Sep 16

The netgear WNDA4100 is a wireless-n adapter, capable of “n900″ speeds – that is, 450Mbit/s maximum speed. It’s designed to plug into a desktop or laptop that lacks wireless-n, to give it additional speed and range. This particular model allows both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, so even if your laptop has wireless-n, it could add additional features such as multimedia streaming over a dedicated 5GHz connection.

Netgear WNDA4100 Review

Netgear WNDA4100 Review

Setting it up is a straightforward affair, though it requires an optical drive for the associated software. I added the WNDA4100 to my desktop, which had only a single rear USB port free and two front panel USB ports. I tried attaching it at the front, but that was a no-go (my PC couldn’t find the device). At the rear, the dimensions of the free space meant that I couldn’t plug in the rather chunky dongle, but fortunately, Netgear provides a very convenient cradle that comes with a decent length cable (around 1m) which allowed me to plug the whole thing into the rear of my desktop and get it up and running.

The software didn’t distinguish between my existing 2GHz ad 5GHz networks, although it could see both – they looked identical – so I just joined up to the first one on the list. The device has a row of lights that show activity, so I liked having it in view.

Performance was respectable. I don’t know how much the networking speeds may have been slowed by the fact that I only have USB 2.0. USB 2.0 has a theoretical top speed of 480MBit/s, higher than the N900’s 450Mbit/s maximum theoretical speed, but it usually doesn’t crack more than 240Mbit/s. Regardless, while transferring files from the internet I didn’t see the speed get above 4MByte/s, but then, I didn’t see anything higher than that via a gigabit Ethernet connection, either…

I couldn’t readily test the network speed, rather than the internet speed, because the WNDA4100 lacks IPv6 support: that means no Windows Homegroup.

For me, that means that this is ideal only for a home user with a single computer that needs fast wireless speeds, rather than for a family or multi-computer setup.

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Apr 03

Netgear said it will provide Comcast a firmware update for one of its DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems to make the devices compatible with IPv6, after several hundred of the MSO’s customers lost Internet connectivity last week when Comcast put the next-generation protocol into operation in several markets.

“Recently, some Comcast customers lost their Internet connection due to an IPv6-compatibility issue we have with the Netgear CMD31T high-speed cable modem,” Netgear said in a statement Thursday. “We are providing a firmware upgrade to Comcast for certification to make these devices IPv6 capable.”

Comcast on Wednesday said it was rolling back its IPv6 deployment in some markets because of the glitch in the Netgear cable modems. The issue affected fewer than 1,000 subscribers, according to a source close to Comcast.

Once Comcast has certified the upgrade, the MSO will push it out across their network.

“Resolving this issue for customers in a timely fashion is our number one priority and we are working closely with Comcast on the solution,” Netgear said. “We apologize for any inconvenience we have caused our customers.”

According to Comcast, the Netgear CMD31T device currently “runs an uncertified version of firmware that exacerbates a critical IPv6-related defect,” which prevents the device from being provisioned on the Comcast network. The cable operator is in the process of deploying IPv6 nationally, in a “dual-stack” implementation in which both IPv6 and IPv4 are supported on the client.

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