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Wireless Reviews

Routing Features

Instead of my usual whining about Netgear's refusal to upgrade its routing features, I'll actually give a few attaboys this time!

The first is for the inclusion of QoS. Although it's not the automatic flavor found in the D-Link DIR-655, you do get an extensive list of applications already built-in. You can also add your own, by defining the ports to watch and assigning one of four priority levels. Note the WMM Enable, which is missing on the 854T.

QoS Setup
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: QoS Setup

The second attaboy is actually a big one, since the 834Bv2 is the first draft 11n router to feature WDS bridging / repeating (Figure 6). I didn't try it out, so can't say whether it actually works.

Wireless Repeating

Figure 6: Wireless Repeating

The other notable routing section improvement is, unfortunately, for Vista users only. The Vista Settings screen provides access to Microsoft's version of the Wi-Fi Alliance's Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) automatic secure setup function. It's too bad that Netgear didn't also include support for WPS for the rest of us...

Vista settings

Figure 7: Vista settings

But along with the good, there are still features among the missing:

No Router / AP mode switch - If you already have a router and just want to use the wireless section on the 834B, you'll have to use this trick.

Secure remote access - Remote access is HTTP only, but you can limit access by IP address range and set the port number.

Admin idle timeout adjust - One of my personal annoyances. The timeout appears to be fixed at around 5 minutes.

Fast admin change saves - You must save changes on a per-page basis and be prepared to wait almost a minute for the 834B to reboot for many changes.

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