NetComm NP802n Wireless Router review: NetComm NP802n Wireless Router

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The Good Gigabit Ethernet ports. Security enabled by default. Good throughput at distance.

The Bad 2.4GHz only. Still fails to meet the 802.11n hype.

The Bottom Line NetComm's take on wireless-n still fails to live up to the hype, but is otherwise a solid and capable performer.

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7.5 Overall

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At first glance, the NetComm NP802n doesn't look much like a NetComm router. Yes, it does still bear all the hallmarks of modern router design — it's small, it's boxy, there's more antennas here than at Pine Gap — but unlike recently tested models such as the NB12WD and N3G005W, it's got a smoother, all-white casing that looks and feels a lot more like competitor Netgear's product lines, although the NetComm NP802n is a tad smaller.

Front panel lights are well laid out and blink in the classic blinkenlights style, while the rear of the router houses four gigabit Ethernet ports, one WAN port and power. One slight oddity of the NetComm NP802n's design is that owing to the three detachable antennas that protrude from the back, the four gigabit Ethernet ports are split into groups of two, divided by the middle antenna.

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The NetComm NP802n sits at the top of the range of NetComm's new line of 802.11n routers; the company has previously stayed away from the 802.11n market, citing lack of formal certification of the 802.11n standard. The other models — the NP801n and NP800n come in a touch cheaper than the NP802n, at AU$179.30 and AU$139.70 respectively, but you'll drop down to standard 10/100 ports and fewer antennas with each step along the way. It's also worth noting that while you can switch the compatibility mode of the router's wireless configuration, depending on which standards you wish to comply with, the router itself only outputs in the 2.4GHz range.

Aside from 802.11n, the NetComm NP802n also comes with four gigabit Ethernet ports; NetComm's pitch for this model is that it's for SOHO and gamers who want the best possible speed. As with every modern router, configuration is primarily via a web interface. One nice touch — in the same style as the N3G005W — is that wireless security is enabled by default. It's a generic enough password, but at least some security is better than no security, and it should encourage users to implement their own wireless security solutions.

Setting up the NetComm NP802n follows the usual predictable router install path. Unlike the NB12WD, NetComm does provide a printed quickstart guide, although like that model, quick is the best way to describe it; not much more than "plug it in, connect up a PC and go to the web interface" printed on a glossy piece of paper.

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