Netgear DGND3300 review
After a slow start, ADSL users now have a good selection of 802.11n hardware to choose from. But when it comes dual band routers, the selection is pretty thin. This Netgear is a prime example - it's the only concurrent dual-band ADSL router on the market.
This means it's able to maintain both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously, allowing devices such as internet radios access at the same time as laptops on the less crowded 5GHz band.
It does this in an unusual way, however. Instead of two full-powered 802.11n radios inside, the DGND3300 has one 802.11n and one 802.11g. This means you get one fast network and one slow one. In theory, that allows the best performance at the lowest possible cost.
It's an interesting approach but not a wholly successful one. Despite the presence of eight internal aerials, we found performance to be sluggish, in both our close-range 2.4GHz and 5GHz tests, returning below par rates from router to laptop (using an Intel WiFi Link 5300 chipset) of 63Mbits/sec, and 42Mbits/sec in the reverse direction over 2.4GHz and 77Mbits/sec and 45Mbits/sec over 5GHz. Both tests were carried out using the high power radio.
It was better at at long range, but the results were still disappointing, returning rates of 64Mbits/sec and 33Mbits/sec over 2.4GHz, and 42Mbits/sec and 20Mbits/sec in the 5GHz band. Part of the problem is the lack of Gigabit Ethernet ports, which places a cap on maximum throughput, but even taking this into account, we're underwhelmed.
It did maintain a reliable enough signal to pass our Full HD video-streaming test in all locations without any frame drops, pauses or signal dropouts. And the feature set, apart from the lack of Gigabit, is reasonable.
Highlights include a USB port for sharing hard disks or flash drives, a tool that alerts you to firmware upgrades when you log into the web admin pages, and a guest network feature.
Despite Netgear's cost-cutting, the DGND3300 still costs a fair bit, and that dual-band support fails to translate into a real-world advantage. Future firmware upgrades may improve it, but for now you're better off with a more powerful, single-band router.
Author: Jonathan Bray
I noticed that the router appears to be slow. Was this test run on the higher speed setting? The Netgear website refers to a change that can be made in the firmware to run at 270Mbps (http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/405
7) so would that speed things up?
By ONLawson on 13 May 2010
- Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaves Google
- Windows 10 trackpad shortcuts: Microsoft takes a leaf out of Apple's book
- Promo: Using IBM BlueMix to create successful business apps
- Why the Microsoft Band could be a game changer
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Microsoft Office 16 set to launch late next year
- HP's vision for the future of PCs: the 3D Sprout
- How Google X plans to detect cancer and heart disease using nano-magnets
- Google Fit app arrives, but without third-party support
- Five ways Amazon Fire TV Stick beats Google Chromecast
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Five smartwatch features we’ll see by 2015
- How to wipe an Android phone or tablet
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office