Updated 1/3/2013 - Added revision information
|At a Glance|
|Product||Actiontec Wireless Broadband Router (MI424WR)|
|Summary||Fast, flexible 802.11b/g router OEM'd to Verizon for FiOS service|
|Pros|| Up and download QoS w/ bandwidth mgmt
100 Mbps wire speed throughput
Full set of routing features
MoCA WAN and LAN interfaces
VLANs and multiple WAN IP
|Cons|| 10/100 switch instead of gigabit
Annoying Advanced Feature permission pages
No WPA2 or WPS support
Easily-bypassed Parental Controls
I received a request some time ago asking me to take a look at the Actiontec MI424WR, which is a product OEM'd to Verizon for use with its FiOS fiber-based Internet service. Of particular interest was how it stacked up against the Netgear WPNT834 and D-Link DGL4300 and DIR-655 that have been sitting at the top of our Router Charts for some time. It took awhile because Actiontec was in the process of rolling to an updated design for the product (shown above). But the product finally arrived a few weeks ago and here's the report.
The box that finally showed up actually contained an old-style router that looked like Figure 1. But Actiontec assured me that the board and functions are the same as those in the new-style enclosure, so I pressed on with the review.
Figure 1: Old MI424WR enclosure
The 424 is actually rather large as routers go, measuring just shy of a foot wide. The front panel indicators are shown in Figure 2 and the rear panel connectors are found in Figure 3. Of special note is the Coax LAN reference. This is the first product that I've been able to get my hands on that supports MoCA networking. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to test it because Actiontec didn't provide its ECB1500 MoCA to Ethernet adapter that would have allowed me to connect a test client.
Figure 2: MI424WR Front Panel
The Rear panel (Figure 3) shows a single coax connector that supports both MoCA WAN and LAN connections. (WAN is supported on a single 975 MHz - 1025 MHz channel and LAN on six channels from 1125 MHz - 1425 MHz.) The other surprise is that with all the other technology packed into this box you would think that Actiontec would have thrown in a gigabit switch. But, alas, the usual four-port 10/100 is there instead.
Figure 3: MI424WR Rear Panel
Figures 4 and 5 provide a look at the 424's board. Although the CPU is covered with a heatsink, some Googling found references to an Intel IXP42x clocked @ 533MHz, so that's what I'm going with for now. The other two heatsink-covered chips are most likely Entropic EN2210 or EN2010 Coaxial Network Controllers. If they are, then the companion EN1010 Coaxial Network Interface chips would be under the shielded areas to the right of each device.
The five 10/100 ports (one WAN, four LAN) are provided by the Kendin (now Micrel) KS8995. My Googling also revealed that the memory size is 32 MB.
Figure 4: MI424WR board top
Figure 5 shows the bottom of the board, where the Actiontec 802MRG mini-PCI radio board is found. The 802.11b/g module uses the Ralink RT2500 chipset that includes the RT2560 MAC/Baseband chip that you can see and an RT2525 RF chip that is under the shield.
Figure 5: MI424WR board bottom
Average user rating from: 5 user(s)
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||3.4||Features :||3.0||Performance :||3.4||Reliability :||3.8|
Set it up and forget it
March 03, 2011
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I have one of those with the new box for over 2 years now. it has wpa2 enabled (not by default, though)
After initial setup, I never had to reboot it. I never lost a connection either.
I wanted to get a GB switch and better wireless performance, so I bought a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH "Extended Range"
I returned the Buffalo. I was loosing connection too often, range was not as good, and the default UI for the Buffalo, frankly, even worse than the Actiontec/fios.
good so far
October 27, 2010
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I have one of these routers, I have WPA2 enabled, and I have wireless N signal. Yes it came WEP enabled, but having done my research online about wireless networking I knew I needed to upgrade to WPA if not WPA2. WPA2 worked great for all of my equipment, which is the only problem I found through research that I might run into, surprisingly I can see few people in my neighborhood, who I know have fios as well, aren't even using WPA security. It should be a policy by Verizon to encourage their clients to increase security, but that is Verizon's failing, not Actiontec. I haven't needed to use the Parental Controls, so I'm not disappointed.
Honestly, I LIKE all of the "confusing" options, because it means I have more control over how strong my security is. My old Lynksys router decided my security for me, and there wasn't much I could customize like I can with this Actiontec router. I did find online that the MI424WRN was a model to avoid as it had many issues, so I made sure when the router was delivered that it was not that model. We've been very pleased with the router's performance so far, and with how easy everything has been to connect wirelessly. I recently tried to upgrade to a Lynksys wireless router BEFORE we got the Actiontec, and the thing wouldn't connect with any of our computers. The Actiontec was very much plug and play, easy to setup initially. Yes it takes some research to know what security settings to enable, and you may even explore other people's Q&A questions about the router for more help, but in the end it is much easier to setup all the security features than it has been to set them up in routers that simply don't allow the user to customize settings for more security, and was much easier to get running than the latest Lynksys router on the market was.
September 25, 2010
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I have been using this Actiontec router with FIOS for 1.5 years now. Dont have a choice either as this is probably the only router that is supported by Verizon.
Actiontec or I would say Verizon as they are fully aware of what they are providing their customers - Router provides just the bare minimum as of now. Hopefully in future we can expect more, such as at-least support for wireless N, and a more intuitive and better admin interface.
August 13, 2010
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okay john i have had this router for nearly two years and i can get on xbox live with ease infact i have had no problems at all... so ur review is rubish something else must be wrong.
actiontec is garbage
May 07, 2010
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The actiontec router only has WEP encryption, parental setting allow one rule - that's it, one rule. GUI interface is clumsy and is probably the worst I have ever seen. I can't get Xbox live to work with it but I can get it to work without it.
The features of this router are consistant with something 5 years old but this is currently the only router that Fios offers. If you are using FIOS tv, you must use the router or you will lose the programming for the set top boxes.
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