Netgear RangeMax 240 WPNT834

Netgear has turned to the power of Airgo's third-generation True MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) chipset for its new RangeMax 240 wireless router, which aims to provide fast wireless transfer speeds.

Using this chipset, the router has a wireless speed rating of 240Mbps (megabits per second), which translates to 30MBps (megabytes per second). A typical wired Ethernet connection is rated at 100Mbps (12.5MBps).

While it would appear that the wireless connection should beat the Ethernet connection easily in any file transfer tests, the reality is that data encryption (we used WPA2 in our tests) and signal interference - from physical obstacles such as walls - adds significant travel time between the origin and destination of wireless data.

From a distance of 1.5m away we achieved a wireless transfer speed of 6.51MBps to our notebook, which was equipped with a Netgear WPNT511 802.11g adapter. The same transfer test over the router's 10/100 Ethernet switch recorded 8.96MBps.

This is a good result for the close-range wireless connection as it means that a large file transfer can now be carried out in under half the time it would take with a typical (non-MIMO) 802.11g router. Even from a mid-range distance of 10m, we achieved a wireless transfer rate of 5.64MBps.

These rates produced by the RangeMax 240 are faster than the ones achieved by the ASUS WL-566gM router and unlike the Asus product, the RangeMax 240 didn't stutter once when streaming DivX video from our file server. Its range was strong, enabling us to use the Internet comfortably from over 50m away.

VERDICT: We have no hesitation in recommending this router to anyone who needs a stable, super-quick and far-reaching wireless connection.

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