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This review is from: Netgear C6300 AC1750 Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router 2 in 1
Pros: 4 gigabit LAN ports
simultaneous dual band
guest network on both bands
stand with bottom air ventilation
not DD-WRT compatible
works with Xfinity, Cablevison, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Optimum, Time Warner, Bright House Networks
on/off button for easy hard reboots
The unit is quite big compared to other cable modem's I've owned. The stand elevates the unit so that there's space in between, allowing ventilation at the bottom of the unit.
This unit was installed using Bright House Networks as the ISP, with firmware version v1.02.20. Internet setup was very easy: connect the coaxial cable, power cable, ethernet cables, then call the cable company to register the cable modem. The specs of the cable modem (MAC Address, Serial Number, Model #, etc.) are on a flexible piece of plastic that can be pulled out from inside the unit for easy reading. Nice simple feature, I don't have to turn the entire unit around to try and read the MAC address.
You can only log into the web interface using one account. The web interface has basic and advanced modes. Advanced features include address reservation, port forwarding and triggering, DMZ, simultaneous dual bands, parental control, separate MAC filtering for both primary and guest networks on both bands.
The menu system isn't very intuitive. Things aren't where I would typically find them and the naming convention isn't what I would typically see on a web interface of a cable modem or router so it takes a bit getting used to it. For instance, the Advanced Setup menu has Wireless Settings, Port Forwarding/Triggering, Dynamic DNS, Remote Management, UPnP, and USB Settings. To find MAC filtering (I had to search their manual for it), I have to go to Wireless Settings and click on a button called "Set Up Access List" next to the heading "Wireless Card Access List". I'm used to seeing "Access Control" under its own heading in the menu. Another example is the primary and guest networks. I typically see them both together; however, this menu separates them into "Wireless Setup" for primary, and "Guest Network" for guest. Not deal breakers by any means, just preference.
The web interface (Netgear genie) includes a feature called "ReadySHARE", which allows you to connect a USB storage device (flash drive or hard disk) to the router and make it available on your network or over the internet. There's an option to enable it to play on DLNA-compliant players.
The Network Map, which is located under Administration (again another odd place to put this in my opinion), is a graphical representation of all the devices connected to your network. Wireless devices are designated by the wireless icon (see con section for more on this). The devices are displayed by their given device name. Unfortunately, the name is not changeable, which could make some devices difficult to identify. Clicking on each device will display the device name, mac address, and ip address.
When adding devices for Mac filtering, you have the option of naming the device, which is a great feature to have. I've had other cable modems that don't have that ability. The page is a bit awkward to navigate though. Each network is grouped by the band. Each band lists the primary and guest networks as radio buttons, which toggles (refreshes) the page and displays the corresponding list of MAC filtered devices. So you can select the 2.4GHz network, the page will refresh, then select the 5GHz network, and the page will refresh again. However, if the page refreshes and you haven't saved your changes, your changes will be undone.
Parental Controls is pretty robust. You can block sites by keyword or domain (there's an option to allow one ip address to visit blocked sites), and block services (includes a large list of services) by ip address or range. By the way, Block Services is basically the Firewall settings (there is no menu item called "Firewall"). You can create different schedules and apply them to the different types of blocks. You can also turn on email notification (requires mail server) for alerts (when someone attempts to visit a blocked site) and logs.
Administrative tools include Diagnostics using ping or traceroute, Wireless Channels (on either band) and the number of wireless networks (along with their names) on each channel, Wireless AP displays a list of wireless networks on either band, along with the security level and signal strength.
Other reviewers seem to have lots of disconnects. Perhaps it's their ISP? I have Bright House Networks and haven't had any disconnects since I started using it about a week ago. Wireless signal is decent. At just a few feet away, the average RSSI peak signal is -46 (excellent signal strength is around -30). At one story down, the average RSSI peak signal is -63.
Overall, this is a very good cable modem, mostly just some minor inconveniences.
Cons: There's a bug in the Network Map. Not all wireless devices display the wireless icon. So it's very difficult to tell which are wired and which are wireless. The only way to tell is by reading the name of each device. This is a preference, but the graphical display of the Network Map can only show 6 devices, plus the internet icon and the ReadySHARE icon. If you have more than 6 devices (wired and wireless), you must go to page 2 to view the rest of the devices. The manual from Netgear's website doesn't match my interface. It says that the "Attached Devices" are located under Advanced - Administration - Attached Devices, and it lists the devices based on wired, 2.4GH, and 5GHz (I prefer this layout over the current one). I have firmware version 1.02.20 (latest is 1.02.21) and the manual is dated Nov. 2015, don't know which is older.
I noticed that if I have MAC filtering on, every time I add a new device to the MAC filtering list, the device will not connect to the network until I disable the MAC filtering first. I have never had to do this with other cable modems or routers.
This is another preference, but the menu system could be laid out better so that it's easier to find things and I don't need to drill down multiple pages to get to one item. Another thing that was a bit irritating is that the session expires way too quickly, about 5 minutes, at which time I have to log back into the web interface.
Other Thoughts: The wireless guest network (both bands) is on the same subnet as the primary network. Sometimes, in the web interface, it takes a while for the page to refresh. It will go blank for a couple seconds before you see anything.
Because the Network Map wasn't showing any wireless devices at the time (even though it should have), I reached out to Netgear tech support hoping they could shed some light on where the connected wireless devices were located (they only provide free tech support for items that are 90 days old from purchase date); however, they gave me a hard time because the item was "beyond a reasonable presumed shelf life" (difference between manufacture date and purchase date).
