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Netgear Wireless Router (MR814), Dual Band Wireless PC Card (WAG511), Wireless Ethernet Bridge (ME101)

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Netgear Wireless Router (MR814), Dual Band Wireless PC Card (WAG511), Wireless Ethernet Bridge (ME101)

Netgear Wireless Product Reviews
Wireless Router (MR814), Dual Band Wireless PC Card (WAG511), Wireless Ethernet Bridge (ME101)
Site: Netgear
Date: June 2003
Buy UK: Amazon | Currys/PCW | Dabs | eBuyer | John Lewis | Novatech |
Buy Int: Amazon.com | Compsource  Compare prices: Kelkoo
Use: Connect your PCs together through wireless network or share a broadband connection.

Netgear Wireless Router (MR814)Netgear Wireless PCMCIA Card WAG511
Netgear Wireless Ethernet Bridge ME101

Thanks to Netgear for making this review possible.

Netgear Logo
Netgear Logo

Wireless products are now being released in quick succession from many vendors. Netgear is well known and regarded for high quality networking products and excellent documentation and support.
If you don't know what devices would suit you best or offer what to whom and why then head over to the Netgear site and look at there 'how to network' pages.

In this overview we will be looking at:

  1. Wireless 4-Port Cable/DSL Router (MR814)
  2. Dual Band Wireless PC Card (WAG511)
  3. Wireless Ethernet Bridge (ME101)

Wireless 4-port Router (MR814)
Price: £127 (at time of writing)
Buy UK: Amazon | Currys/PCW | Dabs | eBuyer | John Lewis | Novatech |
Buy Int: Amazon.com | Compsource  Compare prices: Kelkoo


Netgear Wireless 4-port Router Boxed

What you get:

Waht you get in the box

  • Router
  • Vertical Stand
  • Power Adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Installation Guide
  • GearBox CD
  • Warranty & Support Card

Specifications:

Standards Capability IEEE 802.3i 10BASE-TIEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TXIEEE 802.3x Flow Control
Interface Specifications

.Internet/WAN: 10 Mbps Ethernet, RJ-45LAN: 4 ports @ 10/100 Mbps (auto-sensing) Ethernet, RJ-45Wireless:
. Internet/WAN: 10 Mbps Ethernet, RJ-45LAN: 4 ports @ 10/100 Mbps (auto-sensing) Ethernet, RJ-45
.Wireless: Network Speeds: 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps with Auto-fallback support
. Modulation Type: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS)


. Encryption: Hardware-based 40/64-bit & 128-bit WEP encryption. Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz
. Standards Capability: 802.11b. Antenna: 5 dBi (detachable). Operating Range: Up to 150 m (500 ft.) indoors and 500 m (1650 ft.) outdoors
Power Adapter 12 B DC 1.2 A, Plug is localized to country of sale in North America, Australia, Europe, United Kingdom, Japan
Average Power Consumption 5.6 W
Dimensions 6.9" x 4.6" x 1.1" (175 mm 118 mm 28 mm)
Lighted Status Icons Power, Test, Internet, Wireless and LAN (connection, activity and speed)
Environmental Specifications Operating Temperature: 0° to 40°CStorage Temperature: -20° to 70°COperating Relative Humidity: 90% non-condensingAcoustic noise: 0 dB
Routing Protocols Static & Dynamic Routing with TCP/IP, VPN pass-through (IPSec, PPTP, L2TP), NAT, PPPoE, DHCP (client & server)
Functions Smart Wizard to automatically detect ISP type, Port Range Forwarding, Exposed Host (DMZ), URL Content Filtering, E-mail Alerts, Wireless MAC Address Authentication
Certifications FCC Part 15, Class B (PD5LMWP200)Canada RSS-210 (397010453A)UL, CSAISO-9000

The Unit:

Router Unit
Router Unit

This router is one of the smallest I have used so far. The thin size and the rounded rectangle design and the silver colour make this unit look good.
The design of the unit also allows for products from the same range to be stacked on top of each other.

On the front of the unit is a clear layout with led indicators to display power, wireless, and LAN connections.

Rear Of Router

On the rear of the unit are the antenna, LAN, WAN, & power connections.

On the underside of the unit you have a rubberised oval, which keeps the unit stable and also allows for additional products to be stacked easily whilst still allowing room for air to circulate around them.

Also on the bottom are spaces to allow you to screw the router to a wall/shelf.

Underside of router

Provided with the unit is a rubberised stand which allows you to use the router vertically.

Router attached to stand


Setup and Installation:

Installing this router was simple as it has been with other routers. Connect the router to sit between your Broadband connection and your PC then boot. I always reset the modem and sometimes release the IP's before this just to ensure it should go smoothly.

The CD that comes with this product is great and especially if you're a novice it will appeal to you. The CD comes with an easy to follow set-up wizard and within half a dozen clicks you're done and out of they're to allow you to get on with surfing, or to connect more PC's to your now broadband-shared network.

Router Admin Page

To enter the router set-up you can either enter the IP http://192.168.0.1, or use the link from the CD. Once viewing this admin console you can set-up features such as security, blocking websites, viewing websites accessed through the router, update the routers software etc.

Router Admin Page

This router contains many features and allows you to have full control over what can come through the firewall and when. Such as if this was in a home environment you could set-up a schedule of when the router can give access such as your kids cant go online till 7 - 8pm every day etc.

For the office environment you can have up to 253 users sharing the single IP address so with the above blocking / monitor settings you could easily administer Internet access with this device.

All of the options are clearly laid out and on the right hand side is simple guidance to explain what each section means. This is so far the easiest router menu system I have used.

Views:

This is a great router. Its small and looks good comes from a well-known maker who backup their product with a 3yr warranty. This will appeal to both the light & advanced user this will appeal to you as installing the devices is simple, the walkthroughs are simple to understand and they don't overwhelm you with jargon. The set-up and layouts of the features and the information on the page explaining each feature is a good touch, not many makers document it in this much detail.

Dual Band Wireless PC Card (WAG511)
Price: £60 Approx
Compare prices: Kelkoo
Buy UK: Amazon | Currys/PCW | Dabs | eBuyer | John Lewis | Novatech |
Buy Int: Amazon.com | Compsource  

Netgear Wireless PC Card WAG511

What you get:

  • PC Card
  • Users Guide
  • Resource CD
  • Warranty & Support Card

Specifications:

Radio Data Rate
6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps 108 Mbps for Turbo mode (Auto rate capable)
Frequency
.5.15 - 5.25 GHz (low band)
.5.25 - 5.35 GHz (middle band)
.5.725 - 5.825 GHz (high band)
Operating Range

.Outdoor environment: 54 Mbps @ 100 ft (30.5 m)
6 Mbps @ 1200 ft (366 m)
.Indoor environment: 54 Mbps @ 60 ft (18.3 m)
6 Mbps @ 300 ft (91.4 m)

.Outdoor environment: 11 Mbps @ 398 ft (120 m)
5.5 Mbps @ 561 ft (170 m)
2 Mbps @ 890 ft (270 m)
1 Mbps @ 1485 ft (450 m)
.Indoor environment: 11 Mbps @ 198 ft (60 m)
5.5 Mbps @ 264 ft (80 m)
2 Mbps @ 430 ft (130 m)
1 Mbps @ 660 ft (200 m)

Encryption
40-bit (also called 64-bit), 128-bit, 152-bit WEP encryption
Modulation Type
OFDM, BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM
Dimensions
Size: 4.76 x 2.13 x .45 in (121 x 54 x 11.44 mm)
Weight Weight: 1.6 os (43.4 g)

The Unit:

Netgear Wireless PC Card WAG511Netgear Wireless PC Card Rear View

Well with this card you can cover all the wireless bases. As it supports compatibility with any 802.11a, 802.11b or 802.11g wireless standards you could roam happily through an enabled hotspot such as an airport. Or just have the reassurance that this can connect to whatever set-up you have.

The card is a standards 32-bit card bus PCMCIA card like other versions this card is slightly longer than the norm. Netgear have done a nice touch and made this extension into a curved shape and also added a moulding which allows for easier removal / insertion of the device.

You can connect securely using 128-bit for 802.11b & 802.11g or up to 152-bit for connection to 802.11a devices.

Installing:

Installation was fairly simple as with other wireless devices, which are not routers you have to install the driver software and ignore the windows prompt that this driver is not approved. Then a few seconds later and the device is installed and it starts to seek any wireless networks.

Wireless Network Connection
Properties of NetworkProperties of Network
Properties of Network
Properties of Network

If you haven't set-up a WEP the device should connect to in this case router, if you have set-up a WEP you will need to enter the key into the set-up of the laptop machine and also into the router set-up. Once this is approved the connection will be established and you are free to access the net or create shares etc depending on your set-up.

Properties of Network Properties of Network

Verdict:

Nice design detail on the card alows for easier installtion. performed very well and the included software makes it very easy to setup and to monitor activity over the device.

Allows for Dual band compatability, nice design and easy to use product.

Wireless Ethernet Bridge (ME101)
Price: £60 @ time of writing 0603
Buy UK: Amazon | Currys/PCW | Dabs | eBuyer | John Lewis | Novatech |
Buy Int: Amazon.com | Compsource  Compare prices: Kelkoo

Makes it simple to connect your gaming console, PC, or Internet radio to your wireless network.

Ethernet Bridge (ME101)

What you get:

What you get in the package

  • Wireless Ethernet Bridge
  • GearBox Cd
  • Power Adapter
  • 10ft (3.05m) Ethernet cable
  • Installation guide
  • Support & Warranty card

Specifications:

Standard
802.11b Wireless Ethernet Bridge
Operating Range

.Outdoor environment: 11Mbps @ 160 ft (525m)
5.5Mbps @ 352 ft (1155m)
2Mbps @ 400 ft (1312m)
1Mbps @ 550 ft (1804m)
.Indoor environment: 11Mbps @ 50 ft (164m)
5.5Mbps @ 82 ft (269m)
2Mbps @ 90 ft (295m)
1Mbps @ 115 ft (377m)

Encryption
40/64-bit, & 128-bit WEP encryption
Modulation Type
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum(DSSS)
Dimensions
Size: 4.76 x 2.13 x .45 in (121 x 54 x 11.44 mm)
Weight Weight: 1.6 os (43.4 g)

The Unit:

Ethernet Bridge UnitUnderside Of Ethernet Bridge Unit

The unit is designed to sit horizontally and has three led indicators on the top cover of the unit these are. Power, Wireless Link, and Ethernet Link.

At the rear of the unit are the Ethernet connection port and the AC adapter point as well as the directional antenna.

Ethernet Bridge LEDRear Of Ethernet Bridge

On the underneath are four rubberised feet to keep the unit secure and also two screw points, which allow for the unit to be secured to a wall if desired.

Installing:

The main reason I can think of for buying this device would be to allow you to connect your XBox to your wireless LAN / broadband connection so that you could use the X Box live service. Another reason could be to connect this to a standard router in the office so that persons with a wireless laptop card or access point could connect to the router or switch through the wireless LAN.

Rear Of XBox

In either scenario the set-up would be to connect this to the port required the back of your console, router, or pc and then connect it to the mains and check any connectivity issues and of you go.

In my testing I connected this to a PC and then booted once the driver was installed and the Gearbox software started it then looked for any active wireless networks. Again this was so simple to do and within a few minutes that PC was now WLAN'd and once again the network grew quickly and easily and without having to mess around with metres of cable all over the place.

Verdict:

Perfect for X - Box users as all you need to do is connect one lead and plug it in, also useful to connect to routers / switches as well as using it through a PC.