Netgear WPN824 Router
Manufacturer: NetGear Part number: WPN824NA
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CNET editors' review
price range: $34.90 - $106.95
- Reviewed by: Xiao Ming Wu
- Edited by: Allen Fear
- Reviewed on: 04/17/2005
- Released on: 03/01/2005
The good: Fast throughput; long range; compact design; seven internal antennas help counteract interference from cordless phones and neighboring networks.
The bad: Twice the price of a standard Wi-Fi router; mediocre performance when used with legacy 802.11b gear.
The bottom line: The Netgear RangeMax router is among the best-performing routers we've seen.
Tops Linksys - Up in 10 minutes - Great Advanced Features
by ivybrick on April 12, 2005
Pros: Easy Setup, Port-Forwarding, No Interferance Issues
Cons: None to-date
Summary: I have been through an exaustive search and finally stumbled upon this gem. I am a software engineer, looking to re-Wifi my home office as a result of my MS ...
Summary: I have been through an exaustive search and finally stumbled upon this gem. I am a software engineer, looking to re-Wifi my home office as a result of my MS MN-500 failing to work after 2-years.
I immediately went with Linsys due to my experience with Cisco. The latest was the SRX which dropped signal anytime I attempted to download or load a large web page. It was fast when it was up? After 6 hours over 7 calls to Linsys, they told me to go with their A&G product. It installed in about 30 minutes. Detection problems but was eventually up. However, I noticed a flaw in thier firmware where you could not shut off the Remote Management feature. If you own one try it. Without any port forwarding or DMZ set, type your external ip address. They disable and try again. Same thing, always up. Not a good feature. In addition, the port-forwarding was difficult to setup. On top of all of this fun, the same signal drop occurred. This is on 5 different computers with both B & G cards.
In desparation, I went to this site and saw the presentation of the NetGear and read some reviews from other sites. I purchased and set the entire router up with several port-forwarding configuration in less than 10 minutes. I am very excited about the speed, and easy-of-use. This is a must for 1-Wifi-crowded environments; 2-Semi-professional requirements like advanced firewall and forwarding; 3-Novice users who want an easy setup. Just follow the directions and you are up.
For environment particulars:
Security: WEP only 128
Workstations: 3 with 1 Vonage device (directly wired)
Servers: 2 Dell PE
Longest Distance: 30 feet from router in upstairs bedroom.
42 out of 43 users found this user opinion helpful.
Did not have extra range!
by SoCalMike on May 17, 2005
Pros: Same interface as older models
Cons: No range benefit. Rangemax is marketing hype.
Summary: Purchased RangeMax Router and RangeMax Ethernet NIC to replace Netgear WG624 Wireless Router to enhance coverage throughout my home. Installed in same exact location (easy setup) as the WG624 and ...
Summary: Purchased RangeMax Router and RangeMax Ethernet NIC to replace Netgear WG624 Wireless Router to enhance coverage throughout my home. Installed in same exact location (easy setup) as the WG624 and the range was not even as good as the older WG624. What's up with that???!!! I escalated to Netgear Level 2 tech support with a case number and they never called even me back. With old setup, I could get a "low" signal from the farthest place in my home and it would connect to the internet, although very slow. With RangeMax, it would not even connect from the same spot!! It was a simple test that is proof RangeMax does not enhance range! I am VERY disappointed in the product and RETURNED both the router and the NIC card. No way it's up to 1000 times greater range. I did not even get 10% better range which would have made a difference in my home.Updated
5-23-2005 - Just wanted to update everyone and let you know that I have still not heard back from Netgear Technical Support, even though I had a case number and a promise of a call back. I would imagine it is because this product has many issues that they are having to deal with.
23 out of 33 users found this user opinion helpful.
Beauty...fast, strong connection, great range
by Redflea on June 20, 2005
Pros: Easy setup, strong signal, great range
Cons: None yet...except maybe for bright blue lights...
Summary: This router was very easy to set up...I tried both the hand-hold and manual method, and both worked perfectly. All the necessary security and other settings options are available. ...
