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Netgear RT314 Review

DT Recommended Product

Highs

  • Stable and easy to setup

Rating

Our Score 8
User Score 4

Lows

  • Mediocre documentation
Once setup, you will never have to touch it again. It just works, and it works flawlessly.

Summary

The RT314 is extremely easy to setup and configure. Once setup, you will never have to touch it again. It just works, and it works flawlessly.

You can’t complain about the price either. The RT314 sells for approximately $130.

The only thing I was not too keen on was the way the documentation was setup. It was packaged as a basic fold-out poster instead of a normal book type manual. I lost it pretty easily.

Introduction

When cable modems finally became available in my area, I couldn’t wait to get it installed.

After the installation however, there was one slight problem. I have two computers, a machine running Windows NT4 and a machine running Windows ME. I couldn’t share the connection between both of them. I had a hub but the cable service assigns you only one IP. You have to pay for an extra IP.

So, I went hunting for a router.

After some research I narrowed my choices down to two: The Netgear RT314 and the LinkSys BEFSR41.

They both are around the same price and have comparable features. After talking with some other people and doing some research, I decided to go with the RT314. I had heard of some people having problems with their LinkSys.

So, let’s break down the features of the RT314.
* Combination Switch/Router
* 4 Port, 10/100 Switch
* DSL or Cable modem connection
* NAT Technology to prevent hackers
* Firewall security and control
* Plug and Play convenience

Setup

I was a little worried the setup would be painful. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I first setup my windows ME computer.

You can configure the router either via Telnet access or by a webpage. The webpage is strongly encouraged for someone who does not know much about telnet commands. I used the webpage configuration since I think that is the way most people would configure the RT314.

Configuring is as simple as firing up the web browser of your choice, then following a Wizard from the Administration webpage that asks for basic things that your ISP should have given you such as your Host Name, Domain, IP, etc.

After you have finished with the wizard, you must configure your computers network settings so that it connects to the router. The supplied instructions for the RT314 follow you through step-by-step on how to setup your computer to do this.

I was up and running in about 5 minutes total. This included configuration of the Router and my computers network interface.

Setup of my NT4 machine was not as fast. I decided to not obtain my IP automatically from the Router’s DHCP server and instead configured the information for my network card manually. It was still extremely simple, following the instructions that the router came with.

Use

One of the major problems I hear about using routers like the RT314 is problems connecting or playing internet based computer games. I am happy to tell you I have not experienced ANY problems playing online games.

I also have not noticed any type of slowdowns or network problems from the router. It has worked flawlessly.

Basically, after I configured the router and my machines, I have not had to touch it again. I just fire up my favorite web browser or internet tool and plug away!

Recently I had to re-install Windows ME. No sweat about Internet connection! After installation I ran Internet Explorer. Since it was my first time, the Windows Internet Connection Wizard ran. I chose for it to automatically detect my internet settings, and it did! I did not have to worry about setting up my computer’s network settings at all.

Conclusion

The RT314 is extremely easy to setup and configure. Once setup, you will never have to touch it again. It just works, and it works flawlessly.

You can’t complain about the price either. The RT314 sells for approximately $130.

The only thing I was not too keen on was the way the documentation was setup. It was packaged as a basic fold-out poster instead of a normal book type manual. I lost it pretty easily.