Around a year ago I wrote an article on whether upgrading to Wireless N was worth it or not. At the time Wireless N routers were expensive and most people wouldn’t see much benefit in upgrading. Time’s have changed though and wireless N routers are at rock bottom prices, and with people doing a lot more streaming of media over their LAN’s then upgrading to wireless N can certainly be worth it.
The Netgear WNR2000 is probably one of the cheapest N routers currently available. Its main features are:
• Wireless N speeds of up to 300mbs (100mbps in normal conditions).
• 4 x 10/100 wired ports
• One touch connect feature
• SPI firewall
Wireless Performance – In comparison to other similar models the WNR2000 performs very well and was able to achieve speeds of just over 100mpbs between two wireless N clients. Transferring a music album took less than ten seconds. The signal strength was also impressive and coverage was very good all throughout a medium size house that the tests were performed in.
Remember that to get the maximum performance out of the WNR2000 your wireless clients will need wireless N cards, although the router is backwards compatible and will work with wireless G, you will not achieve the same speeds.
One Touch Feature – This is a nice little addition that allows you to connect clients at the touch of the button. The main advantage here is that you won’t need to remember any passwords. The downside is that this will only work if your clients have Netgear wireless cards that support the one touch feature.
Security – Wireless security comes in various flavours, from WEP all the way up to WPA/2 (Which is recommended). With your wireless network secure you will also be able to take advantage of the SPI firewall. This basically inspects packets as they arrive from the outside internet and analyses them for any suspicious activity. This adds a nice layer of defence to your home network and will help against any hack attempts.
Summary – The WNR2000 is a nice little router for those looking to upgrade to wireless N without any of the extra features. With that being said though you do get the SPI firewall and one touch feature with this. In addition the WNR2000 is able to perform just as fast as many other top end models for a much lower price tag.