This unit was purchased to replace a DGN834PN router that was dropping connections too often after five years of steady service. The unit is in beta, lets just get that clear first. The Firmware is barely there, and there are some horrendous formatting issues on its admin screen, particularly the LAN setup page.
The bugs aside (and there are quite a few, so don't buy this if you aren't prepared to wait for a good firmware update) its not bad in its core offering of a good N-rangemax signal. Its not possible to keep the SSID hidden on N and still maintain a steady signal, but thankfully you can still use WPA2 and MAC access lists if you want control over who is allowed in.
- guest bg and n network segments, for when you have visitors and you want them to surf out, but not on your network
- port forward and firewall rules as per 834PN router, namely configurable and flexible
- auto firmware update check, though can get annoying at every login
- you can turn off the flashing blue lights by touching the dome down for 1-2 seconds
- it has two SSIDs, one for b/g and one for n - but both share the same WPA2 key!
- The bg / n split via SSID is not matched by any other wireless configuration options, so they share the same backend. You cant harden the N range and keep the bg flexible
- The firmware is in beta (sorry netgear, it is!)
- Older wireless kit has trouble joining the network (and by old I mean 802.11b kit!)
- You can't hide the SSIDs without both b/g and n signals dropping out regularly - which is odd as this was fine on the 834PN
Am I satisfied with the upgrade from the old router - well yes. I knew what I wanted, a good quality N-spec router (draft of course), that has great coverage and allows as much MIMO flexibility as possible for the multitude of devices that connect to it. It has good coverage on N, has nice low power consumption, and the guest WAN feature is a great idea. And its black with lots of colourful LEDS (yellow, green and blue)
** UPDATE ** May 2010
The latest firmware is now available, and I can confirm that the router behaves like all other Netgear routers. This is now a GOOD BUY.