Summary: This router was very easy to set up...I tried both the hand-hold and manual method, and both worked perfectly. All the necessary security and other settings options are available.
Signal strength and range are great...I can go to the back end of my yard w/my laptop (180 feet from the router, through two walls) and get a minimum 28 MPS connection, more than enough for any internet activities (email, browsing, streaming media) as well as streaming MP3s from my music server.
The blue lights on the router are a little silly, but given the performance of the router, I forgive the Netgear "marketeers" for their desire to have pretty blue lights.
Gave this thing a 10 because I couldn't find any reason to mark it down...well done, Netgear.
15 out of 16 users found this user opinion helpful.
the best of the rest
by cscaldwe on June 20, 2005
Pros: excellent coverage, great looks, easy set-up
Cons: none so far
Summary: Lost our Linksys WRT54G wireless router to a power surge and had to buy a replacement. I was very happy with the Linksys and planned on just buying another of ...
Summary: Lost our Linksys WRT54G wireless router to a power surge and had to buy a replacement. I was very happy with the Linksys and planned on just buying another of the same. Came across the Netgear Rangemax at the store and was intrigued by the seven antenna idea so I figure I'd give it a try.
The increased coverage is immediate...even in the backyard (2500sqft single story home). The RangeMax does as promised and adjusts the signal based on where it finds you.
We're at full signal strength (4.7Mbs on our cable modem) in every single room! I am still amazed as I type this review.
The setup was as easy as my Linksys WRT54G, and I think I prefer the Netgear setup wizard...it was a bit easier to follow as a non-expert user.
I also like the cleaner lines. No external antennas. The white and "glass" case follow the design trend of an iPod so it looks nice out in the open. the blue LED lights for he antennas are fun to watch in action, very Star Wars R2D2.
The blue LEDs did cause a bit of distraction while on-line gaming so I temporarily covered the glass dome with some papers.
Of course, now that we have such amazing coverage I'll likely be gaming in other areas of the house or the backyard!
Excellent work Netgear!
13 out of 13 users found this user opinion helpful.
does what it says on the box and more
by jgraywa on April 28, 2005
Pros: Great signal strength in dead-spots other conventional G WiFi base stations can't
Cons: Only con with this product for me was cost
Summary: Being the techno and gadget geek that I am I have been using WiFi kit since it was first available for home use. Over the past 3-4 years I have ...
Summary: Being the techno and gadget geek that I am I have been using WiFi kit since it was first available for home use. Over the past 3-4 years I have owned around 6 or more wireless basestations ranging including offerings from Microsoft, Dlink, Linksys, Netgear and Apple.
When my partner and I decided to move in together to a house we each gave up life in our respective apartments. In the apartment I had been using the Linksys WRV54G (http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=565) VPN router. I have not been overly impressed by this offering from Linksys for a number of reasons but tolerated it as it did the job.
Once we moved into the house, I found that the PC downstairs could not get a WiFi signal at all from the Linksys WPM54GS G PCI speedbooster card, and when it could it was at around a poor 1MBPS. I decided to try a range booster product opting for the WRE54G (http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=38&prid=629) G-Range-Expander from Linksys. Results here I found to be no better - it just seemed that this section of the house; just around 30 feet away downstairs, was in some kind of wireless deadspot.
In despair, I thought about paying for a second cable modem, painfully running ethernet over the house (being rented not worth the time or investment), when I read about new offerings from Linksys, Belkin, Netgear and DLink to name a few.
I read reviews on the Belkin Pre-N router, the Linksys SRX and the NetGear RangeMax. I went to BestBuy, CompUSA and Fry's Electronics to try and gleam some knowledge from the staff - none at any store were able to shed any light on the usefulness of any of these products.
As a longstanding Linksys customer, I was about to buy their SRX router despite the fact it was more than $50.00 more than the others. The thing I liked about the Apple Airport Extreme when I bought it was - not only was it a robust functioning product, but it is a stunning piece of design which can be put any place in the home and not look unsightly as these things often can. The router which I would buy would have another 3-4 devices connected to it over ethernet (albeit not directly in sight). The Linksys box seemed much of a muchness in online reviews with the other offerings. It also has three external antennas, which with the other ethernet devices connected - doesn't make for discrete viewing in the home.
