Netgear’s N900 Wireless Dual band Gigabit Router is the latest in a recent lineup of impressive dual-band routers from Netgear.
At long last, a router to get excited about
Netgear’s N900 Wireless Dual band Gigabit Router is the latest in a recent lineup of impressive dual-band routers from Netgear. The WNDR4500 is dramatically faster than the older WNDR3700, which supports only two spatial streams on each of its frequency bands. At close range, the WNDR4500 achieved TCP throughput of 151Mb/s on its 2.4GHz radio, and a staggering 251Mb/s on its 5GHz radio. Compare that to the WNDR3700’s 84.3Mb/s and 175Mb/s performance, respectively. The new router beat the old by a wide margin at every test location with the notable exception of our media room, where the WNDR3700’s 5GHz radio beat the WNDR4500’s by 27 percent. Interestingly enough, the WNDR3700’s hardwired switch also proved to be slightly faster than the one on the WNDR4500, with the old router outperforming the new by 11Mb/s (887Mb/s versus 876Mb/s). The WNDR4500 supports two USB 2.0 ports, to support both a storage device and a multifunction printer.
Netgear has completely revamped the router’s browser-based user interface, although you won’t need to access it right away: The default SSID for the 2.4GHz radio and a unique, but easy-to-remember password for both radios are printed right on the side of the device. Simply add “-5G” to access the 5GHz network. You’re free to change any of the SSIDs or passwords, of course. You can also operate password-optional guest networks on both radios, with the ability to restrict guests to Internet access only, access to the Internet and other clients on the same SSID, or access to your entire network.
Netgear has come up with a free newbie-friendly client app called Netgear Genie that’s very similar in functionality to Cisco’s Network Magic. You can control most aspects of the router’s settings with this tool, display network maps, establish parental controls (administered via OpenDNS), monitor your bandwidth consumption, and more.