March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 03.17.05

Tiny, Wireless, Easy

When it comes to trying out new products I never get tired of saying, ďit worked!Ē I guess itís due to having been through too many hype cycles. So hereís another product I am proud to announce really works; this oneís a gem of a tiny, 802.11g wireless router that was so easy to use, itís as if we really have hit the wireless age.
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By Teresa von Fuchs




Smaller even than Apple’s Airport Express, (at least the router part is, with the power cord Netgear’s travel router weighs the same as the Airport Express: 7 ounces), Netgear’s Travel Router comes with a little padded carrying case and is designed to wirelesslt enable you wherever you may roam (where there is an Ethernet cable of course).

I like portable routers because I am spoiled by wireless access and hate to be tethered. And I like the idea of throwing one in my suitcase and wirelessly enabling a hotel room, but there’s always the fear of broadcasting the connection to the next room. Netgear took care of this worry with the easiest security system I’ve seen; a simple slider switch on the side of the router lets you choose how many users you’d like to enable access to. Keep the marker on one and that’s all you get. The slider offers up to four and though I didn’t get the chance to get five laptops up and running, I’d imagine they mean it. Seconds after I moved the switch from two back to one, my officemate’s laptop lost its connection.

I’ve also set up a few not-portable routers in our office and found that it often took several tries of plugging them in, resetting, restarting my laptop to get them to reliably work. This little guy I just plugged into the wall, plugged into the Ethernet and there he was, showing up on my wireless radar almost immediately.

And even though it worked flawlessly, Netgear’s box tempted me to test its advertised 24/7 call support. So I called and only had to work through three automated menus and then wait on queue for two minutes before a confused tech asked me why I had called if I didn’t need help. This travel router makes the a-list of products not to travel without and will probably even find a home with me when I’m not on the road.
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