Netgear FWG114P

Netgear's FWG114P wireless access point/router/firewall/print server is a great all-in-one device for those planning to set up a home office.


8.2
User Rating

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Netgear's FWG114P wireless firewall print server delivers solid performance and the right array of features. Its integrated access point, router, firewall and print server are all easy to set up on any platform using a standard Web browser. This makes the AU$469 FWG114P a good choice regardless of whether you're networking Linux, Apple or Windows systems. The only real downside to this product is its lack of WPA (for wireless security) and WDS (for wireless scalability), both of which are part of the Buffalo AirStation's feature set. Still, the FWG114P makes up for these shortcomings with superb Internet security, extensive logging, Dynamic DNS support and automatic failover to a dial-up connection. We think it's worth the expensive price tag for small office and advanced home users who need more than the typical home router.

The FWG114P wireless firewall print server sports the classic Netgear look with a dark-blue metal housing and several well-positioned LEDs on the front. The back panel contains an Ethernet WAN port, a USB 2.0 port, a serial port for a modem and a four-port Ethernet switch. The switch is equipped with Auto Uplink technology, which eliminates the need for crossover cables when connecting to other switches or routers.

In addition to the wireless firewall itself, the box contains a power adapter, an Ethernet cable, a printed installation guide and a resource CD with one of the best manuals we've seen. The electronic manual has a series of appendices on networking that describe topics such as subnet masks and network address translation in clear, concise language.

Thanks to its well-designed, Web-based Smart Wizard, the FWG114P is easy to set up, too. The wizard is compatible with any standard Web browser, so you can access it from Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers. The check boxes in the wizard's interface track that tasks that you've completed, and interactive diagrams show you how to connect the cables. It doesn't update your Windows network settings, but the Netgear Smart Wizard does provide detailed information on how to make those changes.

Netgear's Web-based configuration utility offers access to a number of advanced-settings options. Plus, if an incorrect setting brings down your network, the wireless firewall's handy configuration save/restore feature rolls it back to the old settings.

The Netgear FWG114P wireless firewall print server offers a strong set of security, filtering and logging options. The wireless firewall uses SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) and filtering rules to forward or block specified traffic. Other security features, such as the blocking of keywords, Java and ActiveX, work together with NAT and the filtering rules to secure your network from outside hackers. The FWG114P supports both 64/128-bit WEP and WPA security, but we would also like to see a WDS mode that would allow the firewall to wirelessly communicate with other 802.11g access points, as in Buffalo's AirStation router and repeater.

Netgear's FWG114P has the right feature set for a modern home office. It comes with ISDN/modem auto failover to keep you connected via a phone line if your broadband line goes down, Dynamic DNS so that Internet users can find your services even if you receive a dynamic IP address from your ISP, a DMZ that allows you to place a computer or server outside your firewall, and a 100Mbps WAN port to support faster broadband connections in the future. The wireless firewall's USB print server feature lets you connect a supported USB printer and share it among your networked computers. Although the print server feature works with only specific printers, the list is long and includes models from Canon, Compaq, Epson, HP and Lexmark. The wireless firewall also supports universal plug and play and has a remote-access feature that lets you configure and reset the device via a connection over the Internet.

The Netgear FWG114P wireless firewall print server comes second only to the U.S. Robotics 8054 in our 802.11g throughput testing, reaching a maximum throughput of 25Mbps. In mixed-mode testing with 802.11b transmissions, the wireless firewall topped out at 12.5Mbps, placing it higher than most other products we've tested, although significantly lower than the U.S. Robotics 8054.

In our range tests, the FWG114P takes its place at the head of the pack. It had the best performance-over-distance curve we've seen so far.

The wireless firewall also handles a sizable network, with support for up to 64 wireless clients and 253 NAT clients. We tested the FWG114P using Version 1.0 Release 16 firmware.

Netgear's product-support Web site includes contact information for emailing or calling technical support, firmware updates and useful online documentation, along with an online interactive learning tool called Mentor provided free for Netgear customers. The support page for the Netgear wireless firewall contains several worthwhile FAQs covering the device's various security features, including overviews and troubleshooting advice as well as detailed configuration tips.

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medunkt
7
Rating
 

medunkt posted a review   

The Good:Very strong signal. Totally reliable. Lots of configuration options.

The Bad:Initially difficult to get it working and stable in ISDN mode. After much research discovered a string sequence that worked. Netgear Support were an absolute waste of time - useless is too kind a word. Doesn't work as print server with Brother MFC4800 multifunction unit.

This has been a very reliable and rock solid router for the past three years, since we have an ADSL connection. Before that, setting up for ISDN wasn't easy.

loiseau
10
Rating
 

loiseau posted a review   

The Good:both thumbs up

The Bad:wont filetrans through the net port

been usin this for years, 5 wireless connections and 3 cabled all printing most of the day, with large filetransfers quite regulary, works a treat, but i do have to reset it ( turn of at plug ) once every 9 months or there abouts

critic-as-artist
2
Rating
 

"Looked great but extremely unstable"

critic-as-artist posted a review   

The Good:Great feature set, on paper

The Bad:Random hangs, unreliable print server functionality, occasional firmware corruptions

I've been using this router for msot of a year and it's been very flaky. Sometimes I run filesharing applications through it and it hangs, requiring a reboot... sometimes it even loses its settings and even a factory reset won't do it-- you have to re-install the firmware, then re-enter all the settings, before it will work again.

But the features are great... when they work. I've used it to do VPN connections to a Netgear FVS318 and that's worked pretty well.

Stacy
1
Rating
 

"#$@! Good Product!"

Stacy posted a review   

Finally! This does everything I wanted. The set-up is not for the moderate/ novice user. It is tricky but not unmanagable. Works great! I have 3 people printing docs all day to one remote printer. Excellent! Does anyone know if this will work with all-in-one printers as well???? Stacy

jordantbro
1
Rating
 

"Best home router... but not cheap"

jordantbro posted a review   

The Netgear FWG114P is the best high end home router I could find at the time I was in the market. The security features of this router are amazing, totally robust and allows me to control all traffic on my network.




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User Reviews / Comments  Netgear FWG114P

  • medunkt

    medunkt

    Rating7

    "This has been a very reliable and rock solid router for the past three years, since we have an ADSL connection. Before that, setting up for ISDN wasn't easy."

  • loiseau

    loiseau

    Rating10

    "been usin this for years, 5 wireless connections and 3 cabled all printing most of the day, with large filetransfers quite regulary, works a treat, but i do have to reset it ( turn of at plug ) on..."

  • critic-as-artist

    critic-as-artist

    Rating2

    "I've been using this router for msot of a year and it's been very flaky. Sometimes I run filesharing applications through it and it hangs, requiring a reboot... sometimes it even loses its settings..."

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