Netgear R6300 / R6100 Gigabit 802.11AC Wireless Routers Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 05-21-2012, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Netgear introduced the 802.11 AC R6300 about a month ago and on May 15th introduced a lower cost 802.11 AC model the R6200. Both of these routers are leveraging the new AC Gigabit Wireless standard. Currently Netgear is the only vendor with AC products announced. And they will begin shipping the R6300 later this month in volume through all the major distribution channels that sell Netgear products.

First off gigabit wireless is an amazing feat to start with. The fact that you can get speeds near equal to the fastest wired connection is just mind blowing IMHO. But like any new technology we will have to wait for the full effect of it as client devices come onto the market.

Most likely Apple will be first with Macbook updates we will see. Netgear themselves will be offering a usb adapter later this summer.

But should you wait to buy one? Is this something you can benefit from today? Read on and Ill try and answer this for you.

The Netgear R6300 will be selling for $199. The R6200 $179. The difference between the two routers is that the R6300 uses a 3x3 radio configuration delivering 450mbs x 3 = 1350 mbs maximum speed. The R6200 is a 2x2 radio router that will deliver 900mbs maximum bandwidth / speed.

Let me address the speed talk here as it is confusing to say the least. Netgear and others often refer to their routers with terms like N300, N600 and N900. What this means is if you add up all the radios in all the bands you get this total. Lets take an example. Netgear's WNDR3800 and WNDR4500. The 3800 is a 2x2 N standard router. This means that on the 2.4 ghz band you can get a maximum of 300mbs (150mbs per radio x 2 radios equal 300 mbs) and the same on the 5 ghz band (150mbs per radio x 2 radios equal 300 mbs) equal a total of 600mbs. Now this is misleading because while the router has this capability your connected device will only connect to either the 2.4 ghz or the 5 g hz bands. Not both. So in reality you will only ever get a maximum of 300mbs for your devices. And this is the theoretical maximum too.

In the case of the 4500 with N900 what is different is you have 3 radios per band so you could get 150mbs x 3 radios equals 450mbs per band. But the gotcha is you need a 3x3 client to do this which there are very few available. The advantage of the 4500 though (very smart on Netgear's part) is they use enhanced radio technology which has higher signal output then any other router in their portfolio. This has been proven out by the many positive comments posted here in AVS.

So now what about the new AC standard and the R6300 and R6200? Well the difference is this. Each of the radios in the 802.11 N standard had a maximum bandwidth of 150mbs. The 802.11 AC standard has a maximum of 450 mbs per radio! Thats right 3 times the speed of 802.11N! So by adding radios to the mix you once again get the multiples of 2 x 450 mbs = 900 mbs (the 2 radio R6200) or 3 x 450 mbs 1350 mbs (the 3 radio R6300). And these are the speeds to the device itself! (assuming you have an AC client device)

Now I also need to point out that the AC standard only applies to the 5 ghz band. The 2.4 ghz band remains the same as it was in the existing N products we have today.

So does it make sense to get an AC product today or should you wait? Well with any new technology there are always start up issues but wifi has come a long way from the days of 802.11 g and it's transition to 802.11 n. There is a lot in the legacy products that carry over so there should be fewer bumps in the road. Now again you will need an AC client to get these wire burning speeds so that will take some time. But as for today here is the benefit to these new products.

The R6300 and R6200 use radios similar in power to the Netgear WNDR4500 admittedly the most powerful consumer router on the market today. So the range we see with the 4500 should carry over to the 6200/6300 products. In fact they are based on fairly similar hardware pinning's. The 6200/6300 also use a technology called Beam Forming which as I understand it helps legacy client devices connect more consistently and with a higher bandwidth then it's predecessors. The R6200/R6300 also use faster CPU's then their predecessors so overall performance is improved from that as well. This is also true from it's USB connected devices too.

So the question is if you are buying a router today what should you buy? This is the question I get asked most here in AVS. So Ill try and give you my thoughts.

The new AC products R6300 and R6200 clearly help future proof your purchase. Unlike the 3x3 radio N products my guess is most device manufacturers will leap frog that technology and use AC instead. The performance gains are huge versus the cost. Now I would only expect that in premium products today and probably over the next year. But as we saw with 802.11 N it is only a matter of time before that is standard fare.

