Customer Review

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good flexible router, spoiled by a major firmware bug, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Netgear N750 Premium Edition Wireless Dual Band Gigabit DSL Modem Router (Accessory)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Since I initially posted this review , I've been experiencing some issues. I've added my experiences onto the end of the review.

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This router can be connected to the internet using either Ethernet (for connecting to a cable modem, for example) or ADSL. This means it should work as a replacement for virtually all wireless routers, regardless of the type of backhaul. I have been using it connected to a modem via the Ethernet WAN port.

Aesthetically, it's not pretty. It has a bizarre copper-coloured strip down the front, and it's quite a basic rectangle, with a thin black plate sticking out at the front (on the right edge). The LEDs are all green or blue, and are in a thin vertical strip. There are wall-mounting holes as well as a stand.

Setting the router up was reasonably straightforward. You connect your computer to the router, open up a web browser and click a few options. There was a little hiccup initially, because it happens to use the 192.168.0 /24 class C network for its LAN (local network) by default, and I connected it to a network with the same address range on the WAN interface, which does not work. Had it not been for this, setup would have been virtually automatic, but as it is, I needed to choose the "setup the network yourself" option, and choose a different LAN subnet. You can download an app called Netgear Genie to manage your internet connection (there are versions for Android and iPhone/iPad as well as computers).

For some reason, the admin password (the password you use to make changes to the router) can only be changed in the "advanced" menu; perhaps the default of admin/password is considered to be sufficiently secure. If you want to reserve a particular IP address on your LAN (for a server, for example), that's in the advanced menus too.

The Wi-Fi radios seem to work well. Rather than choosing what variant(s) of the 802.11 standard you want to enable, Netgear instead asks you to choose what "up to" speed you would like. In the 2.4GHz band, you choose if you'd like up to 54Mbps, 145Mbps or 300Mbps, and you get 802.11b/g/n; in the 5GHz band, you get 802.11a/n, and you can choose between 54, 217 and 450 Mbps. In both cases, the fastest option runs on a wider band (40MHz instead of 20MHz) with up to three parallel data streams in the 5GHz band, which is good if your devices support it, but your neighbours will be more likely to suffer from interference on their Wi-Fi setup. I would have liked to be able to disable 802.11b, because it has known performance and potential denial of service (DoS) issues; turning it off is not an option with this router.

As far as Wi-Fi range is concerned, it seems as good as my Asus wireless router. 5GHz signals get absorbed fairly quickly in walls, so I'm using a 5GHz wireless access point upstairs as well as the Netgear router downstairs. The 2.4GHz signal gets all the way round the house no trouble at all. Using inSSIDer, the Asus seemed to have the edge over the Netgear in the 2.4GHz band, but the Netgear was sometimes providing a better -60dBm against the Asus's -70dBm in the 5GHz band at a distance of 25 feet (and through one thin wall).

Setting the wireless identifier (SSID) and password is really easy: the 2.4GHz and 5GHz settings are displayed on the same page, so you can see everything at once. Security defaults to the most secure method, WPA2-PSK and AES. Insecure WEP is not supported, but moderately secure WPA (with TKIP) is - some client devices may not work with WPA2.

In addition to the ADSL and WAN Ethernet port, there are four Gigabit Ethernet sockets and two USB ports (one on the front, one on the back). The little rubber cover on the front USB port doesn't stay on very well. Using the USB ports you can connect devices for network file sharing or for DLNA media streaming (or you can connect a USB printer to be available over the network). As far as I can see, you can't set up user accounts on the router, so sharing is at the Windows Workgroup level only.

Advanced features include:
- Up to 6 (yes, SIX) guest Wi-Fi networks (three on 2.4GHz, three on 5GHz); you can configure security on them all separately, and you can choose whether to let them access your local network or just get out to the internet.
- Quality of Service (QoS) is supported on the wireless interface, and you can also prioritise internet traffic (for example, you can set up video streaming to your set-top box to have priority over downloading a new game from Steam).
- You can configure the router to email you a warning when you are getting close to your monthly download allowance (assuming have a download limit and your internet provider doesn't do you the courtesy of sending you an email anyway).
- You can make your connected USB drives accessible over the internet (you need to set up a username and password on the Netgear website to enable this).
- You have access to set up "Live Parental Controls" using a feature on the Netgear website: this connects to your Netgear router to block unsafe content, but you have complete freedom to block or unblock what you or your family should be able to see.
- The router can act as a Time Machine, assuming you have connected enough disk space.

I haven't yet tried out the ADSL connectivity of this wireless router.

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UPDATE, 20 January 2013: I've found an annoying bug in the latest firmware, version V1.1.00.10_1.00.10. The symptoms are:

1) If you use WPS (the button you press to allow a new device to connect to your wireless network), your SSID and wireless password change to random values (this is not supposed to happen if you have the "Keep existing settings" box ticked on the Advanced => Advanced Setup => Wireless Settings page, but it does).

2) Wireless isolation (which prevents connected devices from seeing each other) behaves oddly. Wireless isolation allows you access to the internet, but not to other devices in your home. Since using the WPS button, having the "Enable wireless isolation" box ticked actually DISABLES wireless isolation, except for the management interface to the router, which becomes inaccessible over wireless. If you untick the box, you can log on to the router over wireless, but all your network devices (NAS, media players, other computers) become inaccessible.

I cannot really recommend this router until this bug has been fixed, although if you don't use the WPS button the router works fine.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jun 2013 13:46:03 BDT
Interesting read on WPS http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/96/~/what-is-wi-fi-protected-setup-(wps)-or-netgears-push-n-connect%3F
Basically I will buy this router and have no need for WPS so there are no issues for me. WPS is only really for people who do not even know what a router is and why setting a hard to guess password is important. Everyone else can quite easily use the admin interface to setup a secure password for their network.
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Review Details

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Peter
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 129