Netgear WNDR4500 N900 Dual Gigabit Wireless Router
The best dual band router we have used, but there’s a snag…
Price as reviewed £130.00
- 2.4GHz & 5GHz simultaneous dual bands
- Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports
- Two USB ports
- Netgear Genie mobile app support
- Six antennas
It seems there is never a good time to buy a new piece of technology, but never has this been truer than with routers in mid-May 2012. For those not in the know late May will see the launch of a new wireless standard, 802.11ac, capable of speeds surpassing a gigabit so anything launching with humdrum 802.11n needs to be exceptional. Netgear thinks it has one such product.
With the long winded ‘WNDR4500 N900 Dual Band Ethernet router’ Netgear is throwing the kitchen sink at your home network. As the name suggests, the highlight is the N900’s dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands each of which is capable of theoretical speeds up to 450Mbit and can run simultaneously (hence the ‘900’ reference). To achieve this Netgear has fitted the N900 with two radios and boasts improved range thanks to no less than six antennas.
On top of this Netgear has unusually equipped the N900 with two USB ports: one for a printer, the other for networking storage from a memory key or external hard drive. There are also four Gigabit Ethernet ports, push button WPS Wi-Fi security and individual power and Wi-Fi off power buttons (the latter to cater for the wired-only crowd. What is missing is DSL as the N900 is a cable only and connects to a dedicated modem.
Ultimately however this is feature heavy and it is reflected in the N900’s size. To put it bluntly, the router is huge. At 258 x 172.5 x 81 mm it has a footprint as large as an 11in laptop and at 680g it is as heavy as an iPad. This isn’t the last of it either since the N900 takes a trip down memory lane requiring a hefty external power brick (though having the power supply mid-cable rather than on the plug does have its advantages). Despite all this the N900 is a good looking router with an admittedly fingerprint catching piano black finish and a clear stand which gives the impression it is hovering in the air. Surprisingly, given this bulk, the stand is fixed so the N900 sits upright only – arguably not the wisest choice.
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