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There are two things in the computer world that always seem to give me problems and both require non wired connections, recently I have succeeded with both.

The first is GPS connection for navigation and the second has been solved by this NETGEAR® MIMO router. I have used with only limited success several modem/routers from various companies. Getting them to talk to the Internet is easy, getting the notebook to talk to the Internet without security is easy, with security is trickier, the hardest part is getting the notebook to talk to other PC's on the network and visa versa.


The NETGEAR MIMO offering is 22x15x3cm but add another 3cm to the 15cm depth for the various cable insertions. This wireless modem/router is the first I have used that has no external aerials. Dependant on what blurb you read it has either six or seven internal aerials that not only help with vertical as well as horizontal distance but also total distance.


While I have had the modem/router for a couple of months I have mostly only used it wired as my own notebook decided not to do anything - anyone need a doorstop? - soon after the modem/router arrived. So as sods law prescribes no one wanted a notebook reviewed or if they did there was a waiting list. At last a week ago HP delivered an offering that I shall review in due course but it enabled me to use the part of the Netgear modem/router that had not been used - Wireless.


HP notebooks come with Norton Internet Security that needs updating before it stops nagging you on any boot up, this takes between 30mins and an hour and needs two or three reboots so is ideal for testing. So don my coat, hat, gloves and scarf as well as a fully charged notebook, I venture into my back garden and start the task huge amounts of data are being downloaded, during the first reboot I move out to the front and walk a few houses done the road, the second set of data is being transferred - somewhat slower - but five houses away - long after my DECT phone refuses to function - I still am receiving data. Certainly with any other modem/router I cannot even venture down my not that large garden without losing signal.


Around the house the signal strength varied from excellent to very good, while the garden was good and as I walked down the road it dropped to low before disappearing. So I can definitely say reception using Netgear MIMO is superior to other offerings.


The initial setup is really simple just entering the 192.168.x.x number into your web browser and then your service providers email address and password, nothing else as Netgear interrogate this to find out the other items that often need tweaking.


There is one other thing that really should be done is to change the password for the router and that is simple to do from the web interface. Setting up security is also straightforward and once again providing a seedword is all you need to set up reasonable encryption.


Where you still need to fight a little is with setting up the parts of the network to talk with each other, Windows XP makes it a little easier but I would suggest you start with a PC or notebook that has a floppy drive as Windows will not always note that you have a memory stick attached to take to another PC. However once you have the networking file on a floppy you can transfer it to a memory stick and quite happily run it from this on the other parts of the network and with care this should allow file and print sharing. Novatech have the Range Max DG834PN unit together with a free Wireless USB2 adapter (should your notebook not have wireless) for £99.99. Whereas eBuyer have just the modem/router for £77.44 however their model number differs slightly but the unit looks the same from the illustration.

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Comment by paul_smart, Mar 3, 2006 15:57

Evesham Technology (Lowdown section) have the MIMO unit and PCMCIA card bundle for £94.11 including delivery.

Comment by paul_smart, Mar 3, 2006 15:55

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