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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Netgear N300 Gigabit Router with External Antennas (JNR3210)



This is the first router I have reviewed in awhile that really was plug and play.   It had a very simple and clear 5 step start up.  The start up got you onto the Internet using both a cat5e cable and wireless.   Using the defaults everything worked just fine.   I was impressed with that part. 

The less impressive part was when NetGear Genie gave me my success screen and it had an onscreen button to push to go to the Internet, it took you to a screen that said “page not found”.  Nothing worked at that screen so I went to the Netgear site and proceeded to track this product down through their product numbers.   I found the product and found multiple entries for manuals for Genie.   I opened the PDF for the manual and found a Skype number highlighted so I Skyped and told the tech about the defunct page just for their edification.  I will follow up that with an email.  

The product did work for it’s primary purpose right out of the box and that was both satisfying and a surprise as that sadly doesn’t happen with any great frequency.   As far as seeing how the router works as a repeater or a bridge, I did not pursue that.   When I clicked on products supported in the PDF manual, it took me to a page listing products.  When I clicked on this product it took me to a page that was totally in Japanese or Chinese, I am not conversant in either so I don’t know for sure what language it was in.  That ended my foray into exploring the other options as I don’t have the patience to pursue dead end links. 

It may do all the other stuff the website claims, I did not test that.
I did test installation and that went smoothly, my devices responded well, I was able to get on the Internet hardwired and wirelessly.   I was able to get a technician on my Skype with only a 5 minute wait and that is a plus as well.   I have had positive success with Netgear products in the past.  They make a point of having a CD-Less installation and that is true.   I’m not sure how simple getting to the ancillary features may be with the issues I saw on the PDF manual. 

Overall the product seems good and the lifetime warranty is also a nice feature.  The $60 price tag at Amazon puts in the same ball park as other routers I have tested but the installation was much, much easier.   The $25 TP-Link Nano is substantially cheaper but took nearly two hours to get it working right.  Your choice is to save money or time.  

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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