Netgear DG834G v3 Modem/Router
Or; 108mbps Super Wireless ADSL Router with 4-port 10/100 Switch, to give it it's Sunday name. What does all that gibberish mean? Well, it's a 802.11g (SuperG) modem and router with 4 ports to connect several machines into. Even has a built in Firewall.
Ok, first things first; I am not a Network genius at all. My last modem/router was a Linksys WAG54G and it was horrendous to set up! So having written down all my settings from the Linksys i'm ready to unbox my new Netgear and hook it up.
The Netgear cost me £45 from eBuyer.com and I noticed on the box that it does say Windows and other Operating Systems that use TCP/IP so I was quite hopeful that this would actually work in Linux as I was pretty much shooting in the dark, couldn't find any reviews about this modem/router that mentioned Linux.
In the box we have the router itself and its power supply, a telephone filter, cable to connect the router to the computer and the cable to connect the router to the telephone line. Also it has two plastic feet 'things' that allow the router to stand on its edge for a smaller desktop footprint. Nice.
Don't need that Windows driver disc then do I... oh! Wait! I see the 'L' word on there! It has instructions for setting up the router in Windows and if I have a Mac or Linux I should set up manually and view the documentation on the CD. Manual setup... i'm losing hope now.
I pop in the CD and read the HTML documentation which has several diagrams on how to connect the router to the PC and telephone line. Ok, i've got it hooked up and i've rebooted my Linux to be on the safe side. I'm from the Windows school where everything is solved by a reboot (or reinstall). I login and fire up my Firefox and put in the default IP of 192.168.0.1 which caught me off-guard straight away since with my Linksys I was used to 192.168.1.1 but up came the router login and i entered the default username and password.
I was then greeted with a setup wizard screen which is (by default) in English, but is also available in French, German and Italian.
It wants to try and auto-detect connection type. Best of luck, i'm with AOL (don't laugh! It's cheap and works!) so I click Next.
This could take a few minutes says the screen. That's putting it lightly, it took me days of fiddling with settings in the Linksys to get it to properly connect to AOL.
It says PPPoA and is asking me for a username and password. AOL is indeed PPPoA so it's done well there, i'll give it credit. I type in my username and password for AOL and click Test.
Success Page?! What? Is this some kind of sick joke?! Congratulations, you are now surfing the net. I'm speechless. No, infact, I don't believe it so I visit a few websites to double check.
I am! I'm connected!
Now that i'm connected I have a look through the various settings and there are a LOT of settings to play with here...
On the left of the browser screen are the various categories that you can enter, in the middle are the settings you adjust and on the right is a help panel with advice for the settings your looking at.
My first port of call in the settings was under Wireless and to see if I could turn on WEP/WPA without screwing it all up. I did, one time, lock myself out of my Linksys by turning on WEP encryption which seemed to cause a minor disagreement between said Linksys and Kubuntu.
Quite a few options to choose from; WEP, WPA and WPA2 with varying key settings. Ok, i'll just go for WPA2 with a Pre-Shared Key (WPA2-PSK). I click the button and it asks me for a key which must be no shorter than eight digits long.
I click Apply and... it's ok! Done!
A nice option I found while browsing the settings is where you can backup your router settings to a file that you can restore again later should anything bad happen.
I can't fault it, I really can't, I honestly couldn't believe how easy it was to get the Netgear up and running! It's the easiest router i've ever set up in my life!
Goodbye old Linksys.
- # this is v1.5, updated the article with encryption and some router specs.