Netgear N600 Review – WNDR 3400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router

What is the Netgear N600?

The N600 Wi-Fi router from Netgear is quite a popular wireless router within gaming circles.

Mainly because of its decent speed and extremely budget-friendly price tag.

The N600 rating is derived from its use of a dual-band system which provides speeds of up to 300Mbps per channel. Thus, the 600 evaluation that it is designated with.

Because of its decent speeds, N600 routers are best suited for multimedia streaming and online multiplayer games.



As it uses two channels at the same time, clients can avoid excessive network traffic and signal interference.

Additional features that the Netgear N600 router offers include the ReadyShare program for wireless file sharing with devices within the same network.

It also comes with a decent Parental Control feature that helps parents monitor their children's internet usage.

This router, as with all current Netgear models, also comes with Netgear Genie app support for more convenient tweaking of network settings.

Will Netgear N600 Work with CenturyLink?

Yes, you can connect to the internet using Netgear N600 and CenturyLink. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this.

Step by Step:


Step 1:

Turn on your Netgear N600 and connect it to your desktop or laptop via Ethernet cable.

Step 2:

Open your web browser and input this onto the address bar: 192.168.1.1 to get to the router web interface. Alternatively, you can search for "routerlogin.net" which should take you the Netgear router web interface as well.

Step 3:

Enter your login credentials. If this is your first time setting up the router, the login credentials can be found printed on a label somewhere on your router.

Step 4:

Go to the Advanced Tap, click Setup, and head for the Internet Setup setting.

Step 5:

You will see a question asking if your Internet Connection requires login. Choose, No.

Step 6:

Next up, choose Dynamic IP Address, which is mostly the case with all CenturyLink ISP. Or if you are unsure, select 'Get Dynamically from ISP' instead.

Step 7:

As for the Domain Name Server Address, I recommend you use OpenDNS servers which are: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220.

Step 8:

Enable NAT.

Step 9: 

Use the default address for the router MAC address and save.

Step 10:

Go to ADSL Settings by clicking the Advanced Tab and then Setup.

Step 11:

You will see a setting for the Multiplexing Method. Select LLC-Based.

Step 12:

For the VPI, input eight and then 35 for VCI.

Step 13:

Choose 'Auto' for the DSL Mode setting.

There you go, that is about all you need to do to make your Netgear N600 and CenturyLink work.

How Many Devices Can Netgear N600 Handle?

Dual-band Netgear routers such as the N600 can support up to 64 clients at the same time.

Each band can accommodate up to 32 devices which double with Dual-band routers such as the Netgear N600.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the router will be able to maintain optimum performance the nearer it gets to 64 supported clients.

How Fast is Netgear N600?

As the rating implies, the Netgear N600 should be able to deliver speeds close to 600Mbps.

Of course, several factors will affect the actual throughput speeds that the router will be able to provide.

Factors such as the router's location, the distance of the client from the router, and physical obstacles such as walls will all cause a ripple effect that will decrease the overall speed of your router.

Overall, expect around 40% of the rating's speed when it comes to the actual performance from the N600.

That said, 40% of 600Mbps is still incredibly fast and can quickly load one whole movie within half a minute.

Netgear N600 WNDR 3400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router Review

Intro

Within its price bracket, the Netgear N600 is among the top-tier devices without a doubt.

While affordable, this router manages to provide users with a comprehensive administrative control to their home network.

It also leads to deliver reliable Wi-Fi performance that surpasses most of its competition within the same price bracket.

Its performance meets and exceeds expectations, which is why the N600 is one of the most sought-after budget-friendly routers by gamers.

Its throughput speed can provide stable and latency-free online gaming experience. It can also handle HD video streaming without much problem.

We were pleasantly surprised with the N600 during our initial test run. We will be detailing more about this Netgear router down below.

Design

The N600 router is a sleek device with an eye-catching blue button in the middle of the case.

This blue button is also where the LEDs are located, which turns it into a more prominent design fixture.

The N600 incorporates a sleek black casing, which, combined with the blue LED button, gives it a visually striking appearance.

