A Brilliant ADSL Router With built in 3g backup.

Aug 22, 2012 (Updated Aug 23, 2012)
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Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Very configurable, 3G/UMTS backup when ADSL Fails, Top notch wireless N standard, parental control.

Cons:Technical set up, May need range extender units to cover whole premises.

The Bottom Line: This is still the best ADSL router out there, among all the routers i have configured this is by far the easiest and most intuitive.


The Netgear DGN 2200M is a wireless ADSL Router with the capability to connect the internet via UMTS/3G. It will essentially use your ADSL line to provide internet connectivity but if that should fail it will automatically switch over to your UMTS/3g dongle and use that to connect. This is a sorely needed feature as many have become quite dependant on their internet connection to communicate with their clients or loved ones, to make payments via internet banking or simply check the weather for the upcoming weekend.

The router has a sleek black design and comes boxed with it's power adapter, an ethernet cable, some standard RJ-11 telephone cable, an ADSL line filter and a usb extension cable for your UMTS/3G dongle. i found the usb cable to be quite a nifty little ad on as it means that you can plug your 3G dongle into it and then ellevate it above where the router is standing so as to get the best possible signal from your 3G provider.Unfortunately it does not include a 3G dongle but does list those that are compatible with it on the back of the box. A comprehensive list is also available on Netgear's website. Make sure to only get a dongle that is listed as this unit does not support all 3G dongles. You may also need to download and install a firmware update to have support for your dongle; this is basically a software update for the router itself.

The router is fairly easy to set up, once you've connected it to you computer it automatically opens the router's configuration page when you try to access internet explorer or any other web browser that you may have. Unfortunately there may be computer set-ups that does not automatically log on to the routers configuration page because of certain windows security settings. Alternatively you can use the included software cd to run through the setup. The configuration interface is in my experience the most intuitive and user friendly of all routers and although it does come accross as a bit technical it is still miles better than many other routers. If it confuses you you can head over to netgear's website for technical support. Alternativeley get a qualified onsite computer technician to set it up for you.
 
When you log in you will find that it has a myriad of options to configure starting with a setup wizard that takes you through inputting your ADSL settings and will prompt you to configure the 3G connection and setup your wireless. This wizard in itself should get all the settings sorted for you if you follow the prompts. You can set the router to automatically switch over to 3G when the ADSL line fails or it can run of 3G permanently which is one of the features of this device that I love. Not only does this mean that you would be able to take it on vacation with you if you want to have connectivity there, but you can also effectively take one 3G device and share it’s connectivity with between 5-10 devices. This feature also enables the router to be moved to different locations in the home if you have areas that it does not cover wirelessly from it's current location.
 
Other Features on the router include that it has the option to block certain sites either by putting in the websites address or by typing in certain keyword’s to block. This is a useful feature for parents who want to have some control over what their kids are accessing on the net. The password on the router itself can be changed so that only you know how to get into the router and change the settings. Another feature that i liked is the ability to reserve IP adresses for devices connected to your network which can help to stop future problems with a networked printer for example. 

The Router comes pre-built to the wireless N standard which means that you would get data transfer speeds of up to 300mbps. This is fast enough to stream live video over the wireless connection without it stuttering. The N-type wireless signal also provides the best possible coverage of up to 300 m in an open air line of sight scenario. Unfortunately as is the case with all routers wireless signal can be hampered by thick concrete or brick walls and also by electronic devices. Essentially this means that each person’s home situation is unique and will cause differing levels of coverage experienced by different users. The wireless N does give you the best chance at total coverage of your premises though and i must say that i have had no problem with coverage in our 2 bedroom flat using this standard. 
 
Despite the inherent technicalities of setting up a wireless ADSL router the Netgear DGN2200M is one of the most user friendly, reliable and most configurable routers I have come across. You will be hard pressed at finding a router of the same standard.


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