In the end I opted for the RangeMax from NetGear. WOW - honestly - this is a great device. When I took it out of the box it struck me in that it looked similar to the Airport Extreme from Apple - it looks great, sleek and stylish; as far as such items can be anyway. Setup was very straightforward and intuitive - unlike the previous VPN router (WRV54G) from Linksys I own. It was up and running in 5 minutes or less. I also have an account and domain name for the home setup for free with http://www.dyndns.org - this guy updates the IP address each time the ISP change it at the cable modem to keep it current. This allows me to connect to a desktop running XP which I remote desktop to and access any other machine on the network at home from work.
Lastly, the PC downstairs? .......... it now get's ~ 45-48 MPBS no problem and not internet access is lighning fast. Moving data to other machines on the network is now also reliable without wireless connection failures. I've also tried using the laptop that I am typing this from at the other end of the back garden and I still get a good connection with around 35 MBPS throughput.
Next I plan to buy a couple of RangeMax cards from Netgear for the other machines in the house. That way I can leverage the MIMO technology which is built in, giving two concurrent aggregating wireless-G streams of 54 MBPS - to 108 MBPS - faster speeds and faster coverage in deadspots is what I'm hoping for --> take the ~45 MPBS connection on the PC downstairs to double that .............. move over 100 Base-T ethernet.
Closing (sorry for the novel), I would highly recommend this device. For me, it solved a tricky WiFi connection problem in the form of deadspots which current non-N routers can't help with. It does this with great connection strength and no dropouts in connection that I've noticed. Lastly, it's extremely user friendly - and it looks great - mine sits in a corner of the living room where guests continually compliment it.
If you have the same problems I've described I couldn't recommend a product more highly.
13 out of 14 users found this user opinion helpful.
Surprisingly Awesome Router
by SonicMooBoy on April 21, 2005
Pros: Easy Install, No antennas outside of the unit, fast
Cons: Some might come to hate the disco-esk glowing blue light
Summary: I was pleasantly surprised with this unit. I had just returned the Belkin' Pre-N router and wireless laptop card because the pre-n card was freezing my laptop and I found ...
Summary: I was pleasantly surprised with this unit. I had just returned the Belkin' Pre-N router and wireless laptop card because the pre-n card was freezing my laptop and I found out it wasn't compatible with a laptop that was one year old - so........
I decided to take the leap and get the RangeMax (and the wireless card to go with it). Setup was a breeze, the card worked, I get great signal, NO installation problems. I actually kind of like the glowing blue light on top but I could see how a lot of people would come to loathe it.
I got worried when I read some user reviews on here about this unit and it not working properly and some really low reader scores (some on the wireless laptop card), but after taking the plunge anyway, I think I would very highly recommend this unit. Yay!
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great Choice for Range and Features!
by SkykingUSA on April 25, 2005
Pros: Long Range, No Ext Antenna, Latest Features
Cons: Price is high, could have more ports, could have more port fowarding slots (has 20)
Summary: I bought this router on sale from Dell for $124.00 and love it. I bought it because my old Linksys 54G could not reach the far bedroom upstairs - ...
Summary: I bought this router on sale from Dell for $124.00 and love it. I bought it because my old Linksys 54G could not reach the far bedroom upstairs - this router reaches it with a Very High to Excellent signal strength. I am able to copy large files now with no problem, where before I would get disconnected.
The router has some nice features like DHCP reservations and 20 port forwarding slots, plus 20 port triggering slots. There are also lots of content filtering options, and it will even email you when blocked sites are being accessed, or when activity logs are full (you can turn this on or off). I love the fact that the router will check online for firmware updates and let you upgrade easily. I compared this router with the Belkin pre-n one in my home and found the performance and range between the two to be the same, but I like the Netgear interface more, and the Belkin is downright ugly and the lights are poorly placed on the top of the unit where you can't see them from the front unless the router is below your line of sight. Since I put my router above me on a shelf, I prefer the Netgear's lights, which are on the front of the unit.
