145 of 152 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2014
I am an IT in California. I must have installed about 50 of these in the last two years. They're all still in service and I have not had any problems reported, complaints, or need to replace. The wired Ethernet ports reliably pass well in excess of 900Mbps. In the same room with the WNDR4500, you can expect between 50Mbps and 200Mbps depending on how good your wireless receiver is. iMac receivers, for example, are excellent.
Transmit power of the WNDR4500 is excellent; the best, in fact. Power is proportional to transmission speed; the farther away you are from a wireless transmitter, the slower your Internet will become. So power of transmission is of paramount importance. You can reliably measure power using software like inSSIDer; don't go by number of bars. I prefer the WNDR4500's 2.4GHz transmitter (to the 5GHz 802.11ac transmitter) because signal power is about 12dB higher. Having two transmitted signals in a household just confuses clients and creates two separate independent networks; which is bad when you want all the computers and accessories in a house to talk to each other. So, I generally turn off the 5GHz transmitter in the Netgear Genie.
WNDR4500 is NOT a beamformer; and that is a good thing, in my opinion. The latest generation of Routers tout "beamforming". This is a good idea, theoretically, only if a transmitter knows (can localize) where the receiver actually is (your computer or cellphone). But I don't believe it is possible to localize a receiver well because a typical house provides too many reflections, barriers, and receivers to a transmitter. So if a Router makes a mistake in localization (points its beam in the wrong direction), then that means someone in your household is going to get a lousy low power signal.
The worst thing that I can say about the WNDR4500 is that it needs a power cycle when it loses sync. But that happens rarely (once every six months). Power cycling can be required, for example, after electrical brownout or if an upstream modem got reset. If you protect this unit by a Belkin Pivot surge protector, as you should protect all your household electronics, manual power cycles become unnecessary after a brownout. Many complaints on Amazon about the WNDR4500 could have been prevented by a Belkin Pivot. There is no federal enforcement of what may be called a "surge protector". I recommend Belkin Pivot because it works: it can absorb 4000 Watts of electrical surge.
Don't use the WNDR4500 as an Access Point. There is an Access Point check box in their Genie interface. But as soon as you check it, you can't Administrate the WNDR4500 any more because the Genie loses its IP address (the IP assigned by an upstream device doesn't work to get to the Genie). Netgear should definitely fix that. If you need an Access Point, use an Airport Extreme connected to the upstream device by Ethernet cable. Yes, you can mix Apples and Netgears, but only by cable.
The best way to Administrate this device is by routerlogin.net
The default address is 192.168.1.1 (user id: admin, password: password)
The Netgear Genie will notify you when that changes to 10.0.0.1
In summary, I buy only Airport Extremes and WNDR4500s in 2014.
I continue to buy more of these Netgear units in 2015.
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
First and foremost this is NOT capable of physically terminating a DSL connection. It can perform the authentication and terminate the PPP session. However you ABSOLUTELY do need another device to pysically terminate your DSL connection coming from the service provider, there is no RJ11 port on this router. The bright side is, that can be done with a nice cheap device that operates in what is called bridge mode.
I bought this because the piece of crap "router" that AT&T charged me for didn't have anything like routing features on it. This is a fully featured home router and will perform many high end functions that most devices of this class do NOT do. For the price this is an excellent device. It has both a 2.4 and 5 ghz wireless radios, so you can seperate devices if you have any capable of 5 ghz, which will reduce latency in a home using lots of wireless such as mine. I have 2 ipads, 2 iphones, 2 macs, and an xbox. I've got all the apple gear running on 5ghz so my xbox is alone to use the 2.4 channel with no competition.
