"Buyer Be Aware"on by Rosesq
Pros When it works it is fast and has a good range
Cons Routinely drops connections and requires resetting, dies very quickly
Summary I purchased this unit in July 2007 as I had good experience with Netgear products in the past, I appreciated the the advertized features, it was on sale for a competitive price, and I broke one of my rules and didn't read the various on-line consumer reviews before purchasing. This unit was relatively easy to set up, hardwiring my imac (intel) and using the wireless feature on both a Mac bookpro and an IBM thinkpad. The speed and range was noticably better than my airport extreme (the 2005 model). My ISP is a small cable company with solid service. Initially, I had some dropped connections, but over time things seemed to stabilize (for no apparent reason -- settings remained the same). Last week, 6 1/2 months after puchase, I looked up from my work to see what is known on many forums as "the green circle of death." Only the green, circular power light stays on and the router lost all functionality. There were no storms and my house is wired to a house-wide surge protector and then the unit was plugged into a second protector. If you look around the forums (including Netgear's own), you'll find the technical explanation. After the usual resetting, rebooting, etc., I finally called Netgear tech support. As I called them 3 in the a.m. EST, it only took me 36 minutes and 2 techs to determine the unit was dead and to issue a return number for ONLY $17.00. The new unit came quickly. I've hooked it up and now am suffering from repeated dropped wireless connections. Given this items track record, I figure it will only be a few more months before I have the opportunity to purchase a new router -- this time after reading the forums.
Pros None.. only pro I could come across was that I got it for the price of the next model down because they miss marked it. Oh and when it works it will work with a VPN connection.
Cons Unit worked for 4 months and apparently over heated and burned out the board. Multiple dropped connections, constantly having to reset to get a connection.
Summary Always had a high opinion of them until I bought this unit. I have successfully used their wired switches for years. After what I went through with support I will never use them again. First I tried online and never got a response from their online email help. Finally called and ended up spending 2 hours on the phone with a guy named Mohammed. After finally making him understand that regardless of how many times I pressed the reset button on the back of the unit I was still getting the same result, he finally gave me an RMA. I am waiting now to see if the one they are going to send is going to last any longer. Should have logged in here and read the poor reviews to begin with.
"Absolutely Horrible"on by bckhntr
Pros Great at first
Cons consistently fails at 5 to 7 months or 10 to 13 months.
Summary I would advise anyone considering buying this product, to look at other vendors - STAY AWAY FROM THIS ITEM!
I find it hard to even give this item a 1.
I first bought this unit in January of 2007. By the end of May 2007, the product failed. Out of the blue, lan ports were not functional and the wireless was not functional. All you get is what is being referred to as "The green ring of death." - meaning the only thing that works is the power light.
After going through appropriate channels with Netgear, they issued an RMA for the return and replacement of the unit.
I received the new unit in June of 2007. This unit worked fine until February 10th 2008 and then "The green ring of death" hit me again.
Searching online for this product will result in this issue occurring by many buyers and Netgear does not appear to be addressing this issue. At the very least, there should be a recall on these products and refunds or replacement with a different model should be offered.
Pretty much all of the failures from those reporting problems all experienced serious hardware failures within 5 to 7 months or 10 to 13 months of use.
This indicates a serious quality control issue from Netgear. This combined with their terrible support has convinced me that Netgear will not get any recommendation from me to my friends or clients.
"Defective product"on by sblumer
Pros Nice unit, simple to configure, fast
Cons Defective, don't buy! Hangs, has to be rebooted and will lock up
Summary I got my first WNR854T in Nov 2006, in June 2007 it burned out. Only thing I got was the power light, nothing else! I got a free replacement from my retailer on June 24th 07, today the thing burned out again! This time the retailer didn't do a exchange, so I called Netgear. After over an hour and talking to a super visor for over 30 minutes I still don't have a solution to a replacement. They want me to send the defective unit at my cost to them to get a new replacement unit shipped by them. I told then that I won't pay a dime for shipping, they shall send me a return label for free shipping and exchange. I'm waiting for the corporate office to call me back and arrange something. Bottom end I don't want this unit anymore, even for a free replacement, as it cost me a day each time to switch back to my old router...
Inexpensive, when purchased as a refurb ($30)
Nice web interface.
Decent amount of features.
Possible OpenWRT candidate in near future.
Cons Stock design is a disaster.
Needs modding to make it reliable.
Summary After reading all the negative reviews, I realized that these routers has serious thermal management issues. In order to mitigate this, I added a small DC fan that uses its own wall wart power supply by cutting a hole in the chassis and attaching the fan. Now the chassis has positive airflow. To ensure the best cooling possible, I also added a few small heatsinks to the various chips on the motherboard. The router has been working perfectly for a month without a single restart or lost connection!
Anyone who has one of these routers NEEDS to get creative before its too late.