The LED lights on the button are not just for show though. The light dictates where the antennas are pointing. Which is quite a convenient feature as the N600's antennas are all installed within the case.


The lack of exterior antennas also makes it more space-saving qualities. Also, of note is that the blue button is also the unit's WPS button.


If you wish to connect a client in a jiffy, press the WPS button to give yourself a 2-minute window for other WPS-enabled devices to log in without the need to go through the motions of the security check-ups.

Now, let us head on over to the back of the N600. Here you will find the LAN and WAN ports. It has a total of four LAN ports and a single WAN port at the back.


Unfortunately, these are all standard Ethernet cables and not the current Gigabit Ethernet cables that modern routers have.
It also has one 2.0 USB port available.


This will allow you to share files from an external hard drive with other clients within the system as well as turn your printer into a wireless one that other devices can use.

Over on the front side of the router are several LED lights that show the status of your wireless network as well as the ports.


You will also notice that the base is detachable, which allows you to place the unit in either a horizontal or vertical position.

Also, the Netgear N600 comes with the mandatory Netgear Genie app, which allows the user to check and adjust the setting of their router via smartphone or desktop.


Thus, making Netgear routers far more convenient to tweak than other router brands.

Security

The N600 comes with all the standard security protocols of current routers. You can utilize WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security protocols to help protect your system from intrusions.

The WPS button is also a handy feature if you wish to reconnect previous devices without needing to input the Wi-Fi password for each WPS-enabled device.

You can also place important shared files with security encryption. This means that other devices will need to input a password to access data from the shared external hard drive.

Once this feature is activated, it will apply a restriction to every client within the network except for the administrator.

New security systems are also in places, such as the NAS feature that adds convenience by handling both HTTP and FTP functionalities. We also welcomed the N600's capability to use additional router software such as DNS service programs.

Other features that concern the performance of the N600 include the Traffic Meter.

As the name of the program implies, this software tracks the current bandwidth usage and clients connected to the network.

This feature will also allow you to limit the total bandwidth that your system can use. As you would guess, such a function is a must-have for homes that have limited data from the ISP.

Another important feature here is the parental controls. However, like other Netgear routers, users will need to register for an OpenDNS account to use this feature.

Once you have an OpenDNS account, you can now tweak the parental control that lets you place internet usage schedules for specific devices.

You can also check their search history and restrict certain websites and web content from your network.

How Do I Setup my Netgear Nighthawk WNDR 3400?

As with all of the current Netgear routers, Setup is made incredibly easy thanks to the Installation Wizard.

You can also use the Netgear Genie app to improve convenience and ease of installation further. To begin Setup, you need to turn on the router and connect either your smartphone or desktop PC.

Go to the web browser interface by typing 'routerlogin.net' to the web browser address bar. Or you can download and use the Netgear as mentioned earlier Genie app.

Once you have logged in to the Netgear router network setting, you can use the Installation Wizard software to help guide you through the motions of the installation.

We also highly recommend you update your router's security/admin credentials and place WPA2 security as soon as possible.

If you are unsure how to go about the setup process, you can also check the instruction manual that comes with the router for an in-depth guide on what you can do within the router home network system.

Specifications

Dimensions: 6.89 x 4.53 x 1 inches
Wi-Fi: N600 Dual-Band (300Mbps + 300Mbps)
Wireless standard: 802.11 b/g/n
Ports: x5 10/100 Ethernet Port (x4 LAN and x1 WAN), x1 USB 2.0 port

Pros

  • Excellent dual-band performance.
  • Decent range.
  • It comes with a slew of features such as Traffic Meter and Guest Network Access.
  • A sleek and visually appealing design.

Cons

  • It does not come with Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • Dated 2.0 USB.
  • The range is greatly affected by walls.

The Bottom Line:

The Netgear N600 dual-band router is an excellent choice for smaller homes and those who are looking for something reliable but with an affordable price tag. This is an overall well-rounded router that will deliver the bare necessities when it comes to wireless home networks.

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