From a price standpoint in the Netgear line the routers are priced like this

R6300 $199
WNDR4500 $179
WNDR 3800 $149
WNDR 3700 $129

The R6200 will be $179 when it ships at the end of the summer. So I would expect to see Netgear slot it in the line between the 4500 and 6300.

So what should you buy? Well given that the R6300 is only $20 more then the WNDR4500 Id have to say if you can afford the additional money then the R6300 is the best bet. You get everything the 4500 has plus you know it has the next generation wireless technology. The last time we saw this change was when we went from G to N.

Given the fact that the R6300 will be available in about 2 weeks from now that would be the way I would go. The R6200 is months a way. But if money is the issue then Id look for the WNDR4500. It is the best that N has to offer today. Either way you end up with a great piece of networking technology.

Once the R6300 ships and I get a unit Ill post back with my experiences. But in the meantime feel free to ask questions. I be happy to answer what I can.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant
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post #2 of 38 Old 05-21-2012, 06:32 PM
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Bob,

Quote:


The difference between the two routers is that the R6300 uses a 3x3 radio configuration delivering 450mbs x 3 = 1350 mbs maximum speed. The R6100 is a 2x2 radio router that will deliver 900mbs maximum bandwidth / speed.

450 Mbps is for 802.11n. For 802.11ac, each spatial stream is 433 Mbps. Therefore, theoretically, the 6100 can support upto 867 Mbps and 6300 can support 1300 Mbps. By the way, the Netgear launch even was nice (with Broadcom personnel to answer our chipset questions too!). However, it was interesting to see NTGR still claiming that they are the first ones to ship a 802.11ac router when Buffalo actually had it on store shelves on the same day

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #3 of 38 Old 05-21-2012, 09:22 PM
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SmallNetBuilder.com has a review of the Buffalo Technology WZR-D1800H AirStation AC1300 / N900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router. With currently available NIC adapters (no AC capable NIC's yet), the router performs best with multiple clients operating at the same time IIRC. The review compares the Buffalo to Netgear's 4500 and Asus' RT-N66U.

Good reading while waiting to see how Netgear's R6300 performs.
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post #4 of 38 Old 05-24-2012, 09:08 PM
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Received my 6300 today from newegg... perfect timing since my 3700 decided to start acting up. lol I really like the new design... it doesn't have the annoying blinking lights, and the front panel lights up to say "Netgear". Kind of cool.

First impressions. Very easy to set up. I really like the new (for me anyway) netgenie, admin pages, etc.. The range seems to be much better than the 3700.

All for now, enjoy
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post #5 of 38 Old 05-25-2012, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timokreon View Post

Received my 6300 today from newegg... perfect timing since my 3700 decided to start acting up. lol I really like the new design... it doesn't have the annoying blinking lights, and the front panel lights up to say "Netgear". Kind of cool.

First impressions. Very easy to set up. I really like the new (for me anyway) netgenie, admin pages, etc.. The range seems to be much better than the 3700.

All for now, enjoy

Thanks for letting us know. It is actually shipping a little earlier then expected. Let us know your thoughts after using it for a while.

Bob Silver
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post #6 of 38 Old 05-25-2012, 04:20 PM
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Glad to see it hitting store shelves,but kind of pisses me off. Just bought my 4500 about a month or so ago. Would have waited and spent the extra $20 since we wanted the best we could get at the time(consumer level). Oh well, 2 yr replacement warranty thru Fryes so will be able to upgrade to it later.

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post #7 of 38 Old 05-25-2012, 05:59 PM
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24+ hours in and so far so good. I live in a 2 story house, approximately 5,000sq. I have the 6300 in the corner of my basement. I've already noticed that I get a stronger signal when on the main floor using my laptops, etc... Before my laptop would get hiccups, which at the time I had thought it was from the internet/modem. With the 6300, I've not experienced any hiccups.

