless you plug an ethernet cable into the device.
Opinions on style will differ but I give TP-Link credit for at least not making an ugly black box.
Cons: When using the wizard to configure only one network (in this case, 2.4GHz but not 5GHz) some of the behavior was unexpected. If you use the wizard and choose a 2.4GHz network to extend, but choose not to connect to a 5GHz network, then the device still creates a 5GHz network that is the same name as the 2.4 GHz network but appends "_5G" to the name. Even if you changed how you want the extended 2.4 GHz network to be named, it uses the original + "_5G". I can't think of any situation where this would be the expected or even desired outcome.
Plugging an ethernet cable into the device makes your second power outlet unusable.
Other Thoughts: I highly recommend changing the default admin username and password. Also, it's worthwhile to at least look at some of the advanced options. But if they give you a headache, if it's not your cup of tea, stop looking and don't change anything.
I didn't test setup via WPS. WPS has security issues, so I turn it off on all my routers.
If you only want to extend one network, use the non-wizard settings. You can set the device for "high speed" or single-band mode. Basically, this will allow you to connect the device to one of your Wi-Fi's networks on one band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz), and offer up a network on the other band. For example, you can connect to a 5 GHz network broadcast by your router, and set this device to broadcast a 2.4 GHz network. Devices will connect to that 2.4 GHz network, and this device will connect back to your router over the 5 GHz band. This is the setup that was ideal for me, as I still have devices that can't use 5 GHz. And it allows the device to operate at faster speeds because each band has its own CPU and in High-Speed (Single Band) mode both CPUs are used for single band communication. The documentation claims this operates twice as fast as Dual Band mode.
Note this this device is an extender. As such it will not be able to match performance when connected directly to your router and is therefore best suited for use in places where you would not otherwise be able to make a reliable connection to your router's network. For this reason, I'd recommend changing the broadcast name from this device - that way you can control which network your devices connect to. You won't have a seamless transition if, for example, you move outside the range of your router but are still in range of this device. So for some that may not be ideal. But for me that's a small issue compared to being able to control whether I connect to the router or the extender.
Here's the manufacturer's explanation about why the device's transmission speed is decreased, even though the signal is stronger: "In compliance with the wireless transmission protocol, all the Range Extender devices are set to work in half-duplex instead of full-duplex mode. In other words, the Range Extender has to process one-way communication between your root Wireless Router or AP and the terminal clients; so the transmission time will be double-increased, while the speed will be decreased. TP-LINK recommends that you connect to the Range Extender when your home network connection is poor, or when you want a larger wireless coverage to eliminate 'dead zones'."
Display Name: Zach B.
Date Joined: 04/23/09
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