Netgear WNR2500 Review
This model isn't quite as fast as an N600 router but has plenty of speed. It maintains excellent signal strength at long range and it's not prone to dropping connections.
The Netgear WNR2500 (starting at $55, Amazon) is a bit of an oddball in that it's neither an N300 nor an N600 router. This is a relatively uncommon N450 router, which lies between the other two with a theoretical maximum speed of 450 megabits per second. this router is a bit slower than N600 models, that's to be expected, according to a Netgear WNR2500 review from an expert at Small Net Builder, and it still has pretty good download speeds all things considered. This reviewer comments that the router has impressive range, given how cheap it is, and its performance at a distance is reliable.
Netgear WNR2500 reviews on the retail site Newegg are mainly positive, with users saying that the router is easy to set up and plenty fast enough for regular Internet use, as well as more intensive tasks such as streaming Netflix video. Although one buyer does comment that the router died after only a month of use, other reviews tout this model's reliability.
Where to buy
The Netgear WNR2500 supports 802.11b/g/n wireless standards. It's a single-band router that runs on the 2.4 GHz band and has no 5 GHz band. On the back of the router are four 10/100 LAN ports but no gigabit Ethernet ports, so if you need those faster connections -- for streaming of high-definition video or online gaming, for example -- this isn't your router. The Netgear WNR2500 has three external antennas, a design that may offer a slight improvement in signal strength and speed over models with two antennas. Other devices can easily connect to the router using a WPS button. Users can set up a guest-access connection with this router, so visitors can connect to the Internet without being able to poke around the network. The router also supports the WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption protocols. The Netgear WNR2500 is compatible with the Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix operating systems. Netgear offers a free app called Netgear Genie, a nice extra that lets users monitor and control the router remotely from a smartphone or similar device.
The Netgear WNR2500 certainly isn't the fastest budget router out there, but reviews praise the reliability and speed nonetheless. If you simply need a router to connect your devices to the Internet, this model will serve you well.