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You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews NETGEAR WNDR4500 N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Reviewed - Wireless Performance-5 GHz/2 Stream, 5 GHz/3 Stream, Closing Thoughts

NETGEAR WNDR4500 N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Reviewed - Wireless Performance-5 GHz/2 Stream, 5 GHz/3 Stream, Closing Thoughts

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Wireless Performance - 5 GHz, Two Stream

Figure 11 shows the wireless Performance Table for 5 GHz, using the Intel 5300 two-stream client. The 4500's downstream performance isn't anything to write home about, with the D-Link DIR-665 turning in the best overall performance of the group.

Wireless performance table - 5 GHz, 2 stream
Figure 11: Wireless performance table - 5 GHz, 2 stream

Figure 12 shows the IxChariot plots for 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode downlink. That wonky oscillating throughput we saw earlier in the 2.4 GHz tests is back. Note also the ramp-up affect at the beginning of some test runs.

NETGEAR WNDR4500 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
Figure 12: NETGEAR WNDR4500 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

Here are links to the other 5 GHz, 2 stream plots for your reference.

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz, Three Stream

We finally reach the last look at the 4500's performance—5 GHz, three stream using the Intel 6300 client. Figure 13 shows the wireless Performance Table.

Wireless performance table - 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode, 3 stream
Figure 13: Wireless performance table - 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode, 3 stream

The 4500 clearly does better running uplink vs. down, but again is not a far-and-away winner.

Figure 14 shows the IxChariot plots for 40 MHz mode downlink with no sign of the throughput oscillation seen in the two-stream plots.

NETGEAR WNDR4500 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream
Figure 14: NETGEAR WNDR4500 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 40 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream

Here are links to the other 5 GHz, 3 stream plots for your reference.

Closing Thoughts

I guess I'll have to suspend judgement on the WNDR4500 for its performance with two-stream clients until the issue I discovered is resolved. In the meantime, I can judge it on its three-stream performance, where it performs better in 5 GHz than in 2.4.

Competitively, there are only two other routers I've tested that support three-stream N in both bands and in both 20 and 40 MHz mode: D-Link's DIR-665 (Marvell-based) and TRENDnet's TEW-692GR (Ralink based). In this small field, the WNDR4500 actually does pretty well.

But as I've seen with virtually every other router, the WNDR4500 isn't a clear winner in all four benchmark suites. Despite the tuning and tweaking that NETGEAR has done, I didn't get the sense that the 4500's throughput vs. range performance is overwhelmingly better than the competition. But it's not overwhelmingly worse, either.

NETGEAR has also thrown its own monkey wrench into your selection process by giving it a subset of the features of its less-expensive WNDR3800 sibling. If you're paying top-dollar for a wireless router, why shouldn't it have the best performance and feature set?

If you don't need three-stream N, you can give the WNDR4500 a pass. If you're set on a high-end NETGEAR router, the WNDR3800 would be your choice for features and the WNDR4000 for performance.




Related Items:

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Three Stream N Performance: Two More
New To The Wireless Charts: TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps Wireless N Giga
WD My Net N900 5 GHz Retest

User reviews

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Average user rating from: 8 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
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Overall: 
 
3.2 Features :
 
3.1 Performance :
 
3.5 Reliability :
 
2.9
 
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Flying in the face of everyone else

Overall rating: 
 
4.7
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by CW Jones
May 13, 2014
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No, I don't work for Netgear - or whoever owns them now. Just thought since all the reviews were bad I should share my (apparently very lucky) positive one.

This router was a bit finicky to configure, especially when I was trying to attach a dlink wireless extender to it, but once set up it has been very usable - the standard reset procedure is still called for, but it is very seldom on this unit - one the order of once every 3-4 months.

The unit is quick - I run all my office computers off the DLink ports (the Dlink connect wirelessly to the 4500) and connectivity and d/l speeds are good.

Maybe the problem is Netgears QC, and I just got one of the good units, but my mileage has been pretty darn good with this router...

WJ

 

extremely unreliable

Overall rating: 
 
3.0
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by JF
October 25, 2013
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Features: Standard, easy to use and config.

Performance: Excellent throughput and range on both bands. I live in an area and building with lots of interference and I have an excellent signal even 50 feet away through several walls, brick and metal sheeting. Speeds barely dip from their max (30 down to 28Mbps)

Reliability: a piece of crap. Couldn't install out of the box, firmware was corrupt. Had to call India-based customer support. While they were very competent, this doesn't fix my problem as the firmware keeps "recorrupting" itself every 2 weeks or so. I've had to reinstall the firmware about 10 times in 3.5 months. Furthermore, I'm frequently unable to communicate with the router and access settings even though it is working perfectly. The only way to do so is through a reboot, and every that results in corrupt firmware and a 30min setup process (takes forever to upload the packets through TFTP). I would also add that there are no troubleshooting instructions on their website for OS X users--at least pertaining to this issue.

Summary:
If it weren't for some serious reliability problems, this would be the perfect router! The software, not the hardware, is sub-par.

 

I agree, don't waste your money

Overall rating: 
 
1.3
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
2.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Jason
June 15, 2013
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I have owned this router for six months and I also have had the firmware corrupt a number of times. The last time however it was not fixable. Too late to take back to the store and don't want to mess with netgear so I guess I will try another manufacturer.

 

Don't waste your money - Choose something reliable

Overall rating: 
 
2.3
Features:
 
2.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by C
December 02, 2012
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I have had several problems with this router!!! Every time there is a glitch in power the router seems to lose its firmware load. Another issue is that the Wi-FI continually hangs up or bogs the system wireless system and clients cannot connect to the router and I have to restart the router. Customer service based OCONUS is terrible too. I believe my support was India based. While trying to figure out how to reload my firmware by talking to the India support center, I was hung up on 2x because they could not fix my problem I guess. And after being passed around to several support personnel this is frustrating. Also to reload your firmware, you must be familiar with tftp. Really!! Why can't Netgear come up with a software package that will automatically reinstall the firmware.

Features - a firewall with more features would be great.

On a positive note, when the router is running it is fairly fast.

 

Frustration!

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by GReg
May 01, 2012
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Extremely frustrating! It will not hook up wirelessly to my Netgear adapter. I have reviewed all the documentation (what little there is) and checked all the settings, tried the setupo wizard that came with the adapter card and tried Windows network setup. Nothing. Called the free 24/7 technical help line, 4 time and failed to reach anybody who could help. Looks like it goes back to Fry's

 
 
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