Experiences With Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000

My desktop died a couple weeks ago, and I have gotten a laptop to replace it. My current setup at home involves a wired router, but since I have a laptop, I want to integrate it – my mother refuses to switch to wholly wireless service because of past bad experiences – with a wireless network.

With that in mind, I bought a Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000, but this is apparently the same model (or maybe just the same manufacturer?) that caused her problems in the past, so she’s insistent that I replace it with a Belkin, which is what my cousin has suggested. Neither she nor I are computer experts.

Does anyone else have experience with this model of wireless router? Has it worked well for you? I’ve already looked it up on CNET and it has 3.5 stars, so it looks like a good enough router for me, but I’m curious about other people’s personal experiences, too.

And, if you don’t like this model, what would you suggest? I’d prefer to stay in the same $80.00 (tax included) price range.

You get what you pay for. I have now discarded two Netgear routers, one that simply stopped working, and one that I discovered doesn’t support a common VPN option that my new company requires.

When you think of how painful it can be to replace a router (adding back all your custom security settings and configuration options), it’s better to pay for quality. I have a D-Link now and I’m much happier with it.

I paid decent money, though. $80.00 isn’t a lot, but it’s mid-range for everything I saw on display.

I’ve never had positive experiences with Netgear product. We keep most models of the major brands in stock to test with our devices and Netgear is easily the worst. Belkin is fine but I recommend Linksys.

Also, why do you think you need an 802.11n? In my experience the higher maximum speeds are only really attained at extremely close range and G speeds are sufficient for anything your Internet connection will offer. If you need to stream high quality video entirely on your network (like to a TV), or routinely transfer large files, N may be worth it but otherwise probably not. If you don’t need an 802.11n router you can get a linkysy WRT54G2 for $50. Bestbuy.com even has a factory refurbished one for $30 that would probably last longer than your Netgear.

One last thing - you’re already got another router and you’re planning on adding this one to it? Are you already aware of how you’ll need to set that up? Or do you plan on switching out the wired only router?

Just so it’s clear almost all “wireless” residential routers are wired+wireless routers with 4 (typically) wired ports and the option to add numerous (up to 256) wireless connections. To minimize potential complications you should replace the wired only router with whatever wired+wireless router you choose.

The best place to gauge router reliability is to look at the newegg ratings for the various brands. www.newegg.com

FWIW I’ve never had a problem with Netgear stuff.

I didn’t know which I needed, and it seemed like the better router than the others that were on the shelf based on what I could glean from their boxes. I bought it at Wal-Mart, so I have no faith that the person working in their electronics department had any more knowledge than I did, so I didn’t bother to ask, and just picked it.

As to the network, I plan on adding to it, unless I can convince her to switch over to a fully wireless network. I don’t know how successful that will be.

I’ve already asked a friend if it’s possible/easy, and he said it should be. I also looked it up online, and it didn’t seem too terribly involved.

Thanks. I didn’t know that about wireless routers.

And Newegg agrees with CNET. It gives it a 4/5.

Just wanted to add that astro is definitely right, using just the wireless router and plugging in your mother’s devices is without a doubt best and much better than adding a 2nd router to your network. The only reason I posed it as a question at all was because I suspected, correctly apparently, that your mother might be opposed to it. It’s not that hard to add to it but aside from non-technical reasons it’s definitely better to just switch everything to the new router. I stand by my recommendation for the WRT54G2.

I recently swapped out a D-Link MIMO router for a Netgear Wireless-N WNDR3300. It has worked great so far and gives better coverage - some more distant parts of the thouse didn’t work well with the D-Link but now all work fine. Inbetween the D-Link and the Netgear I have a brief fling with a Belkin. I couldn’t get it to work even with my one wired computer and returned it. The guys at the store said that they had heard that frequently from Comcast users.

I had my first NetGear router for, oh, more than 3 years, which just died recently. Until it went, I had no problems with it.

I just got my 2nd NetGear about 2 months ago – it’s a (refurbished) gigabit 802.11n WNR3500. So far, I’d recommend it. Newegg has two models listed; I have the 100AR ($40!).

