We all want extra speed, it doesn’t matter how fast a human can actually read a web page or surf the ever expanding internet, when we see the new offering of ‘Super-uber 500 Megabit Broadband’ we sign up before even looking at the price. We want to download that movie (legal download of course) and boast to our friends how it download in just ten seconds. For the rest of us, who want to be productive in our daily work, of course speed is important, but so is stability of service and, if you use a laptop, wireless speed is also right up there on the top of the list.
Often referred to as 802.11x where ‘x’ can be an a, b or g, the differing speeds are not often noticeable, but a new offering has been around for a little while now, in the format of ‘draft 802.11n’ and we take a look at Netgear’s DG834N which offers this, plus a whole lot more. Before I continue I should make a clarification about the ‘draft’ statement. This is because 802.11n is not a standard yet, the final specification has yet to be carved into stone, so things may change. Some say some devices may become redundant if things in the final 802.11n change too much, but I say in this day and age, any changes made would most definitely be available as a firmware update.
So, the DG834N falls into Netgear’s ‘RangeMax Next’ range and is offered alongside various other devices that compliment the new speed offering. These include a wireless notebook adapter (WN511B) and a wireless PC adapter (WN311B) which we have here to test as well. It is only really when you use these in conjunction with the DG834N that you will benefit from all the new improvements on offer.
However, you can use this device with your current set-up as it does offer compatibility with 802.11b & g.
So the new speed increases promise up to 270Mbps when used with the relevant adapter, compared to 11Mbps on 802.11b and 54Mbps on 802.11g, so a very worthwhile jump. In practice and without getting to technical, I found downloads over wireless to offer on average a twofold improvement, dependent on the position of my PC (with WN311B adapter installed). A handy table below shows all the different protocols and what speeds they have to offer... to download the full review click here.
Product supplied by Netgear, Inc.
Contact: +44 (0)1344 458200
Average street price: £93.88
Link to product.
Link to product datasheet.