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Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000 review:

Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000

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The Good The Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000 offers decent throughput speeds, excellent range, is easy to use, and has an affordable price. It also comes with a free, comprehensive Parental Control feature.

The Bad The Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000 has no dual-band, Gigabit, USB, or Guest wireless features. Its Web interface is sluggish at times, and the Parental Control requires software installed on the computer to allow exceptions.

The Bottom Line The Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000 is a no-frills budget wireless-N router, with excellent range and a handy and comprehensive Parental Control feature. It's a good fit for those who just need a simple wireless network and the ability to control access to the Internet.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.3 Overall
  • Setup 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Support 7.0

The Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000 is a compact and simple Wireless-N router with a friendly price of just around $70. The router offers decent throughput speeds and excellent range, and it's also the first router from Netgear to come with a free, comprehensive Web-based Web-filtering tool. Missing are some extras, such as Gigabit Ethernet, USB ports, and 5Ghz band support.

If you're looking for an entry-level Wireless-N router and want control over its Internet access, this is a great router to have. If you don't care for Web filtering and want something even more affordable, we'd recommend the D-Link DIR-615 or the Linksys WRT160N.

Design and setup
The Netgear Wireless-N Router WNR2000 looks like others in Netgear's RangeMax series, with a sleek casing that's, unfortunately, a fingerprint magnet; internal antennas; and a vertical stand design. Measuring only 7 by 5.1 by 1.4 inches, however, it's about two-thirds the size of other routers, making it one of Netgear's most compact Wireless-N routers.

On the front of the router resides an array of LEDs that display the status of each port as well as the status of the Internet and wireless connections. Also on the front is the Wi-Fi Protected Setup button, which instigates a short window of time where other WPS-compliant clients can enter the network without manually entering the encryption code.

On the back of the router are four LAN ports and one WAN port, and an on/off switch. The router is designed to operate in the vertical position and comes with a little detachable stand. It's not wall-mountable, though.

We had no problem setting up the WNR2000. The router comes with a software application that walks you through the setup process, from setting up the hardware to creating the wireless network. Alternatively you can use the router's Web interface for the setup process; the interface itself has another Web-based wizard that walks you through step by step.

Considering its physical size and the price point, we didn't expect a lot of features out of the WNR2000; but the router offers something most routers don't: semi-Web-based Parent Control, which Netgear offers in collaboration with OpenDNS. Overall, this offers a simple, free, and effective way to conveniently oversee the use of Internet at home.

To use this, you first need to install the Netgear Live Parent Control software (which is on the included CD). This guides you through a few steps of setting up a free online account with OpenDNS and setting up the overall Web-filter level between five levels: high, moderate, low, minimum, and none, where high means most will be blocked, and none means nothing will be blocked.

From there, you no longer need the software. From anywhere in the world, you can now go to the Parental Controls Center site, log in with the account you just created, and further customize the Web-filtering feature of the router.

Also, you can define the content that each filtering level will block. For example, by default the "moderate" level doesn't include "video sharing," but you can put a check in front of this category to add it. There are about 54 categories to choose from and each of them states what content it filters.

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