Some notes of possible interest:
[li]The configuration screens (i.e., what’s presented after you log in) is straightforward; of course, it’s similar to the one I had before, so it was familiar to me[/li][li]The auto-firmware update ran smoothly (but firmware updates make me nervous, so I now have the auto-check turned off).[/li][li]Changing settings takes a long time to save (from 30 seconds to a minute); much longer than other routers I’ve used and quite disconcerting, but I’ve had no actual issues.[/li][li]It’s got two rows of blue LEDs across the top edge indicating wireless antennae – when no one is connected, they go back and forth like KITT (or a cylon, if you’re too cool for a Knight Rider reference :)). When someone is connected, they blink instead. They’re very bright; if I slept in the same room, I’d have to tape over them.[/li][li]One reason I got it was because it (supposedly) uses a switch among the wired connections – at the time I was buying, I found out that the Rosewill I was considering used a hub internally. I haven’t tested it with multiple, simultaneous large transfers, so I’m just assuming it does.[/li][li]My wife has gotten >150Mbs wireless connectivity on her Mac from two rooms away; I can’t recall right now how quickly my Ubuntu box (wireless also). Oh, in line with the previous point, I should say that I’ve never tried multiple, simultaneous large wireless transfers either.[/li][li]There’s also some Windows feature (push-button WPS Client?) that I’m not familiar with – and I’m a linux guy, so I’m just going to stay ignorant.[/li][/ul]
If I can answer any other questions you have, ask away. Be aware that, as someone upthread said (at least to some degree), you get what you pay for. And NetGears are cheap. But I have to say that I’ve had pretty good luck with them. crosses fingers

I really don’t know much about the operations end of computers so I don’t know what questions to ask. Feel free to tell me what you think a novice should know, though, and please use non-technical words when possible.

If you want a lot of flexibility and a little bit of adventure, spend 60 bucks on a WRT-54GL and put DD-WRT on it.

This router is the direct descendant of the venerable WRT-54G that was so popular years ago among hackers. The “L” suffix is important, as this is the one you need if you want to apply your own firmware.

I prefer this option because the configuration screens provide far more flexibility than you will find on most home routers.

My old Netgear router is still in use, but it’s firmware is buggy and quirky, so I don’t use it for my main home router; I rely on DD-WRT for the main router.

Note—this option requires a little bit of geekiness, though not serious hacker chops. And this particular router is G, not N.

Never had occasion to flash any of my routers with 3rd party firmware. What does doing this really get you in terms of real world functionality vs the factory firmware?

The interface is far more detailed, supporting any fancy feature you might want…

Virtual LANs on one radio or multiple radios (e.g. two different SSIDs)
QoS (throttling down the kids’ games)
Security stuff like Radius
Plugins for handling hotspots, like Sputnik, Wifidog, or Chilispot
Ability to configure arbitrary firewall rules
SPI Firewall
Rich access restrictions that actually work
Bandwidth logging, with nice pretty graphs, for current activity
Month by month traffic (e.g. I have a nice graph that shows my 70GB I consumed last month, on a day by day basis).

In other words, this firmware gives you stuff you won’t find in any $60 router. These features (especially stuff like QoS) are usually found on office-grade equipment, not consumer-grade.

I haven’t had to touch mine since I set it up maybe 1+ years ago. Works fine.

First off, I missed where you said you had already bought the WNR2000…I thought you were just starting to look and were considering a model similar to the one I bought. Sorry about that.

IMHO, a novice basically has to weigh just 3 factors: (1) data rate, (2) reputation, and (3) price. (1) is determined by two listings: the 802.11 protocol for wireless – b, g, or n (faster in ascending order) and either 10/100 or gigabit for wired. Just about any new router will provide similar baseline functionality (WPA2 encryption, for instance), but finding one with a good reputation will increase your odds of being satisfied with it. Of course, it also requires some research; looking at Newegg’s reviews is a good way to go about it.

Also, I found that using the advanced search on newegg’s site was very helpful in deciding on other features (the list minor7flat5 provided is pretty extensive) – you can get a good grasp of various options, decide which ones are important, and then narrow your selection. Again, reading the reviews is enlightening, although you can never really be sure they’re objective (or even truthful).

Again, I didn’t realize when I posted that you had already bought the Netgear; if you’re looking for what I understand is the most solid, yet relatively inexpensive item (and you’re happy with 802.11g, not the faster 802.11n), return it and get a LinkSys WRT54GL. To be honest, when I bought my most recent NetGear, I also got a WRT54GL – I wanted a fallback in case the faster Netgear didn’t work for me, and Newegg had them on sale at the time (currently listed at $59.99). Since the Netgear is working out well for me, it’ll just sit in the box until it’s either needed or I get the urge to hack it.

I know what you mean.

On my Netgear, there is a big black button on the back right side that shuts off the light show. Didn’t yours have that?

Never bothered to find out – I don’t sleep in that room and it’s normally out of my line of sight.

Besides, leaving them on provides me with a quick way to see if someone is connecting (they blink rather than do the KITT thing). And furthermore, my wife finds the KITT effect amusing. :slight_smile: