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Wireless Reviews

Stress Test

Updated 10/24/2008: Added Stress Test

Because of the reports of flaky behavior in draft 11n products, I have started to do some stress testing on them. For the WNR2000, I just fired up IxChariot and ran a four hour test with the throughput script running simultaneously up and downlink.

Or at least I tried to run a four hour test. The first time I ran it, it ran for about an hour and 15 minutes, the second time, just under an hour and the third time for an hour and 8 minutes. For all three cases, it looked like the client and AP lost contact.

I'm not sure why this happened, but it shouldn't. In contrast, the dual-band D-Link DIR-825, with two radios ran for up to five hours without a problem.

Closing Thoughts

With the WNR2000, NETGEAR now has two draft 11n products at the same MSRP and street pricepoint; it and the Broadcom-based WNR834BV2. Both have essentially the same feature set, so I asked NETGEAR what the difference was. The response was basically that the two products are aimed at different retail channels (although you can find both online at the same etailers). I also asked whether the WNR834B was going to be discontinued after current supplies ran out, but NETGEAR responded with a "no comment".

Setting aside NETGEAR's product positioning, how does the WNR2000 stack up as an entry level draft 11n router? On the plus side, it reached all of my test locations in both 20 and 40 MHz channel modes and it has a solid routing section with 100 Mbps wire speed and high simultaneous session handling. And if you're ok with NETGEAR's routing feature set, then the WNR2000 won't disappoint.

But the downside is that the WNR2000 (and WNR834B, for that matter) aren't particularly aggressively priced. Some of the routers in the Cheap Draft 802.11n Router Roundup can now be had for around $50, while the lowest price for the NETGEARs is closer to $70. And although the WNR2000's wireless performance is better than some of the dual-band products that I've been looking at lately, its uplink performance, in particular, is nothing to write home about.

Bottom line is that if you're a NETGEAR fan and are looking for an inexpensive draft 11n router, then you might want to give the WNR2000 a try. But if you don't have a brand preference, there are better options available.

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