Written on: 30/05/2005 by User_Removed (1 review written)
Good solution, especially for a novice user.
Suitable for home and the office.
Looks great, would look good in a lounge.
I have heard it has suffered from bugger firmware upgrades.
Here's my review of the Netgear DG834G 54Mbps Wireless ADSL Modem Firewall Router:
If there were such a thing as a router beauty contest, then the DG834G would win any day. It ships in a cool white case and can even be put on a cool looking stand to make it look even more flashy.
In common with many of its rivals, the DG834G no longer has a power switch but who needs one of them. It does have the usual green and amber LEDs on the front, for ADSL sync, wireless LAN activity and a link light for each of its four 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports.
The DG834G's price is a tiny bit higher than its rivals but can be picked up cheaper.
The DG834G has a huge feature set that's hard to fault. Its security features are an example of this. You get an excellent firewall with SPI & Intrusion Control, DoS control and IPSec/Virtual Private Network (VPN) pass-through.
It does also have an excellent selling point, though: Netgear's latest router has a faster processor and additional flash memory so that it can accept firmware updates for ADSL 2 (12Mbps downstream) and ADSL 2+ (24Mbps). This is a nice feature to have, although by the time we see these proposed standards turned in to reality, the DG834G is likely to be a marshmellow.
Set up with the DG834G is like being wrapped up in duvet being taken from step to step by a small white cloud, thanks to its Smart Wizard. To get connected you run this wizard, which can automatically detect your basic ADSL and network settings. This can take a minute or two, but all you need do is enter your username and password and that's it, the wizard takes care of the rest. The DG834G is Web-configured -- a job that's made easier by its well-designed, tri-pane user interface. Most routers have okayish UIs, but the DG834G's stands out for the attractive, clear and easy to follow layout. The ever-present help panel on the right-hand side provides assistance when you're stumped for the right setting to choose. Paper manuals are none existant, but you do get a CD-ROM that includes animated instructions, the Install Assistant.
The DG834G's feature list matches the best and it has pretty much everything you might need unless you require a bullet proof titanium palm top coffe machine router. The only point to make about it is about the firmware. When originally launched, the DG834G lacked Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security, but firmware updates corrected that -- you now get a choice of PSK or 802.1x authentication. However, that upgrade brought with it a few bugs, prompting a swarm of complaints on forums and newsgroups, with problems concerning MSN Messenger (of all things) plus the loss of the scheduler for content filtering being caused by the latest update. Sometimes the v1.03 upgrade would actually cause the router to become non-responsive which is pointless, your just stuck with an overpriced paperweight.
The problems caused by the firmware update must have been just a little significant, because Netgear has gone to the trouble of providing a firmware recovery utility specifically for DG834Gs that have been made unusable by the upgrade. Hopefully, the current firmware release, v1.04.01, nails all the old bugs.
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