Netgear’s WPNT834 is prettier than Linksys’ WRT54GX, which uses the same Airgo True MIMO Gen3 chipset, but this ain’t no beauty contest. Equipped with comparatively stubby antennae (3.5 inches, compared with the Linksys’ 5-inch aerials), this router/wireless access point equaled its competitor’s impressive range, but fell just shy of its throughput.
In our patio test (“Environment 1”), the RangeMax 240 duo managed to deliver unencrypted TCP throughput of 54.6Mb/s. When we moved the tests indoors (“Environment 2”), the Netgear products couldn’t quite manage to break the wired 10/100 Fast Ethernet barrier, posting TCP throughput of 99.7Mb/s.
Still, that’s a mighty impressive number for a wireless network. Unfortunately, the RangeMax products exhibited the same drop in throughput using WEP encryption—a compromise rendered necessary by our A/V-streaming box.
Besides being a hair slower than Linksys’ twosome, Netgear has priced its products $50 and $30 higher, respectively. Huh?
Month Reviewed: April 2006
+ FREE-RANGE CHICKEN: Very fast; impressive range.
- BATTERY HENS: Offers slightly less performance than what Linksys has to offer, and yet it costs slightly more.