Now, on to the detail. First of all, I paid $179 for this router earlier this year. I had upgraded to this router primarily for two reasons: I wanted more range, and I wanted Gigabit ports for my wired LAN.
It turns out that I did get slightly better range on my Wireless G laptop than my previous Linksys wireless router, but only slightly. For example my old Linksys router wouldn’t reach from my home office to my bedroom at all, and the Netgear WNR854T did reach… but just barely. I averaged only one bar and this made surfing from bed an excruciatingly poor experience.
As far as setup on this router is concerned, well it’s just like all the others nowadays. There is a Web based interface and you log in, make your configuration changes and then forget about it indefinitely.
One good thing is that this router, as opposed to my previous Linksys, basically never required any rebooting. It just ran and ran – that is up until last Wednesday when it decided to just quit working altogether. And now we get into the sucky part.
A couple of weeks ago my friend Greg called me up and asked me for a router recommendation. I told him which one I had and sent him the Amazon.com link to it. A few minutes later he started asking me about all the people complaining about the device. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I looked at it myself.
Sure enough, it appears that a LOT of people are complaining about the device just dropping dead on them one day. I told him that I didn’t know about all that, but mine was still working so perhaps it was just a bad batch of them. Well, flash forward two weeks and what do you know but the same damn thing happens to my router. Now it’s just a lightweight doorstop.
I guess I’ll send it in for repair, but there is no way I’m relying on this device going forward so I went out and purchased a brand new router made by Belkin. Look for my review of the even more expensive Belkin N1 Vision shortly. Hint, it kicks ass!
Anyway, back to the Netgear WNR854T. My official recommendation is that you stay very far away from this thing. It isn’t worth the premium price over a cheap Wireless G router, the reliability is highly suspect, and the performance wasn’t anything to write home to mom about. This combination does NOT represent good value.