The Good Supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies; internal antenna design; intuitive and responsive Web interface; easy to set up; good mixed mode and range throughput speed.
The Bad Short range; not true dual-band; no Gigabit support; no print serving or NAS functionality, no USB.
The Bottom Line The Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router WNDR3300 is a basic Wireless-N router that only offers a taste of dual-band wireless networking. Its short range and limited feature set may override its decent mixed-mode performance.
|NetGear WNDR3300 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router||Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Smart Wi-Fi Router||Netgear R8500 Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router||Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router||NetGear R6300 WiFi Router|
|Price||$48 Amazon.com||$230 Dell Home||$217 Amazon.com||$250 Dell Home||$65 Amazon.com|
NetGear WNDR3300 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router
The Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router WNDR3300 features a rather misleading name. The router doesn't support true dual-band wireless-N, nor does it offer very good range. It's a basic router with two separate access points (AP), one of which supports Wireless-N and can operate in either 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies--similar to the D-Link DGL-4500--while the other is a regular 802.11G 2.4GHz-only AP. The result is that when in dual-band mode the router is able to offer Wireless-N only in the 5Ghz frequency, while the 2.4Ghz frequency is maxed out at the 802.11G speed. Still, if you have a growing stable of 5Ghz-based devices and want a router that supports both frequencies, the WNDR3300 is the cheapest router on the market (at about $100) that will suit your needs.
While its max throughput is relatively low, the router offered very consistent and considerably high throughput speeds on both our mixed-mode and long-range throughput tests. Unfortunately, its range is possibly the shortest among Wireless-N routers. If range is not important to you and your network primarily consists of 5GHz-based clients, the WNDR330 is a good bet. Otherwise, for the same price, we'd recommend the 2.4GHz-only Linksys WRT310N; or you can pay $50 more for the true dual-band Linksys WRT610n.
Design and setup
The Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router WNDR3300 looks like others in Netgear's RangeMax series, with the sleek casing (that attracts fingerprints very easily) and the big, round, blue-glowing button on top. The button also activates the router's Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature, which instigates a short window of time wherein other WPS-compliant clients can enter the network without having to manually enter the encryption code. We like the blue light emitted from the button, but also found it a little too bright for certain locations, such as your bedroom, or beneath a television if you want to watch a film in a darkened room. In this case, you might want to cover it with a piece of black duck tape, as you cannot turn it off.
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