Netgear Wireless Routers - buying advice wanted!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by pepita, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. pepita macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2004
    I'm going to buy a wireless router and decided to go for Netgear based on comments I read in this forum (I did a search already) and my own experience in using a Netgear Ethernet router. Plus they seem to be the cheapest. Only thing is I'm not too sure which model is best for me. There's so many... I'm looking at this comparison chart and it gets confusing... I've read their pdf's and all, but I haven't quite understood if I only need a router, or an access point too?

    I have a DSL connection over ethernet, and a PowerBook G3 Firewire, and I plan to buy either the basic Airport card or the Sonnet Aria extreme card.

    My needs are rather basic, only two or three users max., and I'd like the range of signal to be good but I don't need more than 100m anyway. I have a garden but it's not that huge!

    So, any advice on which model to get? Is it worth to shell out a bit more to get a 802.11g instead of 802.11b?

    Thanks in advance!

    (And before anyone asks why I exclude Airport, well, for one they're clearly too expensive, secondly I was almost going to buy the Airport Express from my local Apple Store until I found out that despite it being "available now! new! get it today!" it will be delivered in 4-6 weeks - and that's only an estimate! - same as the mini-ipods... which I don't mind as I already have the regular bigger iPod, and with wireless in the end I'm glad I had to reconsider and go for another cheaper brand, but it is kind of annoying from Apple to claim something is available and then have you find out only from the order page that it's not... sorry for ranting :rolleyes: ;) )
  2. itsumo macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    I got the Netgear DG824M - it works great and is really easy to set up. I got it second-hand and the guy who had it before me said he used it to wirelessly share ADSL over a PowerBook and an iBook and it had plenty of range. He took it out into his garden and all over the house.

    You can get it fairly cheaply now as they're plugging the 'G' version, but you don't really need 802.11g unless you're constantly doing massive file transfers between your computers over the network. 802.11b works very well with an ADSL connection.

    Try this review:

    If you get a router/modem with built-in wireless, like this, you don't need a separate access point. Or indeed anything else at all except a wireless card in your computer.

    If you already had a wired network, an access point would allow other computers to join it wirelessly. As you're starting from the ground up you might as well get it all in one. Quite a lot of routers (this one included) have wired network points that you can connect to as well if you feel the need. You should also make sure it has a firewall and that it's not too hard to configure.
  3. TiWarrior macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2003
    I have had a DGM824 working wireless between my G4 Tower and lappy for over a year.

    Apart from some ISP issues (that Netgear spent a lot of time to help them sort), the router has been a fantastic piece of kit. :)
  4. pepita thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Thanks for the info and link, itsumo. Thanks also for the explanation on router/access points. To be honest for now I want wireless more for the convenience of using the laptop to connect to the internet from anywhere in the house and the garden, I don't really need constant connections between different computers, most of the time it'll be one user at a time. So I need good range and good speed for internet, rather than between different computers.

    Also I'd rather not get something with a modem in it, I have my provider's modem on rental for only 3 euro a month and it's already configured so it's handier for me to use than getting my own and configuring it myself.

    The DG824 is indeed one of those I was checking out, except only the G version is available now (at least, in the stores I can order from - too much of a hassle for me to order from the US), and it is a bit more expensive than what I'd like to spend... it's a 148 euro, and thats already with a discount from the listing price of 171 euro.

    Maybe I'll look for second-hand too, but I'd rather buy new, so I can have it immediately as well.

    I too thought the 802.11b should be enough for my needs, so I may go for the most basic and cheapest model (60-70 euro, depending on vendor), the MR814GE. But I can't get info on the range. One of the stores I was browsing says 150m indoors and 500m outdoors, but I have the feeling they added an "0" by mistake :confused:

    I'm tempted by the WG602 too, which is around 100 EUR, and with the g protocol, but again no idea on the range, and I'm not sure I'd get all that much more for the extra 30 euro. Then if I was to spend a bit more, there's the WGR614 for 129 euro, and WGT624 for 149, and indeed, the DG824...

    My DSL is a standard 640/280. I just want to be sure I can surf at the same speed as when I'm connecting directly via Ethernet cable to the modem, and that I can do that from outdoors too. So the "b" model should do, right?
  5. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    I currently use the WGT624 but in 54mbps mode, its absolutely fantastic, couldn't be happier. Its never gone down and the range is brilliant. I have the unit in our wash house with a couple of servers on a shelf on the wall and i get good range from the side garden, back garden and from the field accross the road from us! You can block services and specific websites if you wish as well.
  6. pepita thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Ok, you've convinced me :)

    Also, I'm considering selling my old PowerBook G3 and buying a new iBook with the Airport Extreme card, so that would make it worth it to get one of these "g" routers instead of the basic model...

    Thanks for all the replies, guys. These forums are so much better than any customer support! ;)
  7. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia

    ill just echo what he says, except i have a WGR614 model...
    i can get about at least 2 bars about 4 houses down (200'+ or so). If i move the router to the top of the cabinet its currently hidden in, i can get another house (50' lots).. more than enough to surf the net from the park across the street from my house.
  8. federalists macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2004
    Mountain View, CA
    i have this model and i get nowhere NEAR that range. i can't get a signal at all on the bottom floor across the house, let alone outside the house. it's a great router, but the range is not that great. the antenna is pretty small and there's no way to expand it. just keep that in mind.

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