Netgear Australia DG834N
A solid all-purpose modem router
- 802.11n capability, great DSL sync speeds
- No Gigabit Ethernet, poor wireless data transfer speeds
Netgear’s DG834N provides good value in terms of router and modem capability and security features. We were very impressed with its modem sync speeds, but no Gigabit Ethernet and poor throughput speeds make this a poor router for heavy data transfer and media streaming needs.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Netgear's DG834N is a combined 802.11n draft wireless router and DSL modem built with simplicity in mind. Its modem is superb, managing to sync at some of the fastest speeds we've seen for a DSL modem. However, no Gigabit Ethernet and poor throughput speeds may make this unattractive for people who need to conduct heavy data transfers and media streaming on their local network.
Netgear has packed in a number of features to maximise the DG834N's value. Along with an ADSL2+ modem, this unit also packs a four-port router and 802.11n draft 2.0 Wi-Fi for theoretical throughput speeds of 270Mbps. Our biggest disappointment with this device is ultimately its Ethernet ports. Although four is sufficient for most uses, they are limited to a 100Mbps connection speed — a far cry from today's Gigabit standard. It is odd to find a router that has faster wireless than wired connectivity; the ports' speed impacts on data transfer speeds and media streaming.
The router is slightly larger than most, but its vertical design makes it easy to hide or stick into cramped spaces. The unit has the same two-tone gloss white and grey colour scheme common in most of Netgear's low- to mid-range routers and modems; it's an attractive design that doesn't draw attention to itself.
Setup is largely automated. Users have the choice of either a setup CD or the router's web server for configuration; both provide a quick installation that configures the router with presets fit for most users. Establishing an Internet connection is extremely simple — the router automatically configured its DSL settings and simply required us to input our DSL account details. Configuration options can be easily accessed from a simply laid-out Web page.
We were disappointed to find that the router has no built-in Quality of Service (QoS) feature, but its wireless and security features are implemented well. Users are unable to change between 20MHz and 40MHz modes, and there are only seven radio channels to choose from, as opposed to a usual 13. Still, the option of two N-only modes — 130Mbps and 270Mbps — makes it easy to work with draft 1.0 or draft 2.0 802.11n adapters. Wireless security standards include WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK encryption, with the option of both TKIP and AES passphrases. The DG834N also has a configurable firewall, allowing for customised rules as well as domain and keyword blocking. Basic denial of service (DoS) attacks can be repelled at a hardware level.
We were extremely impressed with the DG834N's modem capabilities. It managed to sync to our DSL exchange at 24Mbps downstream — the fastest we've seen — and 1Mbps upstream. An international broadband speed test confirmed these speeds, but we did some real world testing to make sure. International traffic managed an average speed of 2.3MBps, a fairly fast result given that theoretical 24Mbps speeds should translate to 3MBps. Our proximity to the DSL exchange helped these results somewhat, but they still attest to the DG834N's modem capabilities.
Unfortunately, local throughput speeds are its weakest feature. We transferred several large files from a computer connected at 100Mbps to an 802.11n capable laptop at both 130Mbps and 270Mbps to test the router's data transfer capability. At close range, speeds averaged 4.3MBps and peaked at 4.46MBps. However, at 15m with two brick walls as obstacles, speeds dropped dramatically to 1.6MBps. These speeds pale in comparison to the much cheaper TP-Link TL-WR841ND, which, although it is only a router, seems to have much better throughput capability. Close range transfer speeds won't affect Internet speed but at 15m, the decrease in throughput will likely impinge on Internet traffic at least a little.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- New Skype Preview lets Windows 10 Insiders manage phone texts on PCs
- Telstra’s ‘Free Data Day” sets new record for mobile downloads
- Facebook to begin testing its Internet drone this year
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCIT Service Management Delivery SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Network ConsultantVIC
- FTSystem EngineerNSW
- CCProject Manager :ApplicationsWA
- CCApplication Specialist (Cerner) - Brisbane BasedNSW
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Security LeadVIC
- TPCloud DevOps EngineerVIC
- CCCyber Security Analyst - TelcoVIC
- CCEOI - TIBCO DeveloperACT
- FTCloud Automation EngineerSA
- CCTest Lead : Perth BasedSA
- CCWeb Designer or Visual Interactional DesignerNSW
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperOther
- FTIT Business PartnerNSW
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPProject Manager - SAPQLD
- CCSales Support AssociateNSW
- CCSolution Designer - Investment/Trading PlatformNSW
- CCExecutive AssistantVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- TPIntegration DeveloperWA
- FTBusiness Analyst (Payment Systems Project)QLD
- CCSystem AdministratorACT
- FTUX DesignerVIC