Netgear DGN2200 review
802.11n, 4x 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports
The DGN2200's design is a departure from previous Netgear routers with its shiny black plastic case. It can be placed vertically with the help of a snap-in stand. There are four Ethernet ports and a single USB port that can accept external storage devices but not printers or 3G modems. Its two antennas enable speeds up to 300Mb/s, in theory, although we advise against using channel bonding to attempt reaching this speed as it causes massive interference to surrounding networks.
Netgear's channel bonding setting appears in the wireless settings as Mode, with a choice of "Up to 54Mb/s", "Up to 145Mb/s" or "Up to 300Mb/s". This is deceptive, as most novice users will logically choose the highest speed rather than the unbonded 145Mb/s option. The DGN2200 supports four SSIDs with individual security settings, which is handy for creating a guest network or a separate network that supports older WEP-only equipment.
We like Netgear's interface, which has a well-organised menu on the left side. At the top is the Setup Wizard, followed by a basic Setup section that contains all the essential settings for ADSL, LAN and wireless. Below that are more advanced pages for configuring content filtering, WDS, Dynamic DNS, QoS and remote management. Each page includes a pane on the right with explanations and tips.
The DGN2200 has a few unusual features: there's a Traffic Meter that keeps a record of bandwidth usage. An Approved USB Devices list is handy if the router's in a public place, and in the USB options, there's a list of URLs for access to USB storage either over the network or via the Internet, using secure HTTPS or FTP. You can also set up emails to alert you of possible attacks or of users trying to access blocked sites.
The DGN2200's performance was average in most of our tests but it excelled at long range. However it's not significantly faster than the Belkin Play Max N600, which supports Gigabit Ethernet, has two USB ports and a host of additional features that make it worth the extra £22.