Overall, I think this is the best MIMO router out there right now and would highly recommend it. Sure, the blue lights on the top are a bit gimicky, but I don't have it in my bedroom, so it doesn't bother me. It works great for me with 5 wired connections (using an uplinked switch) and 1 11b connection and 1 11g connection. I Love it.
8 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Excellent Router - Beat Severe Interference Problem
by epkimball on June 18, 2005
Pros: Advanced or easy setup, your choice; Integrates flawlessly with mixed XP/MacOS household; Amazing signal strength and quality.
Cons: Bright blue lights on top may keep my guests awake.
Summary: I purchased the RangeMax Router in a fit of desperation. It was the third item I purchased from my local CompUSA in an attempt to overcome terrible interference issues caused ...
Summary: I purchased the RangeMax Router in a fit of desperation. It was the third item I purchased from my local CompUSA in an attempt to overcome terrible interference issues caused apparently by a new steel-tube bunk bed recently installed in our home office (no kidding). Our home office is at one end of our 3,400 s.f. house, and we want to leave the modem there so that we can tie directly into it when necessary. With our prior wireless router, a D-Link DI624, we barely had coverage in the family room at the far end of the house, and signal quality was not good enough to allow iTunes transmission that far away. As soon as I installed the new bunk bed, signal strength and quality completely disappeared in the family room, and was weak even in the middle of the house. I tried relocating the access point in the room, including higher on the wall. I tried Netgear's homeplug/access point solution touted on this site. I tried a repeater. None of them worked satisfactorily. Then I read a review of the RangeMax router and thought, "What could I lose other than yet another visit to CompUSA to return it?" -- The RangeMax router is amazing. I have better coverage than I ever had with the D-Link (which itself outshone our prior Linksys router). I can stream iTunes to a corner of the house where I previously had no signal at all. I should say that even before the dreaded bunk bed, my house is sort of a Bermuda triangle for radio signals. The house has a steel roof and that seems to interfere with everything. For example, you can't get a cell signal inside my house. Somehow, the RangeMax solved the problem. -- In terms of setup, even though I am a relatively advanced user, I decided to pop the installation CD into my wife's XP machine (I use Mac; the installation program is not Mac compatible). The installation program made all the necessary changes, asked all the right questions, and the system was up and running in less than 10 minutes. The only change I made was to open the web based utility and turn on WPA-PSK. -- I should also note that the D-Link used to drop my wife's XP machine several times during the day, requiring her to re-connect. That doesn't happen with the RangeMax. -- The only negative is that the blue lights on the top are quite bright, and we obviously use the office for (very young) guests. We may have to turn off the router when children are sleeping in the room, or tape something over the lights, or they may be up all night. Otherwise, the design is very attractive and the absence of external antennae is nice.
8 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
Huge Improvement over NetGear's MR814 Router
by tahmed on June 10, 2005
Pros: Awesome Range
Cons: A Bit Pricey and setup is a cumbersome for experts
Summary: So I've had one of NetGear's first routers, the MR814 and haven't been too impressed. The NG's wireless card that I got back in the day ...
Summary: So I've had one of NetGear's first routers, the MR814 and haven't been too impressed. The NG's wireless card that I got back in the day was so bad I returned it. In my house which is 3200sq ft and the walls are filled with insulation, getting range is a huge problem.
So I did a lot of research and read various articles and for range it comes down to Belkin's Pre-N or NG's RangeMax router. From the comparisons if you want just sheer raw speed and maximum distance the Belkin was the way to go as long as you also used their Pre-N cards. I don't care for N, I've got 3 laptops with internal wireless cards, 2 PCs, and an Xbox in the house and the NetGear RangeMax wins when it comes to extending range for existing b and g devices. At the extreme end of my house where the TV is (compared with the location of the router) I could barely maintain a signal with the 802.11b router I had, 1Mbps connection at best. With the RangeMax at this same location my signal strength drops to only 80%, everywhere else is a full 100%.