If you've got any questions about the specifics of this device, feel free to ask. I'm completely happy with it, and it's worked flawlessly from day 1. I went from using AT&T's $100 "router" that constantly dropped the PPP session and wasn't even getting 65% of the advertised throughput with horrible wireless coverage, to using this for the same price and it does everything that the other piece of junk was supposed to do. Wireless coverage is great, I have a largish house. Router is on the first floor and my den is on the second story. It also has a GOOD NAT engine, which if you know anything about gaming or VoIP this is important. Many cheaper devices have garbage NAT engines and will try to "fix up" sessions that they think aren't working correctly. This doesn't do that. You can also disable any of the onboard fix ups that are in place to make sure traffic is getting through exactly as it reaches you.
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2014
The NETGEAR WNDR-4500 N900 Gigabit Router is one of the few "sure things" in today's ever-changing and infinitely growing field of network technology.
After several months of research, and many hours pouring over documents, texts, and "white papers" available on everything from "abwatts to zettaflops", I made a list of everything I wanted, and needed, in a router for my home and business. The one router that consistently exceeded my expectations was Netgear's WNDR-4500.
I was surprised to find the price of this to be in line with routers of half the integrity. It takes less than 10 minutes to get it up and running. No lengthy setup process, no tricky procedures. Plug the router in. Plug the computer into the router with the Ethernet cable. Start Netgear's "Genie" and follow the simple and easy to understand steps to make it do what you want it to do!
The router has 2.4 and 5 GHz capabilities, and an unbelievable range due to the use of the latest in antenna array technologies (MIMO). Wired and Wireless with Super-Fast data speed. Incredible throughput. The latest security features, and is IPv6 compatible.
Don't waste your time, money, or breath. If you want the best router available to you buy the Netgear WNDR-4500 and see for yourself.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2014
I've owned this router for a few years. Setup was a cakewalk (I did not use the included Genie app). ACL configuration and DNS reservation were straightforward once I found the right tabs. 2.4GHz performance was solid and speedy, and 5GHz was simply FAST, though with a limited range. As everything worked satisfactorily I left the stock firmware in place.
About a year into ownership, I found out that one of the LAN ports was dead. I'm not sure if it was DOA or an acquired issue as I was only using one port until I moved; I plugged a pair of gaming systems directly into the router in the new setup and found that port 2 was toast. Everything else worked great, so I just chose a different port and went about my business.
About a month ago I found that all of the LAN ports were dead, and the connection lights were showing solid green. According to the info in the user guide and on the net, this indicates a hardware failure. I attempted all of the usual troubleshooting steps, reset, firmware, etc. with no luck. Wireless and WAN still work flawlessly (for the time being).
I am strongly considering purchasing a replacement. I did not experience any of the connectivity issues detailed in other reviews, I liked the setup interface and performance, and, most importantly, I have a backup of my configuration ready to apply to a new WNDR4500. (I am not looking forward to recreating my network on another router.) However, reading a lot of these reviews has given me pause. I don't know if my previous experience was a case of getting lucky, or if it's just that those that are unhappy tend to be louder than those that are content. Comparing with similar models, there seems to be a lot of "best/worst router ever" reviews. It's tough to glean relevant bits of information when the signal to noise ratio is less than stellar.
For now I have an old AirPort base station running the show. It's on the slow side but pretty solid. The WNDR4500 definitely spoiled me. Now I just need to decide whether I roll the dice on it again. Because it worked great... until it didn't.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2014
Bought this router in the summer of 2013.
Looking in hinsight, I should have returned this router immediately as the router was already bricked on arrival. No problem. I am a former network admin so I just reinstalled the firmware on the router and it worked.
And when it works, it is a fine router. It performs well, has a great signal strength, and has a fair amount of functionality for a stock firmware (of course DD-WRT and others give you a host of other options). But I came to discover, that this router will corrupt the firmware on every power loss. I kid you not. Everytime there is a power loss or I I unplug the router to move it, the firmware gets corrupted, and the reinstall has to happen again.
Upon investigation, it seems this is a known error with the firmware on the router. I am using the latest version of firmware. And still the problem haven't been resolved.
