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Wireless Reviews

Feature Summary

The R6100 has the same "genie" feature set as the R6250, so see that review for details. The Advanced Home screen shows that new firmware is available (V1.0.0.28). Unfortunately, that flag wasn't set until after I finished testing. The release notes, however, don't indicate that the performance test results would be affected by the changes.

NETGEAR R6100 Advanced Home screen

NETGEAR R6100 Advanced Home screen

Even though the R6100 isn't in the "Ultimate Performance" category, it has all the features of its more expensive siblings, including Live Parental controls and the same ReadySHARE features. But NETGEAR says that it will not support the genie+ marketplace, i.e. loadable apps, when that feature is turned on in the R6250 and R6300. They said that it does not support the "beamforming+" capability on those routers, either.

Wireless Features

Table 2 summarizes the basic wireless setting modes and channels supported.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto, 1 - 11 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161
Mode Up to 54 Mbps
Up to 145 Mbps
Up to 300 Mbps
Up to 192 Mbps
Up to 400 Mbps
Up to 867 Mbps
Security None
WEP (Up to 54 Mbps only)
WPA-PSK [TKIP]
WPA2-PSK [AES]
WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES]
WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
None
WPA2-PSK [AES]
WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES]
WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

In addition to the manual wireless security settings, the router supports WPS PIN and pushbutton setup modes. You also can define schedules for turning each radio on and off for added security.

Updated 11/6/2013: Wi-Fi Certified Sept. 2013

As I called out on the R6250, the R6100 also lets you disable 20/40 MHz coexistence via the Advanced Wireless Settings page. This shouldn't be possible on a Wi-Fi Certified product. but the R6100 isn't Wi-Fi Certified even though the logo is displayed on the product box.

Like other R-series routers, the R6100 has an AP mode and also supports WDS-based bridging and repeating. It looks, however, like the no-WDS-required bridge mode has been removed. You normally get to that feature via a Use other operation mode checkbox that sits between the WPS Settings and Wireless Card Access List sections on the R6300 and R6250. NETGEAR told me that this function will be restored "in the next maintenance firmware". Note that transmit power is adjustable downward in 25% steps on both radios.

NETGEAR R6100 Advanced Wireless Settings

NETGEAR R6100 Advanced Wireless Settings

Storage

The R6100 supports NETGEAR's ReadySHARE drive and printer sharing feature, which supports file sharing via SMB, HTTP, HTTPs and FTP. As noted earlier, access from the internet is not via ReadyNAS Cloud.

I ran Windows filecopy tests using the standard NAS testbed to the R6100 with our USB standard drive (Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive) formatted in FAT32 and NTFS. Table 3 shows the results along with some from other draft 11ac routers with USB 2.0 ports.

  R6100 TRENDnet
TEW-812DRU
TRENDnet
TEW-811DRU
FAT32 Write (MBytes/s) 7.8 5.0 8.9
FAT32 Read (MBytes/s) 10.5 6.4 10.8
NTFS Write (MBytes/s) 9.9 2.2 3.6
NTFS Read (MBytes/s) 10.5 5.5 9.4
Table 3: File copy throughput

The R6100 is the best of this bunch, obviously. But keep in mind that most draft 11ac routers now come with USB 3.0 ports. So lower file sharing performance is another trade-off NETGEAR is asking you to make in return for spending only $100 on a draft 11ac router.

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