Someone check Trendnet's engineers for whiplash because the speed geeks in lab coats just unveiled a pair of super fast networking products, including a 1300Mbps dual band wireless router built around the new 802.11ac standard (TEW-811DR), and a 500Mbps Compact Powerline AV Adapter (TPL-406E and TPL-406E2K). Both products are going on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
If you're not the type to plop your router in one spot until it comes time to upgrade, ZyXEL's new MWR102 mobile wireless router is worth investigating. This is a pocket-sized router that can be used as an access point or client bridge and is designed for users on the go, especially those who often lug around wireless handheld devices, like smartphones, tablets, PDAs, game consoles, and the sort.
D-Link this week announced a couple of new additions to its Amplifi family, with D-Link describing Amplifi products as "not only the fastest home networking solutions on the market, they're also some of the smartest." Those are big shoes to fill, and D-Link says its new HD Media Router 2000 (DIR-827) and PowerLine AV 500 Gigabit Switch Kit (DHP-541) can walk the walk.
It's been more than a year since we anointed Netgear's Rangemax WNDR3700 (N600) as our "Best of the Best" pick for wireless routers, and to this day, its overall performance has been unmatched. Even Netgear's own WNDR4000 (aka the N750, because it supports theoretical speeds of 300Mb/sec on its 2.4GHz radio and 450Mb/sec on its 5GHz radio) couldn't topple its predecessor. The WNDR4000 scored a rather pedestrian 6 verdict compared to the WNDR3700's 9/Kick-Ass. Netgear might finally have a worthy successor in the WNDR4500 (aka, the N900 because—you guessed it—the router supports theoretical speeds of 450Mb/sec on both the 2.4- and 5GHz bands).
We weren’t impressed with the Netgear WNDR4000, to say the least. The router’s bizarre naming conventions (we’re still not sure what to call it, exactly) and dubious 750 Mbps speed claim raised our hackles, plus, the older WNDR3700 blew it away in benchmark testing. Netgear’s hoping that the newly announced WNDR3800 will right those wrongs. The router’s available worldwide as of yesterday and it packs a pair of interesting features.
D-Link is chasing after the budget router crown with the release of its Wireless N 300 Gigabit Router, model DIR-651. It's a single-band router with 4 Gigabit ports, multiple intelligent antennas, and support for intelligent Quality of Service (QoS) to separate and prioritize different typs of data streams for smoother video streaming, gaming, and VoIP calls.
Woe is the home user in need of a new router. We say this because it's easy to be overwhelmed with all the choices out there, and if you go by specs alone, almost all of them are winners. Of course, we know better than that, and our current 'Best of the Best' pick for a Wi-Fi router is Netgear's Rangemax WNDR3700, which has held the top spot for a long while. The WNDR3700 has been able to deflect numerous attempts to pluck the performance crown from its head, and ironically enough, the one that finally does it might be from Netgear itself.
Like wings on a skydiving Penguin whose parachute fails to open, or racing tires on a 1971 Ford Pinto, Evercool's new Dr. Cool router cooler has us wondering if such a device is necessary. Even Evercool appears a bit uncertain. The company says its Dr. Cool device was designed with three features in mind, which include branding, creative aesthetics, and effective cooling. Notice that cooling is listed last, not because it isn't capable, but does your router really need a blast of cold air?
Netgear announced several new Wi-Fi routers and power-line networking devices at CES, including the successor to our current best-of-the-best pick, the WNDR3700.
Netgear is transitioning to a new model numbering scheme, so the new flagship is labeled the N600 Premium Edition but it’s also known as the WNDR3800. The N600 adds a number of features, including a much-improved user interface, a ReadyShare remote access feature that enables you to access attached USB storage devices from anywhere you have broadband access, Apple Time Machine compatibility for Macintosh backups, and DLNA certification. The router comes with 16MB of Flash memory and 64MB of RAM.
How strong is your Wi-Fi signal? Or, more importantly, how strong is your neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal? Where do you have to be to leech, er, acquire the best free Wi-Fi signal in your general surroundings? At your favorite strip mall? Outside of the local Starbucks?
Anyone can grab a Wi-Fi sniffer and go wardriving around to find the best possible signal for your personal or business use–that’s easy. Heck, you can even do that in Windows if you don’t mind staring at (and constantly refreshing) the tiny little “bars of service” meter in your wireless connections window. But this week’s “App of the Week” does a bit more than tell you the networks that give you the best signal, or when you might have acquired said signal in your trips around town. No, the app I’m profiling will actually go and map your connectivity as visualized “hot zones” overtop any map you’d like to use.