What is Netgear N300?
Netgear N300 is a great new router released by Netgear, a US manufacturer of computer networking equipment and other computer hardware. N300 distinguishes itself from the rest by its easy setup, stylish looks and solid range.
Here’s What It’ll Do For You
For anyone interested in efficient wireless distribution of fast Internet connection, Netgear N300 is a useful choice. N300 is suitable for both professional and personal Internet use. It allows you to distribute an ADSL or a cable-based connection and features 802.11n wireless standard which is faster than its predecessor, the 802.11g standard.
Other than that, N300 offers two different bitrates for transmission to choose from: 150 Mbps and 300Mbps. N300 provides four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one WAN port. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any USB-sharing port so we won’t recommend this router if you own and frequently use USB dongle for your Internet usage.
From the first look at it, Netgear N300 impresses one’s aesthetic sense. The makers took a bold decision to not have any wall-mounting option (you can only place it upright on a horizontal surface; it can’t even be placed flat on a desk or a shelf) and it is safe to say that it paid off.
The glossy exterior produces a good effect and there are no external antennas to interrupt the overall look and feel. But we think that the LEDs are too bright due to which one glowing indicator makes its neighbor glow out of no reason.
Installing Netgear N300 is quite straightforward and simple. N300 comes pre-packaged with installation disk which you just need to pop-in to your machine. Its setup wizard will carry you through the installation steps and set up everything including physical connections and wireless networking settings.
You can also access the web interface of the router (credentials and IP/URL given at the bottom) to customize advanced settings; though you must have some networking related knowledge to start doing that or you should ask a technician to do it for you. N300 offers all standard options like port forwarding, enabling QoS and monitoring traffic; it certainly is a reliable router for home use.
Netgear N300 supports simultaneous downloading and voice/video streaming. Based on this feature, we tested N300 with different games requiring network support. N300’s performed quite effectively even with the games carrying heavy graphics. It provides automatic QoS for heavy trafficking which enhances gaming and video experience.
Netgear N300 also offers keyword-based web content filtering. This is a great feature of N300 if you are buying it for home. Whenever a restricted keyword is entered, the user will land on a message communicating that they are trying to access blocked content.
Keep in mind that this control is not sophisticated enough to restrict majority of websites of any particular type (for example, pornographic websites). To achieve that, you need to use dedicated parental control software like K9 Web Protection or AVG Family Safety.
N300 can also maintain a log of such attempts and all incoming activity which you can receive on your email. This can be very useful for you if your take your network’s security seriously: you can see through these logs if anyone is trying to scan your Internet ports and gain access to your router.
Netgear N300 allows you to create guest account which allows the guest device in your network to access only the Internet but not any files or resources you have shared on your network. N300 sets up its own SSID and encryption password and allows you to modify them by downloading a free application for PC, Apple and Android devices.
This means that with N300, you can now turn on and off the guest account, change the credentials, enable parental controls and change the network name right from your phone.
Netgear N300 provides solid file sharing and streaming. In its shiny moments, N300 provides wireless speeds of around 6 MB per second at both close and mid ranges. We tested the router at different ranges and its signal strength and wireless speeds remained stagnant.
N300 delivered satisfactory results even at distance of around 30 meters. But sometimes, it behaves inconsistently; often a time came when wireless performance went slow and sporadic. The only solution we came up with so far is to restart the router and let it regain its signal strength.
Though this was not messy (removing the power cable or turning off power plugs or accessing web interface to reset) as N300 comes with an on/off button.
- Good, decent signal range
- Good Wi-Fi speed; fast file sharing
- Dual band options
- Effective keyword filtering and logging
- Easy setup
- Quick setup for guest account allowing only the Internet access
- Manageable through other devices you own (for example, iPhone or Android-based devices)
- Stylish outlook
- Good value
Here’s What I Want You To Do Next
Netgear N300 is a perfect router for you if you want to stream videos and distribute a fast Internet connection in a small home or apartment. You don’t need any network-related knowledge to set it up and you can safely assume that N300 will keep doing its job quietly and smoothly.
Its parental control features can be sufficient enough to keep a check over browsing content and keep you updated by periodic email. It’s glossy and stylish looks may set well with your interior (if you value that kind of stuff).
You may face some problems regarding performance sluggishness and requirement to restart N300 after some hours to renew its strength but there’s a good reason for us to say that you may not encounter this problem in the first place but even if you do, knowing the standard that Netgear maintains, an update in the firmware can be anticipated.
Since Netgear N300 doesn’t maintain a good signal over longer distances, we cannot recommend it for professional and/or business use. It can be used, no doubt but it shouldn’t be expected to work wonders. For serious kind of networking, its sibling N600 can be considered.