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Netgear DGND4000 review

Verdict

A huge range of features, good future-proofing and quick all-round performance make this router a solid investment

Review Date: 22 May 2013

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £80 (£96 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

It takes a fair bit to make a router stand out, but the Netgear DGND4000 has managed it: it’s one of only a handful of routers to support both ADSL and cable connections. This means you can buy it, safe in the knowledge that if you want to switch services in the future, you won’t have to dump your router.

This isn’t the only area in which the Netgear excels, though. There’s dual-band concurrent 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless, which run at 300Mbits/sec and 450Mbits/sec respectively. There are four Gigabit Ethernet ports at the rear, a pair of USB 2 sockets for sharing storage or a printer, and the full range of buttons and switches for power, WPS and wireless functions.

Netgear DGND4000

We also like that the router can be quickly associated with an OpenDNS account for powerful category-based website blocking, via a free service Netgear calls Live Parental Controls.

Setting this up is easy: download the management utility from the Netgear website, run through the wizard, and the router will be linked with an OpenDNS account, allowing you to block adult-related sites with varying degrees of strictness.

You can even use the online Live Parental Controls to set up blocks of time and link them with different filter levels, so that, say, late at night, your network isn’t restricted at all, and during the day all adult sites are blocked.

The DGND4000’s web UI isn’t particularly attractive, but it’s responsive and easy to understand. It provides access to the broadest array of features of any router we've seen. There’s support for wireless repeating, user-configurable QoS controls, guest networks, and app support for Android and iOS devices. You can use the mobile apps to manage the router’s various functions, from altering the wireless channel to setting up parental controls and temporary guest access, and browse the folder structure of connected USB disks.

Netgear DGND4000

Performance isn’t bad, either. At close range, we recorded average speeds of 17.8MB/sec over 5GHz and 13.8MB/sec over 2.4GHz, results that place the router firmly among the fastest routers we've tested. The router’s 5GHz long-range performance is decent too, maintaining 2.2MB/sec in our demanding file-transfer tests. Long-range 2.4GHz performance is found wanting, but USB transfer speeds were excellent, with an average rate of 14.1MB/sec over a wired connection, and we found no issues with the router’s ADSL performance.

The Netgear DGND4000 has few weaknesses. Its all-round performance is good, even taking into account that long-range 2.4GHz weak spot, and in terms of features it can’t be beaten. The only thing that prevents it from topping the A List is that its main rival – the Asus DSL-N55U – has better long-range performance.

Author: Jonathan Bray

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User comments

Eh! What!?

[quote]The only thing that prevents it from topping the A List is that its main rival – the Asus DSL-N55U – has better long-range performance at a lower price.[/quote]

Your own article on the Asus says "Price when reviewed: £85 (£102 inc VAT)". This article says "Price when reviewed: £80 (£96 inc VAT)", which in my reckoning makes the Asus MORE expensive, not lower priced as you state.

If you shop online for these devices, then you may be right about the Asus working out cheaper, which suggests that your numbers might be wrong somewhere. It looks to me like the price you give for the Netgear is at least £10 too low.

By Ip_stephenmollfb on 24 Jun 2013

Good spot

You're absolutely right. We've now updated the final paragraph to reflect that. Apologies for the error.

Jonathan Bray,
Reviews editor,
PC Pro.

By JonBray on 24 Jun 2013

Router?

What's the firewall throughput like? The most important aspect of any router.

By drummerbod on 24 Jun 2013

Router Reviews

A few months ago I decided to replace my ISP supplied router.
I ordered from Amazon Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router.
However, it was only when I opened the package that the instructions mention the requirement of a separate modem! Thanks to there generous returns policy I returned and received a refund. My problem was that there was no mention of the need for a separate modem in the sales description.
So I'm looking for a new router, my question is did all the recently reviewed router have inbuilt modems and should this be mentioned in the review?

By flashsalmo on 27 Jun 2013

Router Reviews

A few months ago I decided to replace my ISP supplied router.
I ordered from Amazon Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router.
However, it was only when I opened the package that the instructions mention the requirement of a separate modem! Thanks to there generous returns policy I returned and received a refund. My problem was that there was no mention of the need for a separate modem in the sales description.
So I'm looking for a new router, my question is did all the recently reviewed router have inbuilt modems and should this be mentioned in the review?

By flashsalmo on 27 Jun 2013

Router Reviews

A few months ago I decided to replace my ISP supplied router.
I ordered from Amazon Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router.
However, it was only when I opened the package that the instructions mention the requirement of a separate modem! Thanks to there generous returns policy I returned and received a refund. My problem was that there was no mention of the need for a separate modem in the sales description.
So I'm looking for a new router, my question is did all the recently reviewed router have inbuilt modems and should this be mentioned in the review?

By flashsalmo on 27 Jun 2013

I want features

I want features. I want to be able to configure DHCP lease times in minutes, disable wireless internet access through schedules that may be different for different days, change wireless transmit power, guest zone requiring a password only. I never see any of this information in a review or the manufacturer’s manuals. Tech support doesn’t know their bung from a hole in the ground. Users are forced to buy the product and see features are supported and return the router if necessary.

By bogus on 27 Jun 2013

@flashsalmo

Never fail to ROFL at those type of comments.

By bet1001 on 1 Jul 2013

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