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This router came free with my Orange Home Broadband when I was still with the company last year.
My first impressions of the router was its style as I hadn't set it up yet. From this visual inspection, it looks very good. The router was a stylist black gloss with rounded edges, it was small and therefore didn't take up space on my desk. When I am not at my desk the lights are about eye level with where I sit so I could easily tell the status of the router from afar which, for me, was very helpful - other routers I have had have had lights on the very top and therefore you have to be above the router to read the status - I do not like this.
When I began setting up up, the trouble started. I spend most of my day working with computers, I am a self-confessed computer geek, but even I have trouble setting this router up. This was partly Orange's fault so this sis not help the situation but the router's setup pages were dreadful too. Horrible to navigate and rather confusing at times. With NETGEAR being one of the dominant brands in the router market I was expecting a much more polished interface.
Once I finally got the router set up (after a couple of HOURS!), I decided to test the range. I wish I hadn't. My router is in an upstairs room which is very close to the stairs themselves and the router is by the door in that room. If I go downstairs, the router signal dropped to about 20% - very poor.
If in the same room, the router works pretty well, the connection to the router (NOT to the internet - this is irrelevant to the router) was as good as any other router.
One of the things I hated was that the router didn't seem to be compatible with many of the services I wanted to use online. One example was a game called "DC Universe: Online" - I had been in lengthy discussions with both Orange and NETGEAR before being told that the router was not compatible. This happened with multiple other services too and made me switch to another as soon as I could.
This router came free with my new Orange broadband. We used to have Orange broadband before and were very happy with the service and quality, and thus we reordered it now even though BT Broadband was noticeably cheaper at our address.
The previous Orange router I had was their Livebox and it was a big clumsy blob of a thing - though it had a big advantage of providing a socket into which you could plug in a normal telephone to use as a VOIP one. This one doesn't, but apart from that beats the Livebox on every score.
**It is small and flat (although it has a fold out antenna that sticks out) so you can position it easily.
**It has four Ethernet ports (the Livebox had only two) so plenty of room for wired appliances.
**It is completely and utterly Plug-and-Play for wireless. There is no installation disks, All you need to do is enter the security code while connecting to the wifi. A great thing as my main wifi device is a netbook which doesn't have its own CD drive.
**I have seen the other reviewers complaining about dropping signal and the like, I have used it now for over a week and had no problems whatsoever. The signal is strong and as far as I noticed doesn't drop at all, much better than a BT hub-thingy that I used at the family member's house where we stayed before moving here. I do have to say that this is a one-level house, though, but it's fairly extensive and built of stone (I have no idea if it matters). I don't know how well it would cope with an upstairs-downstairs setup. It also works fine outside but drops to Very Low quite quickly in the back of the house (about 20m from the router, with three stone walls in between the router and the laptop).
All in all, pretty serviceable and works fine for me, but the range doesn't seem too impressive.
Since moving to a new job recently and into a brand new building we have had a whole new broadband networking system installed. The main computers are hardwired into workstations but the staff need to move around the building and each floor so require a wireless connection. The Netgear router was bought by me, being in charge of these matters, under very false advice and has been a complete waste of money. This is by far and away the worst experience I have had with any of the many routers I have used in the past! Utterly dreadful!
This cost me £59.99 from a local computer shop and the first thing that appealed to me was a review I read online and the in store advice. Another plus factor was that this, in its black and sleek design, would go well in our new office which was a black, grey combo. I should have done far more research but being in a rush I ended up buying this and what a mistake that was.
The first day went well as I was based downstairs with the router around 3m away. It was very very easy to install, very quick to get going and seemed to be okay. We were having teething issues with the network and ISP so I assume that the first few failures in that first day were down to them issues.
However the pain began after that. Second day coming in the device wouldn't connect to our laptops so a few resets later and it was working. The start of a bad week for the router. Throughout the day the connection dropped, speeded up, slowed down, failed and 10-15 times during that day it had to be reset. We even took it back as we thought it was faulty, had it replaced and the same issues came through.
The signal was poor....even one floor up this failed all the time and the power of the signal was low. Since we have replaced this we have found that this is purely the routers fault as even on the second floor the newer router works much better with nearly 5 bars of signal.
Even the girls in the office downstairs moaned about it and they were 3m away! Signal being poor, long loading times and all due to the router. The broadband is fine as proven by the wired connections and the new router's performance.
All in all this is one router best avoided and I am surprised as Netgear usually come up trumps, the only thing it has going for it is the stylish look!
Also on CIAO
This router is OK, and nothing more.
When using wired connections, the router can handle several things plugged into it at once. The problems come when you want to use wireless. The router has a poor range and will drop the connection for no apparent reason.
Want to use use your laptop upstairs? Prepare to be frustrated.
The security settings and menu options are brilliant, however, and are a real selling point.
Although I am reviewing this product I did not pay for it, it came free with my Orange Broadband. When I noticed the price however, I felt compelled to write a review - £40-£50 for this is too much in my opinion when you consider the poor wireless performance. You would be better spending more for a router which will not disconnect you all the time, unless you only plan to use it for wired connections in my opinion