If there are any questions, please feel free to ask. I'll try to answer for you. So far I'm impressed with the unit.
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post #8 of 38 Old 05-27-2012, 08:34 AM
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^Timokrean, how stable has your router been? had to reset it at all? I am interested in 5Gz range and if it is better than what you had, I currently have the WNDR3700 and can't use the 5Gz band because of poor signal strength as it ends being slower than the 2.4Gz band.
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post #9 of 38 Old 05-27-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVS View Post

^Timokrean, how stable has your router been? had to reset it at all? I am interested in 5Gz range and if it is better than what you had, I currently have the WNDR3700 and can't use the 5Gz band because of poor signal strength as it ends being slower than the 2.4Gz band.

So far, only been a couple days, things have been very stable. No resets, hiccups, etc...

I'm only using the 5Gz band down in my basement, with the router approximately 30 feet away and things work great. I have taken my laptop around my house (the one I have set for 5Gz) and I received signal throughout, whereas my 3700 I would on occasion get hiccups. Of course YMMV...

Purely unscientific, the signal seems to be better. I'm not sure if there is a way to measure signal strength etc... or not?

Up to this point, it has been doing it's job great. Basically forget that it's even running.
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post #10 of 38 Old 05-27-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timokreon View Post

I'm not sure if there is a way to measure signal strength etc... or not?D

While not precise, try inSSIDer which gives a numerical and pictrural value to what they call RSSI, which is NOT signal strength but most will use as if it were to gauge the quality of the wireless connection based on the relative locations of the router and the client.

FYI - inSSIDer uses the client's NIC adapter to determine results and therefore two different NIC's, even in the same client notebook, may give significantly different results.

To determine signal strength requires either borrowing equipment or paying money to obtain proper equipment. The hardware, and maybe software, required isn't free like inSSIDer.
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post #11 of 38 Old 05-27-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratmanX View Post

While not precise, try inSSIDer which gives a numerical and pictrural value to what they call RSSI, which is NOT signal strength but most will use as if it were to gauge the quality of the wireless connection based on the relative locations of the router and the client.

Oh, that's pretty cool. Currently, my laptop is approximately 30 feet from my router. I'm getting -50 2.4GHz and -44 5.0GHz. I could always take readings around my house if anyone would like me to.

Off to do some grilling. Have a great weekend all.
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post #12 of 38 Old 06-01-2012, 09:06 PM
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Noticed a new firmware today. Went from 1.0.0.68 to 1.0.0.90.
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post #13 of 38 Old 06-06-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Just received my R6300 from Netgear. First impressions are this is the nicest piece of Netgear hardware I have ever seen. It really looks and feels like a high quality piece of hardware. I noticed with the change to the 4500 Netgear had upped its game with the hardware look and feel but thhe R6300 takes it to a whole new level. It even starts with the packaging. It just feels and looks fabulous.

The form factor as the pictures show is completely different from any other Netgear router. This only stands vertically and looks more like a wall as it is designed to face forward. Meaning that as opposed to slotting on its side this faces outward. It actually fits perfectly on top of my GS116 switch and creates for itself a wide open area for transmission. I had always placed the 3700/3800/4500 slotted sideways next to the attached USB drive and other hardware under my desk. Initially I thought this was going to be a problem but actually works better since it is a bit less tall and almost twice as wide as the older form factors and just fits fine and looks great.

The display section on the router is much simplified. Only 4 lights as opposed to the 10 or 12 on the older hardware. One might say this is an issue but frankly I never knew what lights were what until I crawled under my desk to look at what is going on. I now can see at a distance what is happening with all the major functions of power, usb connectivity, internet status and wifi. Some may be disappointed with this change but in day to day use for me this is a big improvement. Falls under the less is more category.

Given it's increased size the antenna sections are much improved. Even though power output is the same as the 4500 I see a noticeable improvement in signal strength to my wireless devices. This is particularly true in the 5ghz range.

Setup is identical to the 4500 so for me I was right at home. The new Netgear UI is really great in that it is very clear where key functions are and is very responsive to changes. Setup was as I said very easy assuming you do this from a none static ip address device. Unlike other Netgear routers this came set up in the 10.X.X.X range. Since I have a LOT o static IP address devices this needed to be changed asap. No issues here. As I said setup was easy.

The USB function of the R6300 is also improved with faster throughput due to its faster processor.. I just did a quick 6gb copy to the attached usb 2.0 drive and it was considerably faster then what I am used to seeing. So I am immediately seeing a big performance boost.

