Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Netgear D6300 Review

After my poor little TPlink Router bit the dust with a recent power fluctuation I was keen to get something with a solid WiFi capability. The TPlink router I was using didn't have the greatest coverage around the house, and certainly not outside the house, and with the recent installation of a Chromecast I was keen to find something with a bit more zing. Also, due to my dodgy cabling set up, I have half my machines on one side of the house, and the other half on the other side. The cabling between the two goes through the router and I wanted a gigabit link between the two halves.

So a router with 5GHz wireless and gigabit networking? My local nerd supplier handed over the $399 Netgear D6300 and told me it was the best he had. He noted my sceptical look, but assured me that it was good to go. OK I'll have a crack at it and see how it goes.

It took about 45 minutes to configure it - I've got a fairly complex network with a lot of crap all over the place, all sorts of forwards and Dynamic DNS configured. I also have a large number of static DHCP entries - nightmare. Once I got it all across, plugged in and set up and away we went. I quite like the Netgear method of showing what's happening on the network. That's one of the very few things I do like about this router.

Here are the other things:

  • the wireless is good
  • throughput on the gigabit network is very high, so that's good
  • Dynamic DNS works out of the box and has some nice reporting
  • it's not a bad looking bit of gear:

OK so here are the things that suck about this router:
  • the interface is slow. I tested it under:
    • Safari
    • Chrome
    • IE
      • and it was pish under all of them. Slow to refresh and slow to respond.
  • update stopped part way through and I had to restart it - thought I'd bricked the thing
  • updates to DHCP require a reboot of the damn router! What the hell?! All I'm doing is changing a MAC address or an IP and the whole thing has to reboot to update it. This makes me very unhappy and annoyed.
  • it wouldn't initially talk to one side of the network - I ended up having to install a gigabit switch to get the thing to work properly. This isn't optimal, although it does take the network link between the network sides away from the router for when it restarts every time I perform a basic function. 
All in all, for the price, I'm a bit ambivalent towards the D6300. My dirty old TPlink, with no frills, worked pretty well and I wasn't hating on it too much when it died. Now that it is gone, this Netgear has a bit to do before I'm impressed. We will see how it goes over time, however I wouldn't rush out to buy this one.

2 comments:

  1. i was thinking about buying a Netgear R6300 or ASUS RT-AC66U 802.11ac, and i have a few questions, first off, if i buy this overseas (I live in Australia) will any Netgear Power cable/adapter work with this, we have a different sockets over here in Australia (Australian standard AS 3112, 240V) will any Netgear power adapter work with the model? and second of all i was wondering what you think of the two? Oh and will it give me a new IPv4 adress? And how to configure vpn on router?

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  2. Hi Willie. I can't answer the questions with regards to the ASUS RT router. Most of the adaptors you buy with these routers will be supply the same power to the router - it's just the power point end that changes. No, any Netgear power adaptor will not work with this model - it has a specific volt / amp requirement.
    I haven't really played with the ASUS so I can't comment on it, but I will say that the Netgear is doing its job well at the moment.
    Regarding the IPv4 address - are you referring to internal or external? Internal is configurable and external is up to your ISP. What sort of VPN are you talking about?
    Thanks for taking the time to write.

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