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Netgear N300 300 Mbps 4-Port 10/100 Wireless N Router (WNR2000) Reviews
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Netgear N300 300 Mbps 4-Port 10/100 Wireless N Router (WNR2000)

120 ratings (6 Epinions reviews)
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An Excellent Performing And Feature-Rich Single-Band factory refurbishments 'N" Wireless Router

Mar 31, 2011 (Updated Jun 11, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Has the very useful Net Meter with the latest firmware update

Cons:Operates only on the crowded 2.4 GHz band

The Bottom Line: Considering the price, this router is more than worth it. Except for being singleband at 2.4 GHz only, I think this is still a great buy.


I bought this factory re-refurbished MIMO Netgear WNR2000 v2 Wireless-N Router with eight internal antennas to replace my old working Netgear WPN824v2 router. I found that this new router is just as easy as the old one to configure that uses the same address. To get to the web interface (http://www.routerlogin.net or http://10.0.0.01) then type "admin" for the username and for the password just type password to get in. Once in, you can configure it as well as updating it to the latest firmware available online. The updating process by default is on automatic but you can turn it off if you wish. For the wireless portion, you can set it with different modes such as "G" only or single channel "N" at 144 mbps or auto "N" at up to 300 mbps. The 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band has a bandwidth of 20 MHz as single channel or 40 MHz as operated as channel bonding mode. Because of these limitations, the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band only has enough space for three nonoverlapping channels and they are channel 1, channel 6, and channel 11 for the USA. Also because of these limitations when in channel bonding mode the router would occupy 2/3 of the total band (300 mbps mode). To avoid interference the router would automatically fall back to single channel mode whenever it detects another strong enough network nearby occupying the same frequency band. Also all "N" networks has to be configure for WPA2 or none in order for it to operate in "N' mode otherwise it reverts to the slower "G" mode.

This router has the usual function of most routers such as firewalls plus many other useful functions. It also has a guest network function by default was turned off. When turned on it operates on the same channel as that of the main one. Also by default the guest network only allow an Internet access thus provide complete separation from the main network. It has its own SSID and password. But you can at any time, turn on network access to your main network. There is also a handy button that turns off Wi-Fi when not needed for security as well as another button that shut down the router. To shut down the Wi-Fi simply hold the button for about 4 seconds or more until the blue Wi-Fi logo goes out. Press again the same way to turn back on the Wi-Fi. To make it easy to configure a wireless card this router features WPS, which configures the wireless card automatically from the router to allow the client card to connect to it without typing a password on the client. In order to use this feature you wireless card has to support WPS. But the most useful functions especially the Net Meter which may come in handy if you happen to be with an ISP that already starting to cap your net usage. You can configure it to show you how many megabytes you have downloaded and uploaded in a month. You can also configure it to cut off Internet access when you approach the point where you will be charged extra at the end of the month. It can also be configure to cut off Internet every day at a given hour as well. With the latest firmware update the Net Meter works with both PPP OE or DHCP which doesn't require login. Buying an extra one makes it possible, to configure the second one as an access point or a repeater of the first one to greatly extend Wi-Fi coverage for a big house.

Overall this router performs much better than any of my previous ones. Even with my old "G" Wi-Fi cards the range and signal strength is somewhat better. It also operates cooler as compared with any of my previous routers. This is specially true of the AC switching adapter as compared with the old-fashioned transformer and rectifier set up. So far, this router has performed superbly with no known reboot or disconnect. If you want extra features and are technically inclined, it's possible to replace the firmware on this router with a third-party one such as DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. This Netgear WNR2000 version 2 router comes with a Broadcom 4716B0 chipset that utilize a 4 MB flash memory with 32 MB of RAM. This makes it possible to install the mini version of the DD-WRT firmware.

Update April 2, 2011: My brother who bought the identical router at about the same time wasn't so lucky, their router has been working fine for about week and a half and then it started to drop the wireless several times within the time span of one hour. The computer that was directly connected to the router wasn't affected. Possible explanation is that maybe interference from neighboring Wi-Fi may be the cause. The next possible explanation is perhaps a bad firmware update. He did do a manual firmware update.

In order to avoid interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks, here's a useful small program that you can copy and paste to your browser  http://download.cnet.com/inSSIDer/3000-2085_4-10848357.html  to download from CNET. This program only works on the Wi-Fi equipped computer. This program allows you to see the position of your Wi-Fi bandwidth and signal strength as well as that of your neighbors. With this program, it makes it possible for you to juggle your Wi-Fi network to a position with the least interference on the band if possible. With the close proximity to your neighbors as well as having some Wi-Fi equipment that happened to be superpowered of up to 1 W transmitting power on the market. Interference is a problem in high density areas for most of us. This router has the transmitting power of only 1/10 of a watt.

To avoid firmware corruption, be sure to install the latest firmware only from a wired computer directly connected to the router and not from wireless one. If you login to the router web interface regularly from the wireless computer, be sure to turn off the automatic feature of firmware update at login. The easiest and safest way to update the firmware is just manually have the router check for latest firmware. If there is one available, it will automatically download it and then install. Once the updating is in progress do not cut power to the router or else it can suffer a firmware corruption. Severe firmware corruption can leave a router bricked with no possible restoration.

Update April 6, 2011:  I've just installed a new "N" 300  PCI Wi-Fi card on my main 64-bit Windows 7 computer. The transfer speed between my ethernet wired computer and this computer was 64 mbps net rate using only single channel mode (144). This is almost 3 times that of a “G” router. On dual channel (300) mode, the transfer would be double. At that speed, it would transfer at a greater rate than the ethernet connection about 128 mbps net speed. The ethernet connection on this router is only at 100 mbps maximum speed. This "N" router has a symmetrical Wi-Fi transfer rate for the downstream as well as the upstream.

Update June 11, 2011:  I ended up buying the second one to experiment with the DD-WRT firmware. After installing the DD-WRT v24-sp2 (04/13/11) mini16785 firmware I'm happy to report that the performance is much improved over the default Netgear one. This new firmware has more settings that you can change plus a better graph type of net meter. It also allow control of the transmitting power from 1 to 251 mW. Unlike the original firmware, this one allows you to use WPA 2 encryption when the router is set as a repeater bridge, bridge, client bridge and client modes. This one also offers better stability then with the original default firmware. Unlike the original firmware, I purposely set the second router with exactly the same perimeters including the same encryption password and SSID on the wireless and see what happens. The result was that it shows two identical network over the same spot on the band coexisting running perfectly with no problems as indicated by Inssider 2.0. When I did this with the original firmware both routers would crash and requires a reboot.

I decided to install the DD-WRT firmware on both routers and had the second one set up as a repeater bridge to see how they perform. When setting up the router as a repeater bridge you have to set the second one with the same subnet, the same SSID and encryption for the main SSID. For the router set up as a repeater bridge you also have to set up a virtual interface with a different SSID but can use the same or different password and encryption for the second network. The virtual interface also allow you to create a guest network as well and you can create as many as you like.

When set up with the main router and one set up as a repeater bridge you will get enhanced range. The second router doesn't require any physical connection to the first router yet behaved as if it is an ethernet cable between the two. If set up as a client bridge, only the ethernet switch on this router would work by providing a wireless link to the main router. It also allows you to configure the WAN port as the output port thus giving you five ports to connect your computers or devices.



I will update this review as I learn more about this router in the future.


Recommend this product? Yes


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