Netgear Australia RangeMax Duo Wireless N Router (WNDR3300)
Two wireless routers in one
- Can run 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks simultaneously
- Can't run 2.4GHz 802.11n adapters at their full speed, was slower than we were hoping
Having the ability to run 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously is an advantage, but this unit's speed wasn't as good as we hoped and it's also limited to running 2.4GHz-based 802.11n adapters at 54Mbps.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
A dual-band wireless router can be beneficial if you live in an environment where there is interference from many wireless networks, as this can significantly slow down fast devices over long distances. By using the 5GHz band for faster 802.11n devices, the Netgear WNDR3300 can theoretically ensure that the performance of these devices isn't compromised by wireless traffic running on the 2.4GHz band. Unfortunately, it delivered sluggish results during our tests.
The WNDR3300 essentially separates network traffic according the frequency band each device supports. All 2.4GHz devices will have a separate service set identifier (SSID) to 5GHz devices, which basically means that using the WNDR3300 will be like running two wireless routers simultaneously. Only devices that support dual-band operation will see both SSIDs, and only devices capable of running at 5GHz will see the 5GHz SSID. This is a good thing if you currently have an extensive 802.11g network that you don't want to fiddle with. However, if you already use 802.11n devices on your network, the WNDR3300's limitations will soon become clear.
It won't run 802.11n devices unless they support 5GHz or dual-band operation, so all 2.4GHz-based 802.11n devices will be made to run at 54 megabits per second (Mbps). There isn't an option in the router's interface that allows for 802.11n traffic to work on the 2.4GHz band, but there are options for running 5GHz-based 802.11n traffic at different speeds. When we changed these, we didn't notice any benefits. In fact, while using a 5GHz-based Netgear WNDA3100 USB adapter we noticed slower 802.11n speeds than we are used to in our test environment. We couldn't connect to the router at a speed greater than 216Mbps, and the speed often dipped to 108Mbps during our tests. This fluctuation is something we weren't expecting from a router that's essentially meant to give you more stability and speed over a longer range.
The separation of 2.4GHz and 5GHz traffic wasn't the success we were hoping for either, due to the slower-than-usual speed we experienced at 5GHz. Copying data over the 5GHz network to our test laptop garnered an average rate of 2.95 megabytes per second (MBps). This is much slower than we were expecting. For example, D-Link's DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router averaged 10.03MBps. However, D-Link's router can't run 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously. When compared to Netgear's own HD/Video 5GHz Wireless-N Networking Kit (WNHDEB111), the 2.95MBps average isn't too bad, but it isn't a patch on what the D-Link could do.
When using the WNDR3300 to simultaneously stream data over 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, the results were again surprisingly slow. We expected the 5GHz-based notebook transfer to maintain its speed during this test, in which we also transferred data to a 2.4GHz-based Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000, but instead its average rate dropped to 2.42MBps. This isn't enough bandwidth to comfortably stream a high-definition movie from a server, but it's fast enough for most high-end ADSL2+ Internet connections, which can achieve download rates of up to 2.5MBps in ideal conditions.
So as you can see, the WNDR3300 didn't impress us greatly during our test period; it was much slower than we hoped it would be. As for its ease of use and looks, it doesn't offer anything new. On the inside it has eight antennas, and the light atop the unit flashes to let you know which one is being used. All this is likely to do is induce a headache (luckily it can be switched off). The unit's interface is the same as all previous Netgear routers in terms of its layout, and it offers all the usual features: DHCP, URL and keyword filtering, QoS and port-forwarding. It can also automatically check the Netgear site for firmware updates.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPiOS DeveloperNSW
- CCDigital Solutions ManagerNSW
- CCProject SchedulerWA
- TPSoftware Engineer - C++QLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant Advanced Warehouse ManagementVIC
- CCTest Engineer - .NETNSW
- CCContract Programmer (HTML5/Java/Oracle) 161031/P/551Asia
- FTSenior Java ProgrammerWA
- TPPHP Junior Developer/ProgrammerQLD
- FTSOE ConsultantACT
- FTCapacity PlannerNSW
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- CCeCommerce Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior UX DesignerAsia
- CCQuality Assurance LeadNSW
- TPSenior Analyst|Progress ProgrammerQLD
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorQLD
- CCAX Functional SupportQLD
- CCIteration ManagerVIC
- FTSalesforce Subject Matter ExpertNSW
- FTOperations SupportNSW
- CCBusiness Case Developer - GovernmentNSW
- FTDigital Optimisation and Analytics SpecialistNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT roleNSW