|At a Glance|
|Product||NETGEAR RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router (WNDR3300)|
|Summary||Low-cost dual-band two-radio hybrid 802.11b/g / draft 802.11n router|
|Pros|| Street priced below $100
Internet uplink QoS
|Cons|| Shorter than average 5 GHz range
Unstable 2.4 GHz 11n
100 Mbps LAN
I have been holding off on reviewing NETGEAR's entry into the sub-$100 dual-band draft 802.11n router race, waiting for Netgear to release its firmware fix for the WNDR3300's low wireless throughput with the 11n radio switched to the 2.4 GHz band [related article].
Well, V1.0.23 was released last week and I retested both the first sample that NETGEAR sent as well as a second sample that was supposed to have lower noise coupling (which was causing the lower throughput). To cut to the chase, I found that the new firmware slightly improved the draft N radio's throughput when set to the 2.4 GHz band. But I also found that, in general, the draft 11n radio set to 2.4 GHz was too unstable for reliable use.
Figure 1 is taken from the FCC ID docs and shows the 3300's board, with its unique two-radio draft 11n / 802.11b/g approach.
The all-Broadcom design uses a BCM4704 processor, 16 MB of RAM and 4 MB of flash. The 10/100 WAN and LAN ports are handled via a BCM5325 switch which is Auto MDI/X.
A BCM4321 Baseband/MAC and BCM2055 2.4/5 GHz Intensi-fi draft 11n transceiver make up the dual-band 11n radio. The second radio is provided by a BCM4318 single chip 802.11b/g chip. Each radio has its own printed-circuit "metamaterial" antennas; three for the draft 802.11n radio and two for the 802.11b/g.
Figure 1: WNDR3300 board
Average user rating from: 1 user(s)
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|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||4.0||Features :||4.0||Performance :||4.0||Reliability :||4.0|
Firmware upgrade made all the difference
July 03, 2011
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I have had this router for years and for the first year it was frequently dropping connections. The drops were not so frequent that I felt I had to get a new router, but I knew that I could not use a Roku box for streaming video to my TV. I finally upgraded the firmware to v1.0.45. and it has been very reliable.
I had my first problem with it in over a year today and I was researching fixes when I cam across this link. I did a hard rest to get back to factory default settings and then restored my setting and it is working very well.
I use the dual bands to keep different devices separate. We have two MacBooks at home they are set to run 802.11N on the 5GHz band and 802.11G on the 2.4 GHz band.
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