So I'm a happy camper. The main drawback I found was setup. It's designed for a total newbie/non technical person. For hard core tech users you'll find it frustrating getting past it's huge desire to make you run their setup wizards. Even though you can go directly to the admin screen, it still wants to do a bunch of detection nonsense, when I'd prefer to just set all the settings myself because I know what they have to be.
My friend with the Belkin Pre-N said his setup was a breeze. But really you have only two choices if you want to do the multiple antenna MIMO route. The Routers using the AirGo Wireless chips (Belkin, LinkSys), or the Video54 chips (NetGear RangeMax). Realistically who cares about 108Mbps when your internet connection at home is 4Mbps at best (380Kbps-754Kbps for most people).
Also for those that complain about not being able to replace the antenna. Ya that's a strategy used for single antenna routers. The RangeMax has 7 antennas (internal).. so if you had your way you'd add 7 powered antennas?!? On the AirGo routers like the Belkin you'd have to replace 3... that's adding a lot more wires (from A/C adapters) when you're trying to be wireless.
But once you get past that you're rock'n and roll'n. Plus it has this funky blue dome on the stop with an array of LEDs that blink with activity.. It's all star trek like n stuff, kinda cool in the dark to watch when you're really bored.
- Tariq Ahmed (http://www.cflex.net)
7 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great product and out performed my expectations
by dsteward1231 on May 28, 2005
Pros: Much better range than expected and my laptop never drops offline.
Cons: Difficult setup for non-techies. Took a while to configure 3 computers to the same network.
Summary: If I had the option to buy this again, I would. It is worth the extra money, atleast for me. Had a wireless router in the basement, but I could ...
Summary: If I had the option to buy this again, I would. It is worth the extra money, atleast for me. Had a wireless router in the basement, but I could not get a signal anywhere in the house except right above the router. With this one I can go to the second floor and still get a great signal, but you have to buy the Netgear card to go with it. $$$$
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: NetGear
- Part number: WPN824NA
- Description: The NETGEAR RangeMax N150 Wireless Router is a simple and secure way to share your high-speed Internet connection at Wireless-N speeds for surfing the Internet, email, online chat and Facebook. Easy setup with the Smart Wizard CD gets you up and running fast, while Wi-Fi Protected Setup gives you a secured connection at the push of a button. Compatibility with Wireless-G networks allows hassle-free connection flexibility.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Device Type Wireless router - 4-port switch (integrated)
- Enclosure Type Desktop
- Connectivity Technology Wireless ,
- Data Link Protocol Ethernet,
- Frequency Band 2.4 GHz,
- Data Transfer Rate 150 Mbps
- Encryption Algorithm WPA-PSK,
- Features DoS attack prevention ,
Live Parental Controls ,
Push ‘N’ Connect button,
Broadband usage meter ,
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) ,
Multiple SSID support ,
Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) ,
- Compliant Standards IEEE 802.11g ,
IEEE 802.11n ,
IEEE 802.11b ,
- Built-in Devices LED panel
- Status Indicators Link activity
- Type None
Expansion / Connectivity
- Interfaces WAN : 1 x Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45,
LAN : 4 x Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45
- Expansion Slot(s) None
- Networking type Wireless router
- Antenna Internal integrated
- Power Device Power adapter - External
- Width 8.8 in
- Depth 6 in
- Height 1.2 in
- Weight 1.1 lbs
- Cables (Details) 1 x Network cable
- Microsoft Certifications Compatible with Windows 7
- Compliant Standards CEC,
- Localization North America
Software / System Requirements
- Software Included Drivers & Utilities
- OS Required Microsoft Windows 98,
Microsoft Windows 2000,
Microsoft Windows XP,
Microsoft Windows NT,
CNET Labs' Benchmarks
- CNET Labs long-range tests (in Mbps) 36.4
- CNET Labs maximum throughput tests (at 10 feet, in Mbps) 46.6
- CNET Labs maximum throughput tests with mixed 802.11b/g and draft N, MIMO clients (at 10 feet, in Mbps) 23.3