Less than a year ago we looked at Netgear’s sleek DG834G (see router group test) and concluded that for a home or small business all-in-one communications router it delivered a fine set of features for the price. Alas, the blot on Netgear’s landscape was poor overall wireless performance that knocked its scores down considerably. However, time moves on and Netgrear now offers the DG834GT, which aims to deliver an equally impressive list of features and, hopefully, substantially improved wireless speeds.
The main differences between the DG834GT and the older model is the fact that it supports faster 108Mbit/sec operations. Physically, it’s much smaller than its predecessor, although this white plastic lozenge offers an equally good hardware specification. For starters, you get an integrated ADSL modem teamed up with a four-port Fast Ethernet switch, while the internal wireless access point (AP) supports simultaneous access from 802.11b and g clients.
Netgear has installation down to a fine art so you just connect a PC to an Ethernet port and once DHCP has done its stuff you can point a web browser at the router’s default IP address. You’re greeted with Netgear’s typically tidy browser interface and a quick start wizard that has a go at automatically detecting your Internet connection. We tried this with BT Broadband and found that it worked without any problems leaving us just to enter our account details to get online in a matter of minutes. Internet security starts with NAT, which hides all the local machines by mapping their IP address to that provided by the ISP. Next up is a standard SPI firewall which defaults to blocking all unsolicited inbound traffic. You can modify the default firewall rule and add your own but as always we recommend extreme caution when playing with these. At least the brave or foolhardy will approve of the copious documentation provided on this topic.