I recently replace my two-year old Cisco Linksys router with a Netgear-N 300 Wireless Router. I chose the Netgear 300 because its strength is more than adequate to support the number of wireless devices I planned to network (two laptops) and its range is about right for the size of my house, which is very average.
The only other router I’ve installed is the Cisco Linksys. Of the two, the Netgear was much easier to install, even on two computers. And, their tech support was by far superior. Cisco tech support was a nightmare, in fact. Along with their condescension, they insisted on charging me another $10 to do something I could have easily done if they had just told me what it was. I would never use Cisco again for that reason.
On the other hand, Netgear provides 90 days of tech support absolutely free with the purchase of your product. Their tech support people are extremely polite and determined to help you solve your problem.
The Netgear installation is pretty straightforward. If you have an older computer with Windows XP running on it, like I do, however, you may need to call tech support to get the right security setting.
When you get your Netgear-N 300 Router, you will simply put the software disc into your disc drive and follow the illustrated instructions.
I pretty easily installed the Netgear router on my laptop running Windows XP and my other one running Windows 7. It took one to two hours to get it all running.
By contrast, it took three to four hours on the phone with Cisco to install their Linksys router on one computer two years ago.
You can buy different Netgear routers depending on your needs. The Netgear N-300 runs around $60 or so at Wal-mart. I did have a problem when I bought mine from Wal-mart. The first router I brought had a damaged software disc. It looked like it was damaged at the factory.
I took it back and got another one and, as it turned out, that one had been returned and re-shelved because there was a problem with that disc, as well. It would not play.
The third time, I had to go to a different store and I managed to get a Netgear that was not damaged.
So, I would only caution you to have the store clerks open the box up for you and allow you to examine the product thoroughly before you take it home. Inspect the underside of the software disc and make sure it has no splits or scratches in it.
I would buy Netgear again. I would not buy their competitors Cisco’s products ever again – mainly because of tech support.