Pros: nice sleek design
app is compatible with Android or iOS 8 or later
The smart plug has 2 buttons, one on the top which is a reset button. Hold it down for 10 seconds to reset the smart plug to factory settings. The second button is on the front. It has a wifi icon, which displays the connectivity, and an on/off icon. You can press the button to turn whatever's plugged into it on and off.
This was tested on the Android app version 188.8.131.523.
The setup wizard is very easy to follow. The app will first ask you to login or create a new TP-Link cloud account. I have several TP-Link devices that use TP-Link Cloud, so I logged in using my existing cloud account. As you click through the wizard, in the background the app connects your mobile device directly to the smart plug and registers it to the network that your mobile device was connected to (if you have more than one network, make sure the mobile device is logged onto the network you want the smart plug to be registered to before starting the setup). It will then ask you for the wireless network's password. You have the option to give the smart plug a name, as well as an icon to represent what you have plugged into it. Alternatively, you can use your own image from your gallery or camera. Finally, it will ask if you want Remote Control enabled or disabled. Default is enabled (see the con and other sections about this feature). Once setup is complete, it takes you to the home screen where you can view all your TP-Link smart devices. Firmware updates are located under Home settings and is not automatic when you first setup the smart plug.
Device settings allow you to enable/disable the remote control (see the con and other sections about this feature), change the device name and icon, as well as set the timezone and location (auto detect or enter a lat/lon). It also shows you the device info, such as model, mac address, hardware and firmware versions. The device interface shows today's usage in kWh and runtime in hours, as well as the next event that is going to occur (either from Schedule, Away mode, or Timer). Tapping on Usage or Runtime will give you a more detailed report for today, the past 7 days, and the past 30 days. Scheduling allows you to select a time (or you can choose sunset or sunrise), whether to turn the device on or off, and what days you'd like to repeat it. For instance, you can set it to turn on at 2pm every Wed, Thurs and Sat. You must then create another schedule to turn the device off. When in Away Mode, the device will be randomly turned on and off during the time frame that you specify and what days you'd like to repeat it. Lastly, the Timer allows you to turn the device on or off after a specified time (in hours and minutes). If Away Mode conflicts with a schedule that's enabled or a timer that's counting down, the schedule and/or timer will override the away mode until the schedule and/or timer has been completed. If there's a conflict between the schedule and timer, it will run based on whichever starts earlier.
Away mode is a great feature to have. It truly does make it seem like someone's still at home as the randomness works so well.
Cons: One problem I ran into is disabling the remote control of the smart plug under the device settings. Once disabled, you're kicked out of the device settings and there's no way of going back in to turn it back on. Tapping on the device prompts a message saying "you can enable Remote Control when you're connected to your home wifi". Problem is, I'm still logged onto my home wifi. Logging off my wifi then back on didn't work. Signing out of Kasa didn't work and neither did closing the app. Unplugging the smart plug from the wall also didn't work. So I tried deleting the device from the app. While adding the device back in, the app didn't recognize the smart plug and asked that I either get closer to the plug or hit the reset button on the smart plug. Getting closer didn't work, so I had to reset it and start all over. I believe this is because once the smart plug is registered to the network, the network settings change and it can no longer be logged into for setup, which is why resetting it is necessary.
Other Thoughts: I was hoping I would be able to see the smart plug on my TP-Link cloud login. Unfortunately, the website is only for TP-Link cloud cams. It would be a nice feature to be able to view all my TP-Link devices that are connected via my cloud account.
The app name Kasa isn't very intuitive when relating it to the smart plug. I have way too many apps to remember what app is for what.
I have not found a way to reset the usage and runtime without resetting the smart plug itself.
Here are a couple things to remember, disabling the remote control or deleting the plug from the list of added devices will require you to reset the smart plug and run the setup from the beginning in order to get it working again. Also, choosing to disable the Remote Control when you first run through the setup wizard will cause a network connection problem, and eventually an installation fail, which ultimately requires a reset on the smart plug. It's best to leave the Remote Control enabled at all times.
This review is from: EnGenius ERB9250 Wireless N Range Extender
Pros: The unit is very light and feels a bit on the flimsy side. It's small enough to place on top of a shelving unit and be pretty well hidden. You may still see the two big antennas sticking up though. The power cord is pretty long to give you enough slack to place it somewhere inconspicuous.
There are 2 configuration methods: connect via CAT5 directly to the unit, or use WPS. Using the CAT5 method, the basic setup was extremely quick and easy. Just follow the simple instructions. You also have the option to set up the extender using more advanced settings (which takes you to the extender's configuration management web interface).
There are quite a bit of features, such as mode (Client Bridge or Universal Repeater), wireless settings (band settings, SSID name, thresholds, intervals, channel bandwidth, Preamble Type, CTS Protection), security settings (WMM, encryption type), mac address filtering, diagnostics, backup/restore config, etc.
I did not get any disconnects once.
Cons: The instructions say as long as you're on the same subnet, you can access the web interface using the provided URL. It doesn't work. As with many other extenders I've ever owned, you typically have to be connected directly to the unit in order to access the interface.
The extender provides a huge boost for signal strength, but the speed tests were surprisingly poor (see test results below).
This isn't really a negative but the unit has extra LED's that it doesn't use, which I found strange.
Other Thoughts: Here are some test results:
Without range extender:
Average Peak Signal (one story down) = -60 RSSI
Average ping = 21ms (with 0 packet loss)
Average download speed = 22.5Mbps
With range extender:
Average Peak Signal (one story down) = -36 RSSI
Average ping = 20ms (with 0 packet loss)
Average download speed = 18.9Mbps
-30 RSSI is considered excellent signal strength; as the numbers get closer to 0, the better the signal strength. Considering this is an N range extender, I was a bit disappointed in the test results. I expected a higher download speed. There are much better extenders out there, especially for the price.