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Pros: Purchased on sale for $15 to replace my Asus RT-N12 which I understand was same inside as WNR2000V2. I've used the Asus for four years as an AP only, flashed with DD-WRT and it's been stable as a rock (need to reboot at worst every few months: never disconnected and the worst it ever did was report no internet connection when hard wired devices on the same network were fine, a problem which corrected itself after a minute or so). Recently the Asus started to drop the wireless connection, so time to replace. Only need single band and wanted gigabit ports so the obvious choice was Asus RT-N16 but that is $60+ so bought this on sale for $15 as stop gap. How bad could it be? I received Version 3 (Atheros chipset) in Netgear Factory Sealed Refurbished box, contents looked as new. I flashed it straight to DD-WRT and slotted it in. After ironing out settings it's been stable for 48 hours with no signs of dropped signal or internet connectivity, time will tell if it's as stable as the Asus.
Cons: The specs are obviously a bit dated i.e. no gigabit and no dual band, but I use a separate AP for 5GHz (and would strongly recommend everybody who wants a stable network does the same) and at $15 I decided I could live without gigabit on this (I have a large wired network with gigabit switches and router which drives my Windows Media Center/Silicondust TV tuner/extender needs but this is a just to be a wireless AP and doesn't handle TV signals).
Like all Netgear routers I've ever had, it takes forever to boot up and settle down. Also, in comparison to the similar spec older Asus, the interface seems slower in DD-WRT and the memory utilization is higher - not sure whether this is hardware or because it's a different DD-WRT version. Finally I think the range on this is worse than on my old Asus but that is probably due to the lack of external antennas: I compensated by turning the TX power up from defaul (20) to 28 and now it seems fine. For me, the disposable price point makes up for the cons.
Other Thoughts: There is a good guide to flashing the V3 to DD-WRT here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hVs_cTIDsI Check this out as the basic info/builds on the DD-WRT site seem to be wrong. Note mine came with the initial version of the Netgear firmware, so I didn't need to downgrade to this before flashing to DD-WRT as described in the video. Also I used the 05/27/2014 Beta version DD-WRT firmware for this router from the public downloads section rather than older versions because some versions pre April may use services that are affected by Heartbleed. Seems to work fine. Note that the "N-Only" wireless setting in DD-WRT seems to be broken on this (and other Atheros) routers: with that set I could connect with Win 7 pcs and iphones etc, but not with Win 8 pc. I had to use "Mixed" mode. You can google this problem.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Works perfectly out of the box... Anyone who messes around with WMC is used to frustration - great software but a minefield of incompatibility, lack of ability to tweak setup and unexplained issues but fear not, plug the USB dongle for this in without the CD and Win recognizes and installs it and all your controls work immediately. Hallelujah! Want to control your set top with the IR blaster too? Yup that works too...
Cons: Would be nice if it had a button to CLOSE WMC or at least to de-maximize it when you've finished with it... Would also be nice if it was backlit, a bit smarter, keys a bit bigger but at the on-sale price who's complaining?READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Nice size system - not as small as book size systems but much more powerful than those options because it takes i3/i5. Easy to assemble and nice drivers disk which actually works (need to get a proper wifi driver though - go to ECS website). Good level of features, put mine together with a newish Western Digital Scorpio Blue drive I had lying around and a used i3-550 I bought for $70 and I'm good to go. Bought it for media pc/tv use in my home office including converting basic video conversion and it's quick and drives a screen and a tv nicely.
Cons: As others have said seems to be a bit noisy (but that may be my drive - haven't really isolated) and the LEDs on the front are way bright not a huge problem in my office but could be really irritating for some especially when flashing in sleep mode.
Other Thoughts: May have to buy another of these!READ FULL REVIEW