Diet N Routers

Seeing as most of the new devices are Wi-Fi enabled with DLNA compatibility wireless routers are a great way to share between devices at home or at work or simply hook up to the net without running up your phone bill. 

They come in all shapes and sizes but with just one purpose in mind - to get you connected

What we’ve done is pit a range of eight 150 MB/s wireless N routers against each other, which are intentionally manufactured for small offices and home use. We’ve selected the best options from the list to narrow down your search if you’re in the market for a router. We’ve based the test on the kind of features that each router comes with, build quality and of course overall performance. We’ve even taken into account the warranty and the devices value for money factor so take a look.

Buffalo Whr-Hp-Gn – Rs. 3,200 - Best performer
The Buffalo High Power N150 was the smartest looking router in the roundup. It is sleek and has a glossy all-white shell. It is equipped with a vertical stand, which can also be removed for a wall-mounting option. Apart from its great looks, this one was the best performer as well. The Buffalo WHR-HP-GN does not feature any USB port for 3G or USB storage support, but offers standard router features such as security, firewall, LAN/WAN options, etc. An addition of a USB port would have brought great value to the product and could be beneficial in small office environments where printer or storage drives could be shared on the local network. The router also features the physical switch for the wireless transmitter to help turn off the wireless transmitter while keeping the router’s physical LAN functional. This helps keep intruders from accessing the network via the wireless mode.

It outperformed all the rest

Setting up the router is very simple and a setup wizard welcomes you and helps through the complete process of setting up the wireless network. The router can also be configured to be used as an access point and can even be paired with another similar router with a WDS option to create a bridge network for additional signal coverage. This is especially beneficial when you need wireless network coverage in houses with many rooms, large-sized offices or even open outdoor areas.

The router performed flawlessly, with consistent data throughput in all the test zones. This is because it adopts the automatic channel switching feature, which scans for other routers in the vicinity that are operating on a similar or overlapping channel. The router is backed by a two-year warranty and is a good choice for home use or an average sized office where multiple computers are wirelessly networked. The Buffalo High Power’s impressive test results helped it bag the Best Performance title.

Verdict: If looks and performance area priority, this one is the right choice.
For: Aesthetics, great performance, wireless mode switch.
Against: Transmission power cannot be adjusted, no USB support.
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The Netgear WGR614 – Rs. 2, 545 - Best Value
The Netgear WGR614 has the best build quality of the lot and it looks good too. It has a white matte-finish shell, which is resistant to scratches, but can get easily stained if it’s not handled with enough care. It does not sport any options for wall mounting or antenna replacement, but it can be placed horizontally or vertically using the bundled stands. The Netgear too has neither a USB port for external storage nor 3G Internet support. The router’s feature-set is very similar to that of the other routers, but one feature that sets this one apart is the option of creating multiple SSIDs. This option allows you to create additional isolated wireless networks for guest users who can be only allowed to access the internet and keep them from intruding into restricted shares.

Symbolized stickers are placed on the router, LAN cable and power adapter respectively for an easy and quick step-by-step installation for new users. The internal setup of the router too is simple and easy to follow. There’s a built-in automatic firmware update feature which makes it easy for the user by eliminating the need to hunt and download the model-specific firmware. The Netgear features a physical switch on the rear for power, which is a feature often missing in most routers. The top features two switches, one each for wireless mode and WPS.

If you want to spend your money wisely

On the performance front, we found that the Netgear WGR614 has a sluggish data throughput when compared to the other routers we tested in this roundup. But it did have a consistent throughput at all test zones. However, this won’t affect Internet speed in any way as we’re still a few years away for having affordable broadband connections of more than 15 Mb/s. This router is best suited for those who want to setup wireless Internet at home or in a small office on a strict budget.

Verdict: A rugged and feature-rich router to help set up a wireless network at home.
For: Good looks, multiple SSID feature, power and wireless switch.
Against: No wall mounting option, sluggish wireless network speeds.

The Bottom Line
Most broadband Internet connections employed in small offices or homes are of around 2 MB/s bandwidth. Hence a 54 MB/s wireless G router is more than sufficient. So why would one ask for a 150 MB/s or 300 MB/s wireless N router? The simple answer: maximum throughput over a greater distance. Where a 54 MB/s router’s signal would cover a restricted area, 150 MB/s and 300 MB/s routers can beam signals further away and over a larger area.

The cost of a 150 MB/s router is almost half the price of a wireless N router. So if you are on a tight budget, but still need a good speed and greater signal coverage, these are the right ones for you.

Take a look at the overall comparison sheet for all eight products below.

Click for a larger image of the comparison sheet
 

Published Date: Nov 10, 2010 02:43 pm | Updated Date: Nov 10, 2010 02:43 pm