Frankly, I think this is unacceptable. I am currently investigating buying a new router. Because even if this one works pretty well - when it works - it is a serious annoyance to reinstall firmware so often.
I think Negear does make some fine routers, but I will be very reluctant to buy another Netgear. And it will certainly be a router with a DD-WRT image available instead of stock firmware.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
I just switched from an old DLINK DIR-655 to this router when I had problems with audio cutouts on VOIP. Used as a drop in replacement with no settings changes from default. Those issues appear to be gone now and my max speedtest results went from ~57/10 Mbps to ~120/12 Mbps (on Comcast 50/10 plan). Needless to say I'm very happy with the product so far but will update my review if I run into any issues.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2014
First let me start off by saying that i work in IT so i know how to configure a router.
I will no longer buy netgear products this was my second attempt at buying a dual band netgear router i originally bought the N750, both of these units are supposed to be great with signal but neither of them meet the expectations of what netgear says they should do.
i got both routers because i wanted to be able to use 5ghz range and i do understand that with 5ghz i wont have 100% signal but i live in a very small 2 bedroom apartment and my signal is horrible and never stays connected the last straw was when i was watching a movie on my ps3 that connects on the 2.4ghz range and it constantly loses connection. I do not recommend using netgear routers i will update my review when i find a suitable router to replace this one, i will be returning this router asap
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2014
I purchased the Netgear wndr4500v2 N900 in June 2014 and it is now December 2014 and my router's distance keeps decreasing. When I first purchased that router it reached outside of my home and about 100 feet radius outside my house. Now I am down to the room the router is in to be able to get service. I have purchased new laptops, new phones, new printers, new modem, new cables and still no distance. I have a very small house and I can't even get one bar in the kitchen!! I called Netgear's tech support however they will spend an hour on the phone with you getting all your personal information to set up an account and get your router registered and then they tell you they need a credit card number in order to answer any questions. I told him I don't have a credit card and the tech support guy, who could not understand any English, would pretend not to hear me and keep asking me for my credit card number and go through some stupid sales pitch. So I literally told him on the phone do you want me to make up a credit card number and he said yes. So I did and then he asked if I had permission to use the card and I said no, I just made up the number. He ignored me, tried to run the card and said it was an invalid card. I told him yes, its an invalid card, I just told you I made up the credit card number and I don't have permission to use it. So he began his sales pitch again, word for word. It was the most frustrating experience of my life. I hate their technical support and each month my router reaches less and less not matter how many times I reboot it or do the updates online. The Netgear wndr4500 N900 is a waste of money if you plan on using it longer than a couple months and need wireless service.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2014
This router is definitely one of the best choices for a top N mode router in terms of performance and wireless range, which are its quite good highlights.
But, it is full of quirks and limitations that may bother some, especially if coming from a D-Link router like me (I upgraded from a DIR-655 A3). The following points are still valid for router firmware 22.214.171.124 (7/15):
- First off, and this probably doesn't matter to most, but the user manual is pretty bad. It leaves out many settings, and doesn't go into detail on several important ones. Luckily most things are detailed better in the help section at the bottom of the router config pages, though you obviously can't investigate that until after purchase!
- For having a dual-core 600mhz cpu and 128mb ram (top features), the router config pages can feel pretty darn sluggish.
- A "DNS relay" feature is forced, always setting clients with the router's IP as the DNS server. Even if you manually specify DNS servers to use in the router config, it will still set the router's IP on clients. (Of course, this can be overcome by manually setting them on each computer, if really feel the need to.)
- Some advanced wireless settings are non-existent, like beacon interval and DTIM.
- No report of signal strength of the connected wireless clients. So a nice network management feature I once had is now missing. (However, this can be had using the completely optional Genie software, but unfortunately it is bloatware that also installs a background service for some reason!)
- No list of connections the router is handling. So another nice network management feature I once had is now missing, and to me this one is a MAJOR drawback! (And the main reason I had to dock a star rating.)
