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Netgear DG834 ADSL Firewall Router

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      22.06.2010 18:44
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      If you have confidence in your own computer skills, there's nothing to stop you from buying...

      After moving out of the Stone Age of wired broadband and into (thank god) the WI-FI era a few months back, we bought this router so that we could all enjoy the internet on a various new devices.

      So far, we have had absolutely no problems with the hardware itself. The installation was easy enough for someone who knows their way around computers; although I don't imagine that too many problems will present for those that do not.

      The installation of the device was quite simple. A disk comes with the router to act as an install wizard, and allows you to easily set up a wireless environment at home. A step by step guide is presented on screen whilst you do what it says, and several "Has anything gone wrong yet" style checkpoints are given, like "Are all the green lights still on? If not, do this...". The amount of wires can seem a bit daunting, but the walkthrough severely simplifies it all. Because we were installing the device using our main computer (which, for some reason, wasn't Wi-Fi enabled) we had to use the Ethernet cable to connect the router to the back of our 'tower'. This potentially could have been a problem as our study is quite detached from the main living areas, which would mean our laptops and iPods may not get any signal, or severely struggle to. However, the exceptional signal strength means that this is not a problem, although travelling upstairs with these devices does significantly lower the connection's quality. Since we got a new computer, however, and managed to place the router in a more central area, almost everywhere in the moderately sized house has quite strong signal.

      If the Ethernet cable is not in use, the router simply needs to be connected to a power source and a phone line. If the phone line is also being used for a phone, you will need a splitter which is handily supplied in the box. After this initial connection, which the customer is taken through step by step in the Installation wizard, the WI-FI network must be set up. This calls for the creation of a few passwords, one password to create the WI-FI account with Netgear, and another to create the security needed for devices to connect to the WI-FI network, known as a WPA key. IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU REMEMBER THESE PASSWORDS! I say this as a warning from experience! When we shifted the router from the study to the main living room, we had to reset the whole network because we hadn't noted down the passwords. In the end, we had to call Netgear and be put on hold for almost 2 hours just to get it all reset. This is the one complaint I would make, the awful customer services, but this is really not a fault of the product, so if you trust in your ability to not do anything wrong, don't count this as a complaint.

      The router itself is quite stylish looking, with a white, sleek interior which is slightly reminiscent of Apple but I won't tell if you don't. It has 4 Ethernet cable slots if your devices don't support have WI-FI capabilities. Although only one Ethernet cable is supplied, so keep this in mind whilst purchasing. A great addition to this router is the ability to turn it off and on, without resetting it, which allows for peace of mind if you don't like leaving things on standby at night or whilst out. This also allows the unit time to cool down, as it does get hot, and overheating is a genuine possibility in devices like these.

      A sleek, stylish, and efficient answer to WI-FI needs, this affordable device is fairly simple to set up, and if nothing goes wrong, a great and competent little gadget. However, if something does go wrong, which is not very likely, be prepared to be put on hold!

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