Microsoft MN-700 wireless broadband router review: Microsoft MN-700 wireless broadband router

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design and ease of use: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:

The Good Easy to install; automated updates; impressive security features; extremely long range; solid tech support.

The Bad Short on advanced options; no wireless bridge support.

The Bottom Line This router is capable and easy to use, but Dell's TM2300 offers more-advanced features and faster throughput.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Review summary

Microsoft's new 802.11g MN-700 wireless broadband router is designed so that even a novice user can expand a home network easily, but it has a few shortcomings compared to the Editors' Choice-winning Dell TrueMobile 2300 . The setup process and the configuration utility are very user-friendly, and Microsoft's support options will help with most problems you might encounter. It offers most features that home users need, and the Setup Wizard automatically turns on wireless security--a unique and much-needed detail. Its range is excellent. Experienced users will be frustrated by the lack of advanced configuration options and wireless bridge support, however.

Like the Dell TrueMobile 2300's streamlined installation routine, the MN-700's Setup Wizard gathers the necessary network information automatically before configuring both your wireless network adapter and the MN-700. The Setup Wizard supports all Windows platforms; a nonautomated, browser-based interface is available for other OSs.

We uncovered a bug in the Setup Wizard software that prevented the application from completing normally when we attempted to use a workgroup name that contained a period. Microsoft tech support worked quickly to determine the cause and promised a fix in a future release.

The MN-700's documentation is excellent. In addition to the printed installation guide, you get a thorough, printed user guide with a lengthy troubleshooting section, as well as detailed instructions for nonstandard installations, such as using the MN-700 as an access point instead of as a router.

You use the Broadband Network Utility, which you install on one of your networked machines during setup, to check network status and adjust the MN-700's configuration. Like the Setup Wizard, the Broadband Network Utility is novice-friendly; it's easy to navigate, with clear help information on each screen. The utility also checks automatically for updates, making it simple to keep the firmware current.

The MN-700's impressive security setup includes one unique and much-needed touch: wireless security is enabled during setup--no other product we've seen does this--and other security features, such as Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall and NAT, are always on. Additional security features include parental controls, client filtering, 64/128-bit WEP, 256-bit WPA, DMZ, MAC address filtering, and detailed logging.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Microsoft MN-700 wireless broadband router

Part Number: MN700 Released: Sep 16, 2003
Low Price: $34.97 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep 16, 2003
  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Connectivity Technology wired
    wireless
  • Weight 0.7 lbs