Netgear also really improved the Genie capability with versions now for IOS and Android. Either PC, Mac or phone you can get complete control of your router throgh Genie. This free app works with all Netgear routers so whether you have a 6300 or not you should download it now. It is a nice piece of software.

Add to it's network capability Netgear has added Airprint to Genie. This means that any attached USB or network printer can now be shared with an IOS device for printing. The usb printer does not need to be connected to the router. It can be directly connected to a pc to work but that pc must be on.

Ill report more on this as I get sometime on it. But for now I am VERY impressed with this router.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant



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post #14 of 38 Old 06-06-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

The USB function of the R6300 is also improved with USB 3.0
Netgear AV Consultant
Bob:

Netgear's web site states USB 2.0 ports. SmallNetBuilder.com has Part One of two articles on the 6300, purchased off Amazon, and they state USB 2.0 ports as well. Do you have a prototype?
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post #15 of 38 Old 06-06-2012, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratmanX View Post

Bob:
Netgear's web site states USB 2.0 ports. SmallNetBuilder.com has Part One of two articles on the 6300, purchased off Amazon, and they state USB 2.0 ports as well. Do you have a prototype?

You are correct. My error. I just reviewed my notes and the 6300 is USB 2.0. I remember we spoke about usb speeds and due to the 6300 faster cpu the usb functions have been improved as I have already experienced.

Now I just need to recall what product we talked about that has 3.0 ports

Bob
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post #16 of 38 Old 06-06-2012, 07:04 PM
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Bob:

I'm think we talked about Netgear's 4500 USB ports being the color of USB 3.0 ports even thought they are USB 2.0. I have also inquired about potential USB 3.0 on the 6300 somewhere with someone. Other than that I don't recall anything else at the moment.


Off topic, but, is it just me and my Firefox 3.6x that doesn't get to see or use the Full Page Editor features?
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post #17 of 38 Old 06-07-2012, 09:04 PM
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Another firmware update available. From 1.0.0.90 to 1.0.2.10.
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post #18 of 38 Old 07-02-2012, 02:55 PM
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ordered the 6300. Hope the range truly is better and I can ditch my extender.

P.S. - those upgrading from 3700 to 6300, could you import your saved settings from the 3700? Would love to not have to redo all that.
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-02-2012, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

ordered the 6300. Hope the range truly is better and I can ditch my extender.
P.S. - those upgrading from 3700 to 6300, could you import your saved settings from the 3700? Would love to not have to redo all that.

Let us know your experiences.

You can not import settings from the 3700. I took a few screen shots of the setup screens of my 3800 which I then just copied into the 6300. Easy to do.

Setup the router first making sure your internet is connected etc. The 6300 also uses a different ip address the other Netgear routers so you may want to change that if you have fixed ip devices on your network. Otherwise you will have connection issues with those devices.

But again it is very easy to set up. Mine has worked flawlessly sine I put it in service. Have not had to power cycle at all. Really happy with this router.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant
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post #20 of 38 Old 07-03-2012, 05:47 PM
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help! Got everything to work fine except for some reason I cannot get to my router setup over Wifi - ONLY over wired. I can get to the internet and do anything else over Wifi, but not to routerlogin.net or use the Genie software to change settings.

Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong? It's updated to the latest firmware.
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post #21 of 38 Old 07-03-2012, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

help! Got everything to work fine except for some reason I cannot get to my router setup over Wifi - ONLY over wired. I can get to the internet and do anything else over Wifi, but not to routerlogin.net or use the Genie software to change settings.
Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong? It's updated to the latest firmware.

Try using the ip address of the router to connect wirelessly. If you dont know what it is log in wired and it will be in the status section. I know this works as it works on mine so it must be a set up issue. But again try just using the ip address instead of routerlogin.net.

Bob Silver
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post #22 of 38 Old 07-03-2012, 07:44 PM
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yeah, I can do everything wired, and I can connect through all devices wireless and get to the internet. the ONLY thing that doesn't work wirelessly is the routerlogin site or the login admin/password on the genie app. It's the weirdest thing.
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post #23 of 38 Old 07-03-2012, 07:54 PM
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fixed it! Found this here and tried it.

http://forum1.netgear.com/showpost.php?p=368452&postcount=3

I thought Wireless Isolation was some sort of more focused signal. rolleyes.gif
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post #24 of 38 Old 07-03-2012, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

fixed it! Found this here and tried it.
http://forum1.netgear.com/showpost.php?p=368452&postcount=3
I thought Wireless Isolation was some sort of more focused signal. rolleyes.gif

OK glad you got it sorted out. It is best to stick to basic settings when you are setting up a new router . As turning the wrong function on or off can get unpredicable results. Always look at the Netgear help which is pretty good as it is right there and explains what each function does.

