Netgear RangeMax ADSL Modem Wireless Router review
Review Date: 22 Feb 2006
Price when reviewed: inc VAT
Reviewed By: David Ludlow
Netgear's RangeMax ADSL Modem Wirelesss Router uses MIMO technology for extended range and performance.
Most MIMO routers have at least three prominently displayed aerials; Netgear has built an array of seven aerials into the router's slim white casing. Technically, it's not true MIMO, as the aerials aren't used together; the aerial with the strongest reception is used.
We were worried the lack of visible aerials would adversely affect performance, but this wasn't the case. Using our Centrino notebook, we got throughputs of 18.65Mbit/s at close range and 18.24Mbit/s at 10m. We were unable to get a stable connection 20m away through two walls and some lifts, though. These throughputs are slightly off the pace of Buffalo's High Power router, which let us get a connection of 2.44Mbit/s (good enough for web browsing) using a Centrino notebook.
MIMO technology is best when used with matching network adaptors; we also tested using Netgear's RangeMax Wireless PC Card (£46 including VAT), which supports the router's 108Mbit/s mode. Throughputs were better, with 21.51Mbit/s at close range, 20.63Mbit/s at 10m and 9.44Mbit/s at 20m. Using this router with its own network adaptors will help if you live somewhere with poor wireless reception.
The quick setup wizard is probably all you'll need for configuration; it configures your internet connection and prompts you for wireless settings including WPA security. If you have to change the more complex settings, Netgear's excellent web interface is a joy to use. Each page has a sidebar containing help for its settings. The router has an internal ADSL2+ modem built in, so it will work with the new higher-speed ADSL connections.
We were pleased with the results from this router. But the true MIMO standard is only due to launch next year. Unless you have wireless problems in the home, the MAXg ADSL2+ router (reviewed left) is a better choice.
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