3G support; easy setup
For some, like renters, there’s little impetus to pay for a fixed internet service. This is where the Netgear MBRN3000 steps in, as it doesn’t rely on a fixed internet service. Rather, its USB port and accompanying dock make it easy to connect a 3G dongle. Or, if you’re on the go, you can connect it to a power inverter and run it from your car.
Setup was easy. We connected the MBRN3000 to an inter- net service using one of its four 10/100 Ethernet ports, leaving us with just three available ports. It boasts 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi but only on the 2.4GHz frequency. In other words, it’s not a speed demon.
One feature we liked was that if connected to another router, it automatically worked as an extension to the other network and didn’t try to operate as a second DHCP server, making it a very easy option for those needing to extend their network.
One annoying element of the setup process was that the login details for the router’s configuration page weren’t in the box. We were able to guess them – the old favourites of ‘Admin’ and ‘password’ did the trick. Some further digging revealed that the details on the bottom of the router but that wasn’t documented.
Netgear publishes a compatibility list of 3G modems that work with the MBRN3000. We had several modems in the cup- board from all three local carriers that were on the list but it’s worth checking (www.netgear.com/3G) if your modem is there.
Performance was solid, but unspectacular. Wireless range was good, with a range of around 20m through a standard internal wall. Wired performance was OK, though moving large files around at 100Mbps is noticeably slower than Gigabit Ethernet. If you need to move large files within your network, this isn’t the router for you.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
If you’re after a 3G Wi-Fi router, then the Netgear MBRN3000 will suit. But for conventional users, there are other, better performing, options.