Bob
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post #25 of 38 Old 07-09-2012, 11:07 AM
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still working well. Definitely is a bit stronger signal, though still not overwhelmingly so. At least I can connect in the bedroom with our macs, though sometimes it's spotty. iPhones, not so much. But I think that's due to the smaller and less powerful antenna.
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post #26 of 38 Old 07-09-2012, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

still working well. Definitely is a bit stronger signal, though still not overwhelmingly so. At least I can connect in the bedroom with our macs, though sometimes it's spotty. iPhones, not so much. But I think that's due to the smaller and less powerful antenna.

My experience is that I see a great improvement in the 5ghz side as compared to the 4500 I have. This is also from a router buried under my desk in a less then optimal place. The 4500 is relatively unencumbered. And as I have said the router has been rock solid with no drop offs or reboots needed.

Bob Silver
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post #27 of 38 Old 07-15-2012, 07:33 PM
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I picked one of these up today because I was looking for better wireless range in my house. I had an WNDR3700 which was great, but it just didn't reach to the back bedrooms.

So far this thing has bee great. It's got excellect wireless range(only tried G so far) and seems pretty solid. The only issue I had was with my Boxee boxes. For some reason , while it would discover my 2 WD Live Network drives and I could see their network names listed fine under NFS, when I tried to drill down it would hang. I had to manually input the actual ip address of the drives and then NFS would work fine. Not sure why Boxee didn't like the network name approach. Otherwise it has been great.

I will say, I am NOT keen on the design but the performance outweighs the design. smile.gif
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post #28 of 38 Old 07-16-2012, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck_IV View Post

I picked one of these up today because I was looking for better wireless range in my house. I had an WNDR3700 which was great, but it just didn't reach to the back bedrooms.
So far this thing has bee great. It's got excellect wireless range(only tried G so far) and seems pretty solid. The only issue I had was with my Boxee boxes. For some reason , while it would discover my 2 WD Live Network drives and I could see their network names listed fine under NFS, when I tried to drill down it would hang. I had to manually input the actual ip address of the drives and then NFS would work fine. Not sure why Boxee didn't like the network name approach. Otherwise it has been great.
I will say, I am NOT keen on the design but the performance outweighs the design. smile.gif

I was thinking of getting one as well. To upgrade my WNDR3700 router, which for some reason or another started acting up after a FW update. However, I switched from Comcast to U-Verse internet. U-Verse / ATT provided a RG / Router / Modem, which only is G rated for wireless. The U-Verse box 2-Wire has a better wireless range and reception than my WNDR3700 did. I was surprised. The U-Verse / ATT tech that came to my house to install it was surprised and intrigue in my networking set up. I live in a small / growing city, and he said most people want wireless everything. I showed him my server, media players and the jukeboxes and played a couple of movies in the living room HT. He was pretty surprised and stated he had not seen anything like it in the city I live in. He even started taking notes for the Dune, PCH, AIOS website since he wanted to do something similar.

Anyway, I might end up buying a new router comes Christmas time if we end up buying a new house wink.gif. The WNDR's and Asus are probably some of the best out there right now!

Do you know what's the biggest hard drive you can connect to the 6300 / 6100?

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #29 of 38 Old 08-07-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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You can connect any size drive to the 6300/6100 routers. The only thing I would caution is that while these new routers are faster then anything before they are noty true NAS's. So that said be aware of what and how much you want to stream./ The bottlenecks are the number of streams and the bandwidth. But for most uses they are fine.

Bob Silver
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post #30 of 38 Old 09-23-2012, 03:47 PM
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If anyone is interested, the A6200 Wifi USB adapter is available at Best buy. I might pick one up to test on my laptop, which seems to be losing wifi connection more often these days. lol smile.gif
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