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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 31 July 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the best and biggest router I have installed in the home to date, but it is not without its frustrations.

When it comes to its basic routing functions it rules the roost, but with the hardware spec being so high I would expect nothing less. It is setup behind our ASDL router until such a time as fibre gets to us.

Despite its speed I feel it really lacks functionality. The hardware is there, it just seems that less effort was put in to the firmware. Features such as bandwidth management lack the detailed mechanism that really should be a standard way of managing computers. When you live in the countryside bandwidth management is quite an important feature and I am disappointed that I cannot program this expensive router to do this. All I can do is add a computer or a program to prioritise it. I wanted more than that, I wanted to say how much bandwidth an individual computer should have to maintain a balance within the house.

The mobile phone app is very disappointing too, it is more of a method of viewing rather than managing the router on the go. I think it could do with some extra manageability, to bringing it up to par with the web access. You cannot access the web site in an iPhone as standard. In the end you have to boot up a computer to do most tasks, which begs the question what is the point of the app.

It is labelled as a smart router but I find that the current interface, though pleasingly clean and quick, is actually dumbed down, again a disappointment on an expensive router with a hardware advantage on most of the routers out there.

Don’t get me wrong what it does do it does better than most, I was just expecting so much more control. I know I could flash the firmware with an open source one. But a lot of the functions I would have like really should have been standard.

Media Server: The media server is actually one of the best I have come across on a router so far, serving out a stable stream from films to music. It is easy to set up and add media to.

USB Hard drive: Now here is a massive problem firstly my Seagate 1TB external hard drive was not compatible, so I had to take all the data off and swap with a 500gb go flex - that’s right I had to down grade with a much older HDD to get my music and films to the media server.

Secondly the list of supported HDD’s is very small and quite old, so now I am having a problem working out which USB 3 3TB drive to purchase to set up as a source for back up’s and more music. If anyone knows which 3tb drives currently on Amazon I can use please let me know. I don’t know why this is such an issue as all the other routers I have tried have never had a problem with hdd access just this one, is it not meant to be a computer standard (USB3) so that any HDD should just work?

There seems like a minor problem on the file copying front, it is fairly quick to copy to the device but copying from the device is painful and at one point I lost two files, which make me wonder is it safe as a backup device. I guess if I needed to restore I would just unplug the HDD.

The Network map usage is less than accurate too making it hard to work out who is using up the bandwidth, a minor point but again annoying on an expensive router.

Overall this will be our main router when fibre arrives, I just expected so much more from a router in this price point, as slightly lesser routers can do so much more. But this is the quickest one I have installed so I can just about forgive its indiscretions.
SO if you just want a router that is very quick and just forget afterwards this could be for you. If you have higher expectations on the management of the router then maybe this is not for you. It is like having a super car shell and having a family car engine in it that is not plugged into the engine management.

Two last things of note: when you first switch on the router you may notice a smell that is akin to burning circuit boards this is (after some research) perfectly normal. The other thing is you have to keep the top of the router clear as it has a cooling fan in it.
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