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253 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Mid-Range Wireless Router
I recently purchased one of these routers as a replacement for my Linksys WRT54GL, a stalwart in the realm of home networking. My Linksys router is healthy and it works but it does not allow me to set up DHCP reservations without a 3rd party firmware update, and it does not support Wireless-N. After searching for a good balance between functionality, quality and price I...
Published on April 29, 2010 by Matthew K. Morgan

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100 of 109 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Router failed after 3 months; horrific technical support
We purchased the Netgear N300 router to replace our aging (but highly reliable) Linksys for home; we have a number of streaming video devices that needed the extra computing juice of the Netgear. The product was easy to set up, and handled traffic seemingly without a hitch for two months. We began to notice, with increasing frequency, loss of connectivity at both the...
Published on March 24, 2011 by J. Eriksen


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253 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Mid-Range Wireless Router, April 29, 2010
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
I recently purchased one of these routers as a replacement for my Linksys WRT54GL, a stalwart in the realm of home networking. My Linksys router is healthy and it works but it does not allow me to set up DHCP reservations without a 3rd party firmware update, and it does not support Wireless-N. After searching for a good balance between functionality, quality and price I settled on this router by NetGear. So far I am very pleased with this unit, though I had some minor issues when setting it up.

Setup of NetGear routers (including this one) is simple and easy. There are two methods of setting it up, using the Wizard CD or going in manually. For users not too familiar with setting up wireless networks or routers, using the CD to get started is a good option. More seasoned users may prefer to work without the CD and work directly with the router. I chose the latter of the two. Even so, tapping in and finding any given setting is relatively easy, everything broken down into several pages. Because the router configuration is accessed through a browser, manipulating the router configuration is very much like accessing a web page and should feel familiar.

The factory-default username, password, and access address are printed right on the router itself so there is no risk of losing this information at any point.

I connected 3 laptops, one at a time, to the wireless network and encountered my only difficulty with moving to this router. Because I retained the network name and key I expected the swap to be seamless and mostly invisible, but my systems each complained when tried to connect, stating that the network configuration had changed even though I retained the settings, the type, key and everything else. To get each system working I had to delete the connection completely, then I allowed each to redetect wireless networks available. Two of them came up without any further incident, but one of the laptops required a reboot before it would properly connect.

Signal strength is important when it comes to wireless networks. My Linksys router gives me very strong signal strength, and I was fearful that this new NetGear router would lack the same power to broadcast. Happily, it broadcasts brightly enough that I have had no problems with connectivity due to losing signals. It is *at least* on par but seems to be stronger. My router lives on the second story of the house, while my personal laptop is in the basement.

As soon as the router was configured and provided a connection to the internet, I logged in ang got a surprise - it is configured by factory default to look for firmware updates every time I log in. This is fine as logging into the router becomes an infrequent activity after a while, though up front it can be annoying to have to wait for it to download and then update itself.

I have had no connectivity issues or drops since setting this router up.

The DHCP reservation and MAC filtering work well, which are the two advanced features about which I care most.

Something I have not seen in any other router up to this point is a USB port. According to the documentation, the router can be set up to provide persistent storage through the network by simply connecting a USB hard drive (or even a thumb drive) to it. I have not tried this but I absolutely plan to put this to work, which will make sharing files between the different computers simple without having to make several copies. It should be noted, though, that this could be a risky practice if using to access the same file frequently from multiple points.

Looking through the options that can be set up, I found a keyword-based page filter, QoS settings and a lot of other features I have not previously seen. For a mid-range wireless router this one has a generous set of features. Of course, the standard features are there - firewall, MAC filtering as mentioned above, different encryption key types and a lot more too.

This is a very nice router with a nice feature set. It is very easy to set up, easy to configure once it's running, and so far has proven to be stable. If you need more than a basic wireless router, consider this one as a good candidate.

