Pros Nice concept.
Cons Measured 10 Mbps vs 200 rating.
Wi-fi speed couldn't even keep up with 10 Mbps powerline speed.
Setup a bit more cumbersome than expected.
Summary Real world experience with a Cisco E3000, E4200, and Netgear XAVNB2001:
The objective was to provide wi-fi coverage for an iPad & iPod throughout our home and take the opportunity to connect the TV in our living room to the router in the office for media streaming and internet access. I purchased a Linksys/Cisco E3000 and Samsung TV wi-fi adapter for this purpose. The E3000 worked fine for the iPods since our DSL is so slow anyway but the signal to the TV was weak and too slow to stream media at a distance of about 50' through wooden walls and a floor.
I was concerned and somewhat confused about CNET's conclusion that the E3000 lacked the "Power" to stream HD from the attached USB storage. I wanted to be sure the problem wasn't the USB drive. Transferring files from a nearby computer through a gigabit wire, the Resource Manager measured 55 Mbps writing and 45 Mbps reading. While far from a gigabit, it successfully handled two HD, or one HD and two SD streams simultaneously so I am still confused about what CNET found lacking.
To confirm the bottleneck was wi-fi range, I moved the E3000 with disk to the living room and played files from the attached disk. Having no means to measure the bitrate, HD played perfectly both with a wired connection and wi-fi so the hardware was up to the task at close range. More wi-fi range was needed.
Relying on CNET's review showing greater range and speed, I purchased an E4200. This was very disappointing. The E4200 signal strength was consistently 1 "bar" lower than the E3000 under the same conditions even after moving it around. The 5 GHz band was so weak it intermittently disappeared. Apparently a wired connection was needed to get the signal to the living room.
I purchased a Netgear XAVNB2001 powerline kit with a wi-fi port at the far end. With a cable connecting the TV to the XAVN2001 and streaming through the powerline from the computer, the Resource Monitor measured 10 Mbps, not quite enough for the 12 Gbps file and far short of the 56.2 Mbps measured by CNET. Connecting the TV to the XAVN2001 through the wi-fi link was substantially slower even at a 3' range which suggests that the wi-fi capability of the XAVN2001 is inadequate for HD regardless of the powerline bitrate. The XAVN2001 w/wi-fi connection did not seem any faster than the weak E3000 signal 47' further away.
At this point I gave up throwing money and time at this project. Everything but the E3000 for the iPad is being returned and a media connection for the TV will have to wait for better working products.
As a personal observation; it is ludicrous that real world and even lab tests of networking products fall VASTLY short of specs and everyone just accepts that. What happened to truth in advertising? If the XAVNB2001 for example, had performed at just 10 % of its rated 200 Mbps it would have worked fine. Suppose you bought a car rated at 30 MPG and it got less than 3 MPG? Would you accept that? The box advertising on all of these products said they were designed to do exactly what they all failed to do.
Pros installed quickly & correctly for surfing needs. My current internet and cable provider needs to update their G WiFi equipment in my house to N WiFi. Performance shall improve further then.
Cons It is what it is and I am happy it has solved the problems of my thick walls and floors in the house WITHOUT having to do all the rewire bit.
Pros The initial, out of the box instructions in getting the Adapter and the Extender to join each other is easy. I was up and running within in 10 minutes. I picked up the Extender, took it from my main level office to the basement at the other end of the h
Cons The challenge - how do I change the name, add security and connect it to my existing wireless network? The user guide was gibberish to me and the tech support is terrible. After giving him all my information and telling him what I wanted - all I got was
Summary Bottom line, great device. I had to find the IP address of the Extender and then typed it into my web browser. That directed me to the set-up screen for the Extender. I then changed the name of the network (to my existing one so they would be one) and added the password security (again, matching) and it is all working now. There is a slight drop in access as we move from one hub to the other, but never a drop in connection.
Pros Trying to think of something nice to say about Netgear.... can't think of anything
Cons After years of buying Netgear products, I've discovered that their support policies have essentially gone to hell. Following a firmware upgrade of my Netgear 3500 router, it no longer acquired an IP address from Comcast (cable ISP) - continued below
Summary But they offer only 4 months of free tech support and I bought the router 5 months ago. So their overseas tech support people would tell me nothing except to go buy tech support. Their firmware upgrade (which I performed correctly and which did take hold) caused the problem -- yet they wanted me to pay for a solution. Since this router replaced another one that died after 14 months -- and Netgear had adopted such draconian support policies, I wanted to warn potential customers that you are in for nothing but heartache if you Netgear product goes bad -- and judging from my experience it will go bad. I switched to an excellent Asus router -- with free tech support based in Indiana, USA. Be afraid of Netgear, be very afraid.