Netgear Australia RangeMax Next Wireless Router (WNR854T)
Drop-outs while it's hot
- Good speed for streaming video, Gigabit Ethernet switch, keyword content filtering
- Random drop-outs, had to restart after every settings change, worked best with Netgear adapters only
Good features and wireless streaming speed were countered by random drop-outs, which caused us many headaches.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The airy box that surrounds the inner workings of Netgear's WNR854T wireless router certainly isn't the smallest we've seen. Its large size serves a purpose: it allows the unit's three antennas to hide inside. The WNR854T is an 802.11 draft-n router with a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, so it should provide plenty of bandwidth for users after quick wireless and wired speeds — when the router works.
After an extended evaluation of this router, using the latest firmware, we found it to be unreliable, both for streaming media, and for keeping an Internet connection alive. After seemingly random periods of time, the router dropped off our network completely – it would drop wireless and wired computer connections – and would only work after a reset. This happened a lot during the first few days we used it, then it settled down for a while, then it started dropping out again, then it became reliable again. It was quite moody.
We used the router with an ADSL1 connection (512Kbps) to download torrents on a main PC, to stream video to a Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000 and to use the Internet on a roaming laptop and a secondary wireless PC. This usage pattern didn't change – it's the same one we use for all routers – nor was the router ever powered down for more than a few seconds during our tests. Nevertheless, the uptime of the router varied from a few minutes to a few hours, up to a few days. It's a problem that we were not able to pin down to a specific machine or task.
However, when it did stay up for a long period of time, it produced an average wireless throughput of 5.71MBps to our laptop. This was recorded in 'mixed mode' (802.11g + 802.11 draft-n) and in 'max speed mode' (strictly 802.11 draft-n). So even though 802.11g devices were connected to it in mixed mode, the router was still able to reach its maximum speed. When streaming a DivX-encoded video to the EVA8000, the 802.11 draft-n transfer rate dropped to 4.79MBps. This means there is still ample bandwidth for other tasks while streaming videos across a wireless network.
Indeed, despite its maximum transfer rate being slower than the Linksys WRT310N, the last draft-n-based router we reviewed, the WNR854T had a better file transfer rate to our laptop while simultaneously streaming data to the EVA8000.
We weren't able to use our standard Linksys 300N (version 2) notebook adapter for testing, as it would only connect to the router at 54Mbps. Instead, we had to use a Netgear WN121T USB adapter in order to reach maximum speed.
The WNR854T's interface is simple and has good features. The Setup Wizard detected our Internet connection in a few seconds, and all we had to do was enter our login details. However, the Wizard didn't offer us the option of changing our wireless settings.
The unit comes with a built-in firewall, and keyword filters can be applied. A message saying "Web site blocked by NETGEAR Firewall" will appear when attempts are made to access unauthorised content.
Annoyingly, the router restarted automatically after any settings were changed, be they wireless or firewall related. Even changing the wireless channel, or simply adding a keyword to the filter, made the router restart, which was very annoying.
Basically, the WNR854T was more of a headache than a joy to use, but it produced good speed for streaming videos when it did work. If it was more reliable, played nicer with non-Netgear adapters and didn't restart after every single change, we wouldn't have given it such a low rating.
Join the newsletter!
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- D-Link Launches Their Fastest-Ever NBN AC5300 MU-MIMO Modem Router
- Netgear delivers industry first networking devices with remote management from anywhere in the world
- Synology announces slew of new hardware + software at Sydney event
- Linksys signs on as PAX AUS partner
- NETGEAR 4G LTE Modem Keeps You Online
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review: A port worthy of PC gaming's mightiest rigs
- 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
- TPIT Sourcing SpecialistQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTProject Manager - Rail Industry or Survey or Construction bkgrdOther
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCMid-level SAP ArchitectQLD
- FTService Desk Engineer/IT Help desk Support - Multiple positionsVIC
- CCWin10 Apps PackagerWA
- FTDigital Content Manager | AEM , HTML and CSSOther
- FTFull Stack .Net DeveloperQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - SalesforceNSW
- FTLinux Systems EngineerOther
- FTField Services TechnicianACT
- FTAutomation Tester - 12 month contract - Big 4 BankOther
- FTUX Researcher - ContractNSW
- FTSenior Digital Producer/Digital Program ManagerOther
- FTIntegration Solution Architect - $800 per dayOther
- FTHealthcare TesterVIC
- CCIT Specialist - System ServicesNSW
- TPTechnical WriterQLD
- FTFront End Developer l HTML5 , SCSS, Bootstrap, KnockOut, MVVPNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- CCInfrastructure ArchitectNSW
- FTCloud Test Engineer - AWS/Azure - IaaSOther