===

UPDATE 12-01-2011: It has been over a year and a half and I still have not had any trouble with this router. I have seen some of the negative reviews and detailed reports of issues but I have not encountered any problems up to this point. It has been stable and reliable for me. I have noticed that the surface gets a little warm; I suspect if I kept it in an enclosed area that it could potentially be less cooperative but there's no reason for me to move it as such.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Built with open source in mind, April 19, 2010
By 
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
It's great to have a router out there that recognizes that customers just want the freaking thing to work, and don't care who wrote or maintains the firmware. With that in mind, I bought this router to replace another Wireless-N router that was simply a nightmare, with glitchy firmware from two years ago, and will now find a new home or function via Craigslist or something.

I was up and running using the stock firmware in about 5 minutes, accessing the router configuration page and setting up a secure wireless network. I didn't try any of the quick-install software - usually like to just set the thing up myself without putting any software on my machine, and for this it worked perfectly.

More importantly, this router is open-source-firmware ready, so if for any reason the stock firmware fails me, I'll have an option out there to try, as opposed to the endless struggles of my prior router.

My setup includes a wired WHS, a Snow Leopard wireless-N macbook, a wireless PC using a 'G' card (Win7), another wireless laptop also using G, a Wii, an XBox using a wired connection, and another wired media-center PC, running Win7, and an iPhone 2G. Powers everything without flaw.
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100 of 109 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Router failed after 3 months; horrific technical support, March 24, 2011
By 
J. Eriksen (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
We purchased the Netgear N300 router to replace our aging (but highly reliable) Linksys for home; we have a number of streaming video devices that needed the extra computing juice of the Netgear. The product was easy to set up, and handled traffic seemingly without a hitch for two months. We began to notice, with increasing frequency, loss of connectivity at both the wired and wireless level. This problem was isolated to the router itself; swapping in our old, trusty router would always immediately fix this problem.

Since we were having such tremendous problems with the router, I called Netgear support, located in a call center in India, about two and a half months after purchasing the router with the intent of securing an RMA. However, after more than an hour on the phone, the technician told me I would need to bring in yet another computer to test the networking issue; he seemed convinced (against all reason) that this was due to a networking issue with the computer plugged into the ethernet port. Despite my protests that this was a hardware issue, he proceded to ignore my request for an RMA and demanded that a second computer would be needed to test this issue before he would issue an RMA. Whil I did not feel that his request was reasonable (since all of the evidence pointed to a hardware issue with the router), I told him I would call back with the case number when I secured a second computer. I called back three weeks later with a second computer in hand. I spoke to a second technician, who indicated to me -- against all of the evidence to the contrary -- that there was nothing wrong with my router because all of the lights on the front of the unit were on. "So," he concluded, "it can simply could not be that your router is misfunctioning, sir, this is an impossibility." The technician went on to tell me that "we are very sorry, but we cannot issue an RMA because the unit is clearly not defective. This is a IP issue, sir." The technician then went on to state that the IP address issue would be simple to fix, but unfortunately my technical support for the router was 90 days and had expired, so that Netgear would only be able to fix this issue if I purchased a "technical support contract, sir, that will allow us to provide technial support for not only your router,but any electronics you own, even your blackberry, sir." The price of the support contract was $69.99 for 6 months, or $109.99 for 1 year.

I expressed my outrage, indicating there was no hope that I was going to pay for such a contract when a new router cost $79.99. I told them that I believed that this was a hardware issue, and requested an RMA. The technician completely refused to honor my request, said he would transfer me to his technical agents for futher evaluabiton, and then the line was cut off.

I have to say that I have purchased other products, such as a ReadyNAS, from this company; after this experience, Netgear has lost my business forever. I'd go so far as to say my experience with Netgear was one of the worst I've ever had with a vendor, and it felt like they were trying to run a scam. I'd urge those of you who are considering the purchase of this product, or other Netgear products, to take the technical support into your purchasing decision.

