Static and Dynamic IP, PPPoE WAN connections
In all, the refreshed AirPort Express is a good, but not great simultaneous dual-band router. "N600" routers are pretty much commodities now and there are many more fully-featured products for less moneyâ?? even less if you buy refurbished. For example, Cisco's Linksys EA2700 has similar wireless performance, Gigabit ports and supports Cisco's new Connect Cloud architecture.
Excellent signal strength
For the money, the Express makes an effective base station for modestly sized apartments or homes, or where access is only needed in a few adjacent rooms in an office. This sleek model is the right choice for many, and at £60 less than the AirPort Extreme, a prudent one as well.
Class leading AirPlay Performance
The 2012 AirPort Express is a hard device to score. On the surface it is an incremental upgrade to a four year old product which doesn't include support for either 802.11ac or Gigabit Ethernet and both wireless performance and range are average at best. On the flip side it works brilliantly as a wireless extender and adds AirPrint to any printer and AirPlay to any stereo/dock - both of which work superbly.
Can share a USB printer over a network
If you don't need the features unique to Apple's AirPort Extreme Base Station, the new Express is an affordable and portable alternative, although one that doesn't quite match the Extreme's performance. It's also the choice to make if you're looking to extend your existing Apple-branded network wirelessly or to wired devices, to send your computer's audio to a remote stereo system, or to use a Base Station in more than one location.
Not practical to use as a print server and music server at the same time
The AirPort Express has an acceptable wireless range and speed and, for the most part, is easy to set up. It also does a good job of printing with supported printers and playing iTunes music. There's no denying that the AirPort Express mostly works as described by Apple, the problem is that its uniqueness might overshadow its actual usefulness.
Brings the AirPort Express mostly up to spec with other Wi-Fi routers
Apple's simple setup software dumps the web interface (running from an AirPort Utility app for Mac, iOS or Windows) and lets you easily add guest access to either network. However, as before, the USB port remains locked to just adding a shared printer: you still can't hook up a hard drive, which would be a boon both at home and on the road.
A fast, $100, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n wireless router with built-in AirPlay support
Absolutely - this thing is pretty, fast, wonderfully simple, and appropriately capable. Unless you're a mega-power networker with a need for intricate customization, or are put off by the less sophisticated Windows version of AirPort Utility, the 2012 Express is the ultimate buy it and never think about it again object - and for a router, that's the ultimate praise.
Easy set-up and excellent configuration options
If you intend to connect to ADSL2+ over a wireless router and are one of the lucky ones that can achieve a speed between 21Mbps and 24Mbps, the Vigor2820n won't be able to deliver the full speed to wireless clients. This isn't a show stopper as a large majority of homes are unlikely to hit this speed or even have the option available, but it's something to keep in mind.
Bundle of features
The Vigor2820n is offering a bumper bundle of features making it highly appealing to small businesses looking for a sophisticated broadband router. General security and wireless features are particularly good and the current deal with the USB wireless N adapter makes this package even better value.
Good little travel router
Overall, it is a very versatile and certainly compact device, and your experience may be very different depending on how you use it. As an access or router, simply to give you a wireless signal for devices without an Ethernet port, it will do everything you expect, except, perhaps a great wireless range, as the antenna is somewhat limited.
Great price, Tiny, Many features
While most of us won't see such drastic cuts in download speeds, it may be worth considering a more robust router for your permanent home connection, especially if you have a very fast broadband connection.
For those on more modest connections, and certainly for those who want to take a router with them as they travel, then the TP-Link 150Mbps Wireless N Nano Router is an excellent device.
Lower routing speed than WNDR3700v2
Even though the WNDR3800 falls in NETGEAR's "high" (vs. "ultimate") performance category, it is currently the most fully-featured router in their product line. The WNDR3800 has a number of features that either differentiate it from its competition and from other NETGEAR products.
The Netgear N600 (WNDR3800) offers reliable and swift wireless networking performance and it runs 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously. It also comes with very useful content filtering options and a USB port that can be used to share a hard drive remotely with a minimum of fuss. We like it.
Includes a traffic meter
There is plenty to like about the Netgear N600, and in addition to all the features mentioned above, it also hosts standard router features such as a firewall, port forwarding, QoS and DLNA. It also includes a traffic meter that you can set up to either disconnect the Internet connection when you reach your data limits, or to warn you by changing the behaviour of the Internet status LED on the front panel.
Strong feature set
This was the only router we tested that was capable of sharing a USB printer, and while Asus claims it can support multifunction devices, it guarantees compatibility only with the ones the company has tested. We plugged in an Epson Stylus NX515 and could print documents, but we couldnâ?? t get the scanner function to work. (Youâ?? ll find a list of supported printers here).
The ASUS RT-N13U is a pretty good product. It fills more than one need and does so in a very easy to manage way. It is one of those products that really does make it very simple for even a novice to setup and configure. I like the icon based network map especially; it shows at a glance exactly what is and is not on your network. This beats the "system status" pages of just about any other wireless router.
The Asus RT-N13U isn't the slickest model, and we do wish the company offered better online documentation for its print server features. Still, there's no denying that with an asking price of AU$99 â?? and several online merchants undercutting that price at the time of writing â?? it's something of a bargain in the pure 802.11n stakes.
The TP-Link TL-WR741ND is an affordable 802.11n Lite wireless router that offers improved speed over 802.11g wireless, but not full 802.11n performance. It's relatively small and hosts just one antenna, which limits its throughput to only 150Mb/s which is in fact 150Mb/s less than a conventional Draft N router.
Easy to set up
It may only support 802.11n Lite, but TP-Link's TL-WR741ND is a suitable upgrade for anyone still using 802.11g. It can be found for a price between $60-70 online, but if you can afford to spend a few dollars more on an full-blown 802.11n router, you'll get be rewarded with much faster throughput and a greater wireless range.
Poor wireless performance
As a wireless router, the ESR9855G doesn't have much to recommend it. If you're just interested in wired performance, it's one of the few newer routers that has Ubicom's auto-QoS. But if you want Ubicom-based, you'd be better off with D-Link's DIR-657, which has equally, uh, poor wireless performance, is a bit cheaper and can pump the ol' bits at over 300 Mbps up and down. Or there is always D-Link's old mainstay DIR-655, which I'm sure you save even more on, especially if you buy refurbished.
Stable Downlink Throughput
Judging by its aesthetics alone, the humble EnGenius ESR9855G isn't as attractive as some of its competitors' prettier 802.11n rivals. Furthermore, this EnGenius wireless router has a number of inadequacies such as a missing USB port and dual-band functionality. These aren't life-saving features, but they're nonetheless important if you require a router for network printing or sharing of USB storage devices.
Small and good looking unit
Netgear's DGN1000 is an 802.11n wireless router with a built-in ADSL2+ modem. It's a small and good looking unit that's designed for basic tasks such as Internet sharing and standard-definition video streaming across your LAN. Consider it if you want a simple wireless router to use in an apartment or small house.
Setup is easy enough for complete novices
The Netgear DGN1000 is an N150 wireless ADSL2+ modem/router designed to replace existing equipment provided by DSL service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, and Earthlink. It can take their signals and then distribute them via four 10/100 Ethernet ports and 2.4GHz 802.11b/g wireless.
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