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Wireless Reviews

Features

Like most of NETGEAR's current crop of genie based routers, the WNR2500 has the same admin GUI and feature set. Tim recently covered this in his review of the R6100 router and I explored it in depth on the WNDR3800 when NETGEAR first introduced the genie UI in late 2011.

The screenshot below shows the advanced interface on the R6100. It's virtually identical to the WNDR3800 which I'm still using as my public-facing router. Of course, features missing from the WNR2500, such as 5 GHz and ReadySHARE are excluded from the UI.

NETGEAR 6100 Advanced Home screen

NETGEAR 6100 Advanced Home screen

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the WNR2500 loaded with V1.0.0.18NA firmware and using our standard test method is summarized in the table below.

NETGEAR WNR2500 routing performance

NETGEAR WNR2500 routing performance

For a router with only 10/100 Mbps ports, you can't really expect too much in the way of routing performance. The theoretical maximum would be 100 Mbps for the unidirectional tests.

To place the results in perspective, I filtered the Router Charts to display only single band 2.4 GHz routers. If you ignore the routers with Gigabit ports, which wouldn't have the 100 Mbps cap on routing performance, the WNR2500 ranked 10th for WAN to LAN routing at 91 Mbps. The highest performing non-gigabit router was the Securifi Almond at 94 Mbps with the Draytex Vigor 2910G at the bottom of the charts with 27.5 Mbps. The LAN to WAN performance of 86 Mbps landed the WNR2500 at #14. For total simultaneous throughput, theWNR2500 ranked #28 out of 29 (all 2.4 GHz routers) with only 34 Mbps of throughput.

For the unidirectional tests the IxChariot chart below shows steady throughput with WAN-LAN (Downlink) being slightly favored. While both uplink and downlink turned in the same maximum throughput of 91.954 Mbps, you can see that there was significantly more variation in the minimum throughput. The uplink test (red line in the graph) showed almost 10 times the variance in the 95% confidence interval. Still, those down spikes were intermittent so the average uplink throughput came in at 85 Mbps.

NETGEAR WNR2500 unidirectional throughput

NETGEAR WNR2500 unidirectional throughput

The simultaneous up/downlink tests show a significant amount of variation in both the LAN to WAN as well as the LAN to WAN speeds. In this test, however, the WNR2500 favored the LAN to WAN (uplink) performance. Note that the average uplink was 20.462 Mbps with downlink averaging 13.996 Mbps.

If you look at the combined maximum throughput (91.954 Mbps) and the minimum throughput (3.5 Mbps) you can see that there's a huge variation. With some ISPs offering 50/10 Mbps down/up service, the WNR2500's poor bidirectional routing performance might limit your internet performance in heavy traffic environments.

NETGEAR WNR2500 simultaneous througput

NETGEAR WNR2500 simultaneous througputt

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