Netgear N150 Wireless Router £70
29th Mar 2011 | 15:47
Netgear's N150 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router DGN1000 should get respect for its long name
Netgear N150 Wireless Router review: Overview
A perfect upgrade to an aging ADLS router like the TP-Link W8961ND, this Netgear N150 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router DGN1000 is firmly aimed at the budget ADSL market, but hopefully without any of the horrible shortcomings the TP-Link suffered from.
Despite its budget credentials, the Netgear N150 Wireless Router provides basic but limited 802.11n Wireless-N networking along with a full ADSL2+ modem and four 100BaseT Ethernet LAN ports.
It's also relatively well styled, taking the more popular shiny black chassis approach, has a small footprint and a useful array of cool-blue status lights.
As is Netgear's way, the unit comes with an on/off switch and the usual external power supply. In the box you'll also find a single ADSL filter plus a network and telephone cable so you can easily get started.
Netgear N150 Wireless Router review: Benchmarks
We tested the wireless performance through file transfer speeds in three distance tests to see how the Netgear N150 Wireless Router performed in the real world.
We conducted same room, one room away (one brick-wall and a standard wooden floor away) and a 25m line-of-sight distance tests. The following results are the average transfer speed for a single large file compared to a number of other units.
Same room transfer speed
One room away transfer speed
25m line-of-sight transfer speed
Netgear N150 Wireless Router review: Verdict
If you've ever used a Netgear product before, you'll be utterly at home with the Netgear N150 Wireless Router's web-based interface.
It's the same basic blue and white design that Netgear has always used.
While this is good in a 'we'll always enjoy egg and chips' way, it's starting to look somewhat long in the tooth and provides little extra beyond ease-of-use and a friendly old face.
ADSL configuration is handled automatically with the modem detecting the settings for you, only requiring the username and password to be entered by your good self.
For extra ease-of-use, wireless connections can be established via the standard WPS key or button press, which has become a much appreciated addition on most new routers. To help enhance this as a home unit there's basic keyword filtering of websites and URLs. This is hardly perfect but it's a start.
This means you can be up and running very quickly.
The system uses a single antenna, which does limit the maximum throughput to a single spatial stream of 150Mbps. In the same room this limited transfers to just over 5.2MB/s, which is still useable.
We found this speed extended to our one-room away scenario. Even at 25m the speed only dropped to 1.5MB/s, which is relatively impressive for a budget unit, though it can't touch more half-decent 802.11n units for throughput.
At its full retail price we'd say avoid it. But since the router is available for around half this price, it is certainly competitively priced considering its feature set.
The Netgear N150 DGN1000 has a suitably suave design, which for a budget ADSL router goes a long way.
Despite its wireless handicap of a single antenna, it manages workable speeds, good enough for basic HD streaming, and a usable distance.
Alongside the performance it offers a fast, easy to use interface that, while not the most user-friendly, shouldn't keep the novice baffled for too long.
The initial price for what is ultimately a slower 802.11n ADSL router is somewhat off-putting. However, the street price seems to be half that, making this a good buy for basic home uses.
An entry level ADSL2+ router that provides base Wireless-N capabilities, if you can pick this up for less than £35 it's worth the investment.