Top five Wi-Fi routers with built-in network storage

Generally, for network storage needs, I would recommend getting a dedicated NAS server, such as the Synology DiskStation DS1511+. However, if your needs are limited to casual usage, such as sharing documents and streaming music and photos, then a router with built-in network storage capability -- one that comes with internal storage or can host an external storage device and shares that with the rest of the network -- fits the bill better.

While much inferior to a NAS server in terms of features and especially performance, some routers actually have more to offer, in terms of storage, than one might expect and may just be what you need. In any case, getting a router of this type plus an external hard drive is a lot cheaper than a dedicated NAS server.

Following is a list of five top routers with built-in support for network storage that I've reviewed in recent years. … Read more

Top 5 wireless routers of 2011 that ain't so last year

The wireless router is arguably the most important piece of computer equipment in your house, since it connects the rest of your gadgets to one another and the Internet.

Now that we're well into the new year, let's look back at the top five routers of 2011. These routers will stay relevant this year and maybe even beyond. They are a handful from among the many I reviewed last year that represent what consumers will find on the market. … Read more

Top 5 wireless routers of 2011 that will last beyond 2012

The wireless router is arguably the most important piece of the networking setup at your home or your office.

It's the central gateway that connects to the Internet, then shares that connection with all of the devices connected to it, via a network cable or Wi-Fi signal. Other services depend on the router, as well, such as file sharing, voice over IP, remote access, and VPN.

A router generally has to be on and functioning 24-7. There are thousands, if not millions, of data packages going through it every day, and you expect it to work without any hiccups. Ironically, it's also the device that most people pay the least attention to. In fact, the only time it's noticed at all is when it's not working right.

That said, it's very important to pick a router that's not just fast and feature-rich, but also reliable. Following is the list of the top five wireless routers I've reviewed this year that fit that description.… Read more

Netgear WNDR3800 N600 router review: Unintentionally top-notch

The WNDR3800 N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router isn't intended to be Netgear's top-of-the-line wireless router for homes. That's the role of the WNDR4500, which makes no compromises and offers 450Mbps wireless speed on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

However, in our testing, we found that the WNDR3800 is arguably the best router among those recently announced by Netgear. For one, despite the fact that it only supports the 300Mbps standard, its real-world data rates on the 2.4GHz band are better than the WNDR4800's.

Furthermore, the WNDR3800 offers something that its big brother doesn't: it can host a USB external hard drive as a personal cloud storage option. It even comes with a piece of software called ReadyShare Cloud PC-Agent, which enables VPN-like access for the remote computer, as though the remote computer were in the same local network as the router.

On the other hand, the WNDR4500's storage capability is limited to that of a local network.

The router also offers great range and signal stability. It comes with a helpful Netgear Genie desktop application and a very easy-to-use and robust Web interface that both help novice and advanced users alike to set up and manage a network.

At a street price of around $150, it's a good choice for homes and home offices.

For more information on the WNDR3800's features and performance, check out CNET's full review of the Netgear WNDR3800 N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router.… Read more

Netgear ships premium WNDR3800 dual-band router

Netgear announced today the availability of its top-of-the-line true dual-band router, the N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Premium Edition (model WNDR3800).

Introduced at CES 2011, the WNDR3800 is an upgrade to the company's existing WNDR3700. Netgear says it's the first home router to offer the Clear Channel Selector feature and also the first that's capable of creating private cloud file sharing through Netgear's new ReadyShare Cloud service.

Clear Channel Selector, which the company says is generally available only in expensive wireless routers for businesses, "automatically detects when the Wi-Fi channel currently in use becomes … Read more

Netgear upgrades its premium wireless router

LAS VEGAS--If you like Netgear's premium WNDR3700 router, you'll likely love what the company announced today. It's the upgraded version of the company's flagship router, now called N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router--Premium Edition, model number WNDR3800.

This is Netgear's high-end, noncompromising consumer wireless router that has two USB ports to host printers and external storage devices. The router offers what the WNDR3700 had, plus a handful of new features, including:

Readability Remote: a feature that allows users to access their data on a USB external storage device attached to the router from any Mac, PC, … Read more