User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Inexpensive, covers the whole house, fast Ethernet + wireless, easy to set up and manage.
Cons:Does not support IEEE 802.11n.
The Bottom Line: For the money this seems to be a good router. It is vastly superior to our old 2Wire modem/router and our bottle neck is the 4G CLEAR input signal.
About two and a half weeks ago I decided to try a new internet provider, CLEAR, instead of DSL from AT&T. CLEAR turned out to be a real disappointing dud, but that is a different story. At the same time I bought this NETGEAR Wireless Router because all that I got from CLEAR was a 4G modem. Actually I prefer it that way since it allows me to get what ever router I want. Even though this NETGEAR Wireless Router is pretty cheap and considered a basic one, it by far outperforms the combined 2Wire DSL modem and router from AT&T.
Recommend this product?
NETGEAR WGR614 Router Overview
The NETGEAR WGR614 comes with a power adapter, a yellow Ethernet cable, and a so called resource CD which you use to install the needed software on your computer and it provides documentation. I should say that you can also setup the router without using the CD by going to their web site.
The router is small light and can be laid flat or standing up (comes with a stand). It features a number of green LED lights which indicates status.
As mentioned, NETGEAR WGR614 is a basic router which supports the IEEE 802.11g/b standard (but not IEEE 802.11n) up to 54GB/s. With neither CLEAR nor DSL do I need to worry about that limit. In fact while I was using the 2Wire modem/router the wireless signal was the bottleneck in most of the house. With NETGEAR WGR614 the CLEAR modem is the bottleneck even in the south east corner of the garage.
The NETGEAR WGR614 supports WEP, WPA, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK security (I chose WPA-PSK+WPA2-PSK) and several levels of encryption including 128-bit and 152-bit. It supports DHCP, NAT, and VPN (I am using VPN while writing this). As mentioned it provides wireless connection to any number of computers, printers and other devices, as well as four LAN (Ethernet) connections.
After installing the software you configure, check status, upgrade the firmware, get/use email, do backups, and contact support via an internet page. It also features parental controls, a firewall, and denial of service attack prevention. It features a broadband usage meter, and has features for blocking unsafe internet content. It is also very easy to setup (see below). The NETGEAR WGR614 is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP (32/64-bit), as well as older Windows OS, Mac OS, UNIX, Linux, and Novell. It comes with a one year warranty.
Router Experience and Opinion
The first thing I did was connect the NETGEAR WGR614 router to the CLEAR 4G modem and one my desktop computers (an HP p6130y with Windows 7 Home Premium). Then I powered on the router and then I installed the software that came with the router (this is the order in which you should do it). The installation was pretty straight forward. You needed to select the security option, the SSID (the name of the network), and the pass phrase. Our neighbor apparently chose to the "None" option when she set hers up, which the kids took advantage of when our network was down (I told them no though). I named the network after our big goofy Leonberger dog BRONCO because it goes all over the house and is reliable.
Since I changed the network name and the pass code I had to change it all my eight computers as well as on my wireless HP PhotoSmart printer and my Canon PIXMA MX860 printer. The only device that gave me a hard time was the Canon PIXMA MX860 printer. I should say that if I had kept the SSID and pass code from my AT&T 2Wire modem/router I would not have had to do that. However, the 2Wire network name and pass code was so cryptic so I wanted to change it.
The wireless network is pretty good throughout the house. I have four green bars no matter where in the house I am. In the dining room where I used to have nothing, one or two red bars, or three yellow bars at best, with the 2Wire modem/router I always have four green bars.
This is a basic inexpensive wireless router featuring all the basic functionality a typical home user needs. It covers our 4,000 square feet home and that is all we need. However, if you have a bigger house or want to do lag-free network gaming then you should get a good router that supports the IEEE 802.11n standard. Just remember, for the latter you need a good input signal as well, DSL and CLEAR won't do. For the price this seems to be a good wireless router.
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Amount Paid (US$): 35
Driver Availability: Windows, Linux, and Mac