I found myself with a router that had aged and become inadequate. Searching online for a replacement didn’t make it much easier. That was until I had a chance to test out the Netgear AC1200. This was not a chance encounter, I had done some research to find just the right router for me. It is listed by the manufacturer as a router that offers Dual-band WiFi to avoid interference for better connections.

Who Should Use This Product?

There are two key things that I was looking for in a router. It had to improve my connection speed and enlarge my area of coverage. Now, considering that the normal speed of a router is rated 11n, this router gives you up to 3 times that speed. It delivers a combined speed of 1200 Mbps. 

With all that it has to offer, I think that this router’s greatest strength is probably in its ability to avoid wireless interference. This means that the speed of the WiFi is coupled with the network connection’s consistency. I found this to deliver remarkable streaming as well as a gaming experience. It is just as useful when the network has several devices connected to it at the same time.

This router is perfect for home use. 

What You Should Know

If you had to boil down the key features of the Netgear R6100, these are some of the ones that are worth highlighting:

  • It delivers fast download speeds.
  • Enlarges your wireless coverage.
  • Improves connectivity through the dual-band system.
  • It is very easy to set up, thanks to the NETGEAR genie app.
  • Allows you to set up guest accounts.
  • Creates highly secure WPA/WPA2 networks.
  • Has web filtering and parental control capabilities.
  • Offers backward compatibility with 802.11 a/b/g/n devices.

We have already touched on the speed and network coverage. The dual-band system is one that creates a two-way band system that works simultaneously on the network. In this case, you have the 1200Mbps split into 300+867 Mbps.

The ReadySHARE® USB Access feature allows you to plug a USB drive into the router. Once plugged in, the USB drive can be accessed wirelessly and shared for viewing through a DLNA enabled TV or gaming console. 

Advanced Qos technology plays a massive role to ensure the smooth performance of HD streaming and gaming. It is optimized for this purpose. 

The Push ‘N’ Connect option facilitates WPS connections without the need of a password. While this is not a necessity, it is a feature that makes things that little bit easier when working with various devices. 

My First Impressions

The box comes with the following items in it:

  • 1x R6100 WiFi Router 
  • 1x Ethernet cable
  • 1x Power adapter
  • A quick installation guide

You may notice that this router bears a significant resemblance to the R6300. It appears to be a smaller version. The price also reflects the difference in size, with the R6100 being cheaper.

The first thing that piqued my interest was the router. There is nothing particularly impressive about its aesthetics. It is a fairly common design that you will be familiar with from other products. 

Once everything was plugged in, I was pleased with the simplicity of the design. The front has 4 little lights that signify certain functionality. This includes power, network, connectivity 

The Use Phase

Getting it set up was straightforward. There is an affixed label that shows preset wireless settings. This makes it foolproof. All that I needed to do was plug it into the wall for power and the internet for connectivity. You will need a network cable for this. Fortunately, it is included. 

I plug one end of this cable into the router and the other end into my modem. To connect wireless devices, I used the password from the preset settings.

For the sake of presentation and decor in my home, I opted to remove the plastic cover at the front of the device. This is where the preset settings are attached. You may want to get the device going before getting rid of this. If you were to lose it, you can always refer to the bottom of the device where the same details can be found. 

To customize the router to my requirements, I used the web portal. There is also a mobile portal available. After the initial set up I expected to be frequently revisiting it to make changes. However, I was pleased to seldom need to return to it.

One of the things that may require you to revisit the portal is to make changes to the parental settings. These are designed to enhance the safety of children using the network. They place restrictions on access to content that is deemed unsuitable for them. You can use the portal to tighten or loosen restrictions by adding websites or search terms to the restricted list.

If for any reason your network is not performing as expected, you can use the portal to run a diagnosis. In my experience, the diagnosis will either automatically fix the issue or recommend getting an engineer to come and have a look. 

Results

The first 2-4 weeks of using the device were largely uneventful. Everything went as expected. The only issue that I had was a drop in speed on one occasion. To resolve this, I had to reset the router. The reset button is located on the rear end. It is close to the bottom of the device. Once I reset it, I let it reboot. The entire process took no more than 3 minutes. At the end of this process, things were back to normal.

The Netgear AC1200 (R6100-100PAS) did not present much of a learning curve. In fact, most users will not need to engage the advanced settings. After you have set it up, the only interaction that is an absolute necessity is for password retrieval. You may perhaps connect an ethernet cable if needed.

For advanced users and those that want to see what else this router has to offer, the portal is quite easy to learn. Everything that you can do in it is clearly laid out. It is labeled for novices to understand what each option offers. 

When I came across things that I didn’t understand, the User Manual was a wealth of knowledge. It is well written and easy to follow. There are diagrams and illustrations of the devices and their features. 

 

Pros

  • The device is easy to set up.
  • The application makes it easy to customize functionality.
  • The hardware is well made.
  • It comes at a reasonable price point.
  • It reduces signal interference.
  • Works on two network bands.
  • Allows a secure guest network connection.

Cons

  • The ethernet ports can be temperamental.
  • Signal has dropped a couple of times due to firmware issues.
  • Support and firmware updates can be difficult.

 

For someone that was looking for an increased range and speed from their router, I am pleased to say that this one fit the bill. After setting up, I noticed that my network was easier to connect to even from upstairs in the home. The usual lagging when streaming films has all but disappeared. 

Final Thoughts

Having used the Netgear R6100 for a little while now, I would happily recommend it to other users. If you are looking for increased speed and/or better wireless coverage, it will do the job. However, there are limitations to the reach. Large buildings with several stories would need several of these routers.

If I had to give it a rating, it would be about 3.5/5. The key deductions would be for the ethernet not being as reliable as expected. An improved firmware and tech support would go a long way.