- No blinky lights. There's no indication of activity whatsoever when the router is operating normally. But this is probably a good thing, since blinking lights can be a distraction. The lights are dim enough, though, so it would still have been nice to see when there is traffic occurring.
- The logs are not very detailed at all, and display wrong times (unless you happen to live in the right time zone by default). To make it show correct times, you have to set your time zone found in the Security > Schedule section, which wasn't quite intuitive to find.
- The router does access a time server, but there's no way to specify an alternate one.
- Certain setting names are confusing, like does NAT Filtering "Secured" mean address/port restricted and "Open" mean endpoint independent? And does "Disable Port Scan and DoS Protection" really mean the SPI firewall feature?
- CTS/RTS is disabled by default. This is probably not an issue unless you have a hundred wireless devices, but you may need to lower default 2347 to avoid issues depending on your environment or devices. (And Netgear feels you should not know anything about these settings, and simply warns to not touch them!)
- Apparently there's no way to limit the device mode connection type, such as allowing only N mode devices so G mode stuff can never connect. Unless this can be done with the "connection speed" settings; like does "Up to 450Mbps" exclude G mode, or is mixed mode always used for all speed setting choices? If it is always mixed mode, then I hope the increased performance specs of this router makes mixed mode no longer a small wireless performance penalty.
- Clients still get a short lease time of at least 1 day even when address reservation is used.
- The email logs function is useless because you cannot specify the smtp port to use, being hardcoded to 25 which most ISPs block. To work around this limitation, you would have to run your own local smtp server and set that in the router's setting, and make that local smtp server relay to the proper server and port your ISP uses.
- The IPv6 feature of the router works at first, but it is not stable at all. After some time (hours or days) the router will suddenly lose all connectivity and reboot itself with IPv6 enabled, so I have to keep it off. Luckily IPv6 is still irrelevant and it can be avoided for the foreseeable future.
***I would NOT recommend getting this router for IPv6 support if that is important to you.*** (Firmware 126.96.36.199 was supposed to fix up IPv6 support, especially on Comcast, but I have found this to not be true at all! This warrants another star off.)
- This router has the opposite of what most others implement for the 2.4ghz band "channel width" setting. Here you can set either the auto 20/40 mode, or 40 only mode. Most other brands have auto 20/40 mode, and 20 only mode. While it is nice Netgear allows using the better 40 only mode, some see this as not very "neighbor friendly."
- QoS control is extremely limited. For example, you can't set a rule for a specific connection (like some remote IP) on a specific client (like one computer). Sure, you can set a rule for a specific computer, but it will affect everything from it. And there's no explanation if specified ports apply to local, remote, or both; so if you wanted to prioritize say just one local port, you don't know if it works because there's no indication. My deduction is it applies to only remote ports, but if you use something that sends its data out using the same local port all the time, it should be able to apply to that too. The claim of "Advanced QoS" on the box is not so honest, really, at least when it comes to configuration control.
Other than these points compared to my previous router, this Netgear router is still a quality unit that is working very well so far. It is very powerful and can handle a lot easily (I read somewhere over 4000 active connections). And if one is feeling quite brave, there is third-party firmware available that probably addresses all these limitations and then some (but then probably introduces lots of quirks of its own, besides being much more complicated).
Update: Be sure to do the "30-30-30" procedure after upgrading this router's firmware. This somewhat improved the IPv6 use and another issue for me, but unfortunately the router still drops internet connectivity and/or reboots itself after 12 or so hours with IPv6 enabled, so it must definitely be a firmware bug as I have tried with two different modems now. :/
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2015
Router would not connect. Called Netgear support and was told "this serial number is on a list of routers that did not pass standards and should not have been sold." I set up a return and replacement today. Hopefully, the next one I receive won't be on this list. This router came from Amazon LLC so I'm not sure what's going on here. I just hope I get a good one next time.