Lest you think this is simply sour grapes, if you look through the reviews, you can see that I am not alone in my experience with Netgear customer service. Do you really want to deal with a company that treats its customers like garbage?
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, April 14, 2010
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
I was looking for a quality Wireless N router with gigabit connections and DD-wrt compatible. This fit the bill, so I grabbed one to try out. I've tried a Linksys (320N) and a D-link to much disappointment, but this Netgear performs flawlessly. I downloaded dd-wrt firmware for it and never tried the stock Netgear stuff ([...]). DD-wrt performs flawlessly on this! No drops, great signal strength. Took me maybe 20 minutes to set up, from opening box to getting everything online. I run 3 desktops wired, one desktop wireless, and 2 wireless laptops and they all connect without issue. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for Wireless N. I have not tried the USB functionality, as all my data is shared through my computer already.
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86 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Netgear Tech Support is the WORST, September 13, 2010
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
I have one of these routers with a NAS box hooked up. Worked well for 2 months then router started dropping NAS connection. Rebooting the NAS works for a day or so. Called Netgear, spoke to 6 people. They did everything possible to abdicate responsibility for their unit. I bought another of this same model and the NAS works perfectly. The problem is definitely with the router. They said they won't issue an RMA because my computers can see the Internet so obviously there is nothing wrong with the router. But they'll gladly transfer me to their GearHead support so I can pay to have this problem fixed. These tech support people (Rajiv, ID#1098, Raj #22650, Joy #46112, and Matt #46042) are morons who only parrot scripts. During this I spoke with Western Digital (The NAS company) and in a second they sent me a new drive even if they weren't sure the problem was with their drive. Now THAT's great customer support! I will NEVER buy another NETGEAR product again.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Router, July 3, 2010
By 
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
I purchased this router last November after many months of searching the internet to actually find it available somewhere. I wound up paying about $186 with shipping and handling but quite honestly it was well worth it. This router is OPEN SOURCE, so you can flash many firmware flavors onto it and customize each and every one of them until you get the perfect configuration for your own needs.

Physical rating/construction quality: 5/5. The router is very sleek looking and lightweight.

Ease of setup: 3/5 for the sole reason that I immediately dove into the world of open-source (i.e. ditched the out-of-box firmware). The out-of-box firmware is very easy to set up for your home network, but just didn't apply to my own experience. As a Computer Engineer I spent many hours flashing and re-flashing lots of different firmwares to play with each, and it was really lots of fun! It's not the easiest process and shouldn't be done by someone without some technical experience, but I HIGHLY recommend checking out [...] for step-by-step instruction on how to get the most from this router and download tons of new firmwares.

Extra features: The router has USB support, meaning you can plug in an external hard drive directly to it and share it over your network! Definitely an excellent feature to have for having access to your important files amongst many computers. The WNR3500L is a Wireless N router, far out-performing B & G see: [...] for comparison charts and details. Very easy to make this router a bridge to your current wireless network (i.e. if you have a non-wireless device that you need to be physically connected to a router). And last but certainly not least, yes you guessed it.. OPEN SOURCE! Different firmwares (DD-WRT, Tomato) provide many useful features such as real-time bandwidth monitoring along with many other network admin tools and technical tweaks you can't find anywhere else.

Signal Strength: 5/5 I've tested the range on this device with professional HP laptops, Macbook Pros, and various netbooks and I've never had a problem. I did not actually measure the distances from the router (and for this I apologize.. I guess that would be pretty useful here) but I don't foresee anyone having any issues within reasonable distances.

Customer Support: N/A. Sorry folks... For starters I don't know how Netgear handles customer support on this model, but honestly I avoid all customer support as I support my own devices. BUT, again at [...] you'll find innumerable forums and walk-through's that will guide you through everything you'll encounter, so the support there is 5/5.

Long story short: 5/5 for power-users who want the most from their stuff and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and have some fun.

-Nick (NEMX)

P.S. I'm currently running DD-WRT on mine. Happy routing!
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!, August 10, 2011
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
I'm not computer savy, so my extremely geeky son-in-law set it up for me. It took him about an hour because he had to go online for assistance, and then had to somehow "fool" the thing to get it to work. Anyway, the router worked fine for 3 months, and then it stopped working. I phoned Netgear tech support and received absolutely abysmal service. The tech would tell me to do something, I would do it, the result he wanted didn't happen, so he would tell me to do the exact same thing again. This went on and on for half an hour, at which time he became impatient and snippy with me. Clearly, he didn't know what he was doing. (Add to that the fact that his English was poor and I had to ask him to repeat himself constantly.)

