Netgear WGU624 wireless firewall router
Netgear has designed its WGU624 wireless firewall router as a workaround to poky Wi-Fi networks by incorporating 5GHz 802.11a and 2.4GHz 802.11b/g support into the device, allowing you to send data in two separate radio frequencies instead of just one. No matter which frequency you choose, you can count on fast delivery of your data from hundreds of feet away; the WGU624 earned excellent overall throughput scores in CNET Labs' tests. Thankfully, the router's secure WPA technology and extensive firewall features protect your transmissions in both modes. There's just one catch: to experience all of the WGU624's benefits, you'll need to install a Netgear WG511U PC Card, or other dual band adapter, in each of the computers on your network. At $65 for the PC Card and $105 for the router, the costs can add up. If all you seek is a cheap wireless router for occasional use in the home or the office, check out the instead.
With the WGU624, Netgear has livened up the look of its routers by switching from its usual gray to white. The device includes two sturdy plastic feet that snap onto its short side, letting you stand the router on its edge. Unfortunately, it doesn't include brackets for wall mounting, the inclusion of which makes it easier for you to hang the WGU624 high on a wall or ceiling to maximize range.
You configure the WGU624 via its browser-based configuration tool, which lets you manipulate important features of both its integrated 802.11a and 802.11b/g access points. Those features include establishing keys for 64-, 128-, and 152-bit WEP encryption, setting a passphrase and encryption type (AES or TKIP) for WPA, and specifying an IP address for connecting to a RADIUS server. The tool also allows you to block traffic going in and out by preventing certain MAC addresses from accessing the router, as well as forbidding the router to connect to earmarked Web sites. The supersleuth in you can check the tool's Web log to see which sites users have attempted to access through the WGU624.
The WGU624's browser-based configuration tool lets you adjust the router's NAT (Network Address Translation) and SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) capabilities, which enable you to obscure and thwart peeps into your computer's contents. You can also use the tool to configure settings for the router's handy DMZ port, which lets you set one of your computers outside the WGU624's firewall for the purposes of gaming or videoconferencing.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Throughput in Mbps|