My new Netgear WNR3500 802.11N router showed up today, and I have to say... I like it!
Physically, it's about twice as big as my previous router was, but as it is sitting on the back of my desk, I don't mind. I chose this particular router as it includes a 4 port gigabit switch (so my wired PC's can back up to my Windows Home Server at blazing speed), and is using version 2 of the draft 802.11n spec. Maybe it will not be obsolete for just a little while longer than all the draft version 1.0 equipment out there now 😉
Out of the box, the setup was super easy, and the only changes I needed to make were to change the default password, and to enable wireless encryption. Everything else was tuned exactly as I would have hoped for.
The only downside to this router is the maddeningly bright flashing LED's on the top of the Router. You can see them in the picture to the left (and I would assume... from space as well). I will probably stop by the hardware store tomorrow to pick up some electrical tape to cover the lights in order to reduce my risk of an epileptic siezure*. Good Grief! Alternately, I may just embrace the flashing lights and put up a mirror ball in my room... Combined with the blue LED's on my computer, server, and external hard drives; I am ready to throw a rave in my office.
The important question, however, remains... How Fast Is It?
With my old 802.11g router, it took 8 minutes and 22 seconds to transfer a 675MB file from my laptop up to my Windows Home Server. After swapping out the routers, the same file took a mere 3 minutes and 14 seconds. Over the new gigabit connection to my wired PC, the same file takes 36 seconds. Very Nice!
Now... if only we would release a gigabit upgrade (or an 802.11n add-on) for my XBOX 360!
*Update: I heard from Netgear, and there is a button on the back of the router that turns off the lights. Yaay!
*Update 2: I have run into two of the "Known Issues" with their firmware, namely:
- The WPA2 client is able to connect to router under WPA-TKIP mode security settings
- QoS does not function (high priority traffic doesn't get obvious prioritization when bandwidth is limited).