I phoned Netgear tech support back and asked to speak to a supervisor. The person insisted that I tell him why I was calling, so he could relay it to the supervisor. I did, he put me on hold and came back a few minutes later. He told me that he had just explained my predicament to the supervisor and that "no matter what, I should keep holding". Five minutes later, I was STILL holding. I'm sure they had a good laugh over that, at Netgear tech "support".

I ended up taking the router to Best Buy. It took them 5 minutes to determine that none of the ports were working. They were willing to make a full refund, but I opted to just swap it out for a Linksys. I was able to set it up MYSELF in about 15 minutes.

A few days after my call to Netgear, I received an email from them, stating that my "free phone tech support" had expired, but that I could attempt to resolve my problem with them via email. NO THANKS!

I understand that the Netgear might just have been a "lemon" but that is NO excuse for the extremely POOR tech service.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Aug 11, 2011 12:23:32 PM PDT
Hi Constance,

We apologize for the issues you had with customer support. It sounds like you may have received a unit with hardware issues, which is rare but it does happen. If you're willing to give this router or another NETGEAR router a try, our technicians are available to help you at amazon@netgear.com.

Regards,

NETGEAR Team
 
 

36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My experience with Netgear support, January 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
Netgear: Sir, we can help you get the amber lights green for you (gigabit wired connection), but you will have to pay a one time fee of 36 dollars for us to take over your computer to change these settings. We also understand that you have a gigabit LAN, but you will have to pay thirty six dollars for us to apply these settings.
Me: I just bought the router yesterday.
Netgear: We understand sir (strong, hard to understand accent), but you will have to pay 36 dollars for us to give you a gigabit connection.
ME: FURIOUS, NO THANK YOU. HAVE A NICE DAY!

BACK IN THE BOX!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're interested in using the USB share port, please read on., October 3, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
Except for the USB port, everything else is just about perfect. Now let's talk about the USB port.

1. Shared path cannot be changed. From the settings, you can change the sharing computer (router) name, and the default shared path, which is USB_Storage. However, if you unplug the device, and plug it back in, it reverts back to the default. And if you plug in multiple storage devices (using a USB hub), it automatically creates new shared path names, and can possibly change the path of the first device you plugged in. And again, all that can be changed in settings, and gets reverted back when unplugged/replugged. This is very frustrating if you're relying on the network storage devices for a fixed path syncing/backup program.

2. Not enough power at the USB port. It won't power up 2.5" portable hard drives. If you use 3.5" enclosure, it doesn't always work either; on and off. Haven't tried a 3.5" external HDD, but I assume it works. The only thing it can power up by itself for sure is a USB thumb drive, which has very limited space, if you're using it as a fixed network storage. The power issue however, can be solved with a self-powered USB hub.

3. Lack of settings when using it for FTP/HTTP (via-Internet) access. For FTP/HTTP accesses outside of the home network (via-Internet), you can either choose no password or using the default admin account and password (same one for router login). This makes it impossible to share your FTP/HTTP access with others without either giving them your router login info, or letting them access freely.

All and all, it's worth the price. And if you seriously want to have a NAS, you should buy a separate NAS, instead of using the router's USB port. After all it's for "easy sharing" anyways. Not hardcore NAS features. Hope this helps.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Easy Setup, even for Amature like me, May 30, 2010
By 
Roger S. "Rothgar" (Oak Creek, Wisconsin United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: NETGEAR WNR3500L N300 Open-Source Gigabit WiFi Router (WNR3500Lv2), 128MB NAND and 128MB RAM, 480 MHz MIPS 74K Processor (Personal Computers)
This is the first wireless home setup I have attempted, so I knew nothing about anything. I'm running Vista on a 3GHz Pentium with RR cable internet. The install instructions were clear and easy to follow, it was virtually plug and play. In about 20 minutes I was up and running, and my Wii system was on the internet. Decided to set up the wireless before I buy a laptop. I highly recommend this router to everyone, easy enough to use for people like me, and my friends who actually know what their doing tell me it would be a great router for them also.
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