Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Reviews

Introduction

NETGEAR RangeMax Wireless Router

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR RangeMax Wireless Router (WPN824)
Summary 802.11b/g enhanced-wireless router based on Atheros Super-G radio with Video54 MIMO antenna technology.
Pros • Indoor performance comparable to other MIMO products
• Client can provide improved performance when mixed with normal 11g products
• Priced below True MIMO-based products
Cons • Different settings required to optimize different performance aspects
• No wireless bridging or repeating
• No QoS controls
• Limited wireless monitoring
• Twice as expensive as 11g products

Even though the high-rate wireless 802.11n standard still does not have a working draft, wireless networking product vendors are proceeding with the deployment of gear that provides higher speeds and longer range than standard 802.11g products. Since the Wi-Fi Alliance announced it would bring its ruler down across the knuckles of any company daring to use "802.11n" in any form, most vendors have chosen to use the "MIMO" moniker to hawk their offerings.

Most of the noise to date in the MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) wireless networking space has been made by products using Airgo Networks' True MIMO proprietary technology. But MIMO products using other proprietary technology have recently started to hit the shelves.

In this review, I'll look at NETGEAR's WPN824, the first product to use startup Video54's BeamFlex smart-antenna technology to add MIMO capability. NETGEAR has dubbed its implementation of Video54's RF magic RangeMax and is so far the only vendor to offer product with Video54 inside.

I'll be making plenty of comparisons to the results I obtained in my recent review of the True MIMO-based Linksys WRT54GX. But if you're looking for info on how the WPN824 stacks up against D-Link's Super-G w/ MIMO gear, you won't find any. Despite repeated requests to both Atheros - which supplies the VLocity chipset upon which the products are based - and D-Link, product has not been forthcoming.

MIMO - Should you care?

While accusations and white papers continue to fly back and forth regarding whether the various technologies flying the MIMO flag are doing so legitimately, the real question is should you care? At this point at least, my answer is no.

MIMO does not equal 802.11n and every product currently (March 2005) hawking MIMO is using its own proprietary mix of technologies. Interoperability is promised only with gear from the same manufacturer, although more adventurous buyers can probably mix Airgo-based products with success.

For now, MIMO is primarily a marketing buzzword, being used mainly to keep you on the wireless upgrade treadmill.

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

EDIT: I have removed all references to 32bit and 64bit in this post - I made as assumption regarding the new Entware repo and my router model. Everyth...
I could not decide which section this post fit best in. First I will say after doing quite a bit of reading over the last few weeks I learned I know n...
I am looking for a 8 port POE switch.Came across the Zyxel SF302-08Pp. However, I don't find any reviews on it. Just wondering what to expect.
Hi all,I have Gigabit down and 42 up currently on Docsis 3.1 (implemented) via Comcast. I'm using FreshJRs latest script and Merlins latest firmware o...
I am also have similar issues to what I have seen in some of the posts and have actually had to go back to stock firmware to fix it.My ISP is Cogeco.c...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3