Let There Be Dual-Band: Netgear N600 Router

Wireless routers are becoming more and more prevalent in homes as more things are connecting to the internet in our home.  It used to be easy selecting a router too.  You basically just matched up the signal type you needed (a/b/g/n).  In the past few years it may have simply been a laptop and now we are seeing ereaders, TV’s, Blu-Ray players, iPods, iPads, tablets, and even some home appliances all connecting to the internet.  This can make choosing a router a bit more difficult as many of these devices will use different signal types and then there is the interference issue of the signal.

We were working with a Netgear N300 (a single band a/b/g/n router) which worked pretty well for the computers.  But when we added a blu-ray player and an iPad in the house we began seeing issues with dropping connections on the new devices and a need to constantly reset the router to re-establish a connection.  It was getting to be pretty frustrating especially when we were also seeing a slowdown in internet speed from the growing load of devices.

I started doing some research and found that a dual-band router was probably a better way to go.  Dual-band sends signal out at 2 different spectrum (5ghz and 2.4ghz) through multiple antennas which allows for more better speed on various types of devices while cutting way down on interference.  These routers aren’t cheap either.  I typically like Linksys (now owned by Cisco), but found the Netgear N600 which had the same features I was looking for at around $80 compared to the other brands which all ran over $100.  I decided to give it a try, and it’s worked out great.  No more resets and the internet speed has increased for all of our devices.  Some of the great features are:

  1. ‘N’ speed router that is backwards compatible to devices using a, b, and g.
  2. Dual-band signal.  This allows for faster and more efficient internet speeds on all devices.
  3. 4 ethernet ports.  This is a must for us because we network a printer amongst all of the computers through the router connected via an ethernet cable.  Plus my father-in-law’s desktop does not have a wireless card and accesses the internet by being connected directly into an ethernet connection.
  4. A USB port.  This port is nice for adding a backup hard-drive which becomes accessible to all the computers in the house.
  5. Easy setup and security without having to install any software.

So if you are finding yourself connecting more and more devices to the internet and finding constant dropped signals . . . definitely look into a dual-band router.  And if you want the most “bang for your buck”, the Netgear N600 is definitely one to look at.

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Author:Brad West

I live in Palm Coast, FL with my family and have assisted my local parish with our website and communications. Our parishes today can benefit a great deal from technology. Whether it's improving communications, community building, evangelizing, business operations, and much more; we have the tools today. To help provide some direction and advice to parishes and parishioners, I wrote and published an eBook titled "The Connected Church" which is available through Barnes and Noble (Nooks and Nook apps) as well as Amazon (Kindle and Kindle apps).
  • http://catholicservant.com Craig

    Any idea if this’ll help cut down interference from my microwave? No kidding, my 804.11N access point signal gets blown up everytime someone runs the microwave at my house. Same thing happens to our access point at work!

    Not sure if a different frequency router would help…but I think I noticed this started happening 2 years ago, and that might’ve been when most access points changed frequencies.

    • Brad

      I was looking into this further and apparently older microwaves do put out a frequency that may interfere with routers.  Newer microwaves supposedly have been designed to accomodate this.  So if you don’t want to upgrade the router, mybe upgrade the microwave.  Just a thought.

  • Brad

    2.4Ghz (which is what 804.11N primarily runs on) has greater range but has always been more prone to interference.  The dual-bands run at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz so I am seeing a lot less interference because of the other spectrum as well as the load be split up.  Not quite sure about the microwave and hadn’t ever heard of that.  That’s funny and interesting at the same time.  Hopefully the microwaves don’t have leaks.

  • Brad

    My apologies, most SINGLE BAND routers are running at 2.4Ghz and not just the ‘n’ signal type I mentioned.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Weber/100002354681054 Alex Weber

    Is this why my Wi-Fi  ALWAYS disconnects on my Kindle?

    • Brad

      Could be. This is the issue many people seem to be running into with single band routers and smaller wifi devices when they have several things connecting.  I would recommend trying a dual-band router take it back if it doesn’t correct the issue.  You’ll probably find that the issue goes away.

  • http://catholicservant.com Craig

    Have you noticed it happening whenever you pop up some popcorn in the microwave? :)

  • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

    Just picked one up last weekend for $80 at Microcenter.

    We’re switching to Comcast on Thursday, so I’ll report my experiences in a few days.