Yep, I finally replaced my aging P3-450 with its ADSL modem and a Linksys WRT54G wireless hub with one tidy box from NetGear, a DG834G. Within a couple of minutes of unpacking it I had it connected to the net and after 15-20 minutes of tweaking I had it secured down.
All I had to do was connect a couple of cables and on start up I logged in via IE where it asked if it wanted to autodetect my connection type. I thought Yeah right, that’ll work. But it did (PPPoA apparently). It then asked for my user name and password and it was away. The interface was pretty obvious I was able to change the SSID and encryption method and then went about adding in the various MAC addresses of my machines just to really tighten things up.
The signal strength is damn sight better than the WRT54G with my main machine (up a floor and across the other side of the house from it) getting a couple bars more signal. However the nicest thing about is how it looks. The V2 model has an Apple sort of style to it with its slim curved proportions and white casing. Its currently perched on top of a surround sound speaker until we find it a better home. The only thing I can say against it is that the version 3 firmware seems a little flaky. The box came with version 1 and I upgraded for ADSL2 support, but I’m tempted to downgrade again.
The reason I got the Netgear was because I was annoyed with the constant humming of the PC used to run the old setup thats been tucked away at the side of our sofa for the last couple of years. The PC was always on and connected to the net via a USB ADSL modem and the WRT54G was hooked up to it to allow it to act as a gateway. At the time I bought the WRT54G you couldn’t get wireless boxes that were also ADSL modems. You could get them with cable modems (which the WRT54G is incidentally), but thats a different beast from ADSL. I needed to set up a wireless network due to moving stuff round and that was the only way I could see to do it.
I was tempted to get one of the new Netgear MIMO boxes (DG834PN), but one of the main reasons I picked the DG834G was due to VPN access. Not its VPN access as such, but its VPN passthrough capability. Others at work had tried offerings from Belkin and Linksys but the VPN client we use (from Sonicwall) refused to work with them. With this NetGear box though, it just works and since I work from home on occasion, it is important. The MIMO box may work, but I don’t really need anything that fancy.