"Excellent features, slightly disappointing 5GHz range"3.5 starson by andrewsi
Pros: Feature wise, the unit is very comprehensive and is a great price for all that it includes: 4-port Gigabit switch, simultaneous use of 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wireless N, USB drive network server, and good network management.
Cons: 5 GHz range/speed is somewhat disappointing. The range and speed on 2.4 wind up exceeding 5GHz after passing through a wall or two. Also, WPS failed to work between the router and a matching Netgear USB Dual-Band N receiver for some reason.
Summary: In general, the breadth and depth of the feature set in this router makes it suitable for advanced home users, but the automated setup process and the built in help are distinctly a cut above average, which for the typical home user would be quite helpful. The automatic check for firmware upgrades on router login is also a nice touch. Combined with the bandwidth usage monitoring and simultaneous dual-band Wireless N support (with repeater modes supported), and DLNA-compatible media serving from an attached USB storage device, this unit does almost everything.
I have only experienced a few minor negatives:
1) One very minor gripe I have is that the port forwarding feature claims to be limited to 20 rules, which I came very close to exceeding, and also, it doesn't permit translating an incoming port to a different receiving port at the destination, which was a feature I liked in my previous router. Supporting multiple remote desktops requires configuration changes on every machine rather than being centralized at the router as a result.
2) While the device claims to support WPS wireless setup, I was entirely unsuccessful in getting a laptop with a matching Netgear dual band USB Wireless N adapter to recognize the router in WPS mode. Both sides simply time out.
3) Be careful of the power cord's attachment to the router. It fits somewhat loosely, and is prone to coming out with only a minor pull.
4) Most importantly of all of these, I was really hoping that less congestion on the 5GHz band would translate to higher speeds. While this seems to be true, it comes with the caveat that the range of the 5Ghz signal is _significantly_ lower than 2.4 - making the improvement moot if you're not with a fairly close line of sight to the router, or if you have a few walls to pass through.