To expand the reach of your WiFi connection, you need a reliable router that can cover even the hardest to reach spots in your home. Netgear has been making good wireless routers since the late 90s. Adding to the list of their products that we will be reviewing is the Netgear N300 wireless router.
It’s one of those older routers by Netgear but still supports a 2.4GHz WiFi. It has also been selling for pretty low prices on e-commerce sites like Amazon. We would say it’s quite impressive for those looking for budget but reliable routers.
Netgear N300 Router Review
Netgear N300 Router Specifications:
- Wi-Fi transmitters/receivers (Tx/Rx)—2×2 (2.4 GHz)
- Supports Wireless Multimedia (WMM) based QoS
- IPv6 Support (Internet Protocol Version 6)
- IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
- Five (5) 10/100 (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Fast Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology
- Broadband (cable, DSL) Internet service and modem with Ethernet connection
- 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz wireless adapter or Ethernet adapter and cable for each computer
- Use with an N300 Wireless USB Adapter (WNA3100) for maximum performance
Netgear N300 Features
As mentioned, the Netgear N300 is one of the earliest routers manufactured by Netgear. It is relatively cheaper than any of the routers in the market but also comes with limited features. However, these features are still relevant to today’s standards.
In this part of the article, we will go through some of each to help you decide if this router is right for you.
2.4GHz 802.11n WiFi
The Netgear N300 comes with a 2.4Ghz wireless frequency. While most routers these days already start shipping with a 5GHz band alongside the 2.4GHz, some people still prefer the 2.4GHz because it has better area coverage. While it’s slower than the 5GHz frequency band in terms of download speed, the 2.4GHz has good enough speed for a larger room area, reaching up to 300Mbps for the Netgear N300. See best motherboards with Wi-Fi
The Netgear N300 comes with a LED light indicator to make it easier to troubleshoot the device should users encounter some problems. This is a basic feature for Netgear routers; hence, almost every Netgear routers is formatted with the same LED indicator signals.
Related: Netgear AC1200 Review
The following will indicate the router’s status via LED:
- Off – if the power LED on your router is off, then it is more likely not receiving power.
- Solid green – if the power LED on your router is lighting solid green, this indicates that it is ready.
- Solid amber – When you apply power to the router, the Power LED lights should turn solid amber within a few seconds. This indicates that it is powering on and is running a self-test.
- Blinking green – a blinking green power LED either means your router’s firmware is upgrading or the Reset button was pressed.
- Off – if the Internet LED is turned off, no Ethernet cable is connected between the router and the modem.
- Solid green – if the Internet LED lights solid green, this means the Internet connection is ready.
- Solid amber – if the Internet LED lights solid amber, this means the router detected an Ethernet cable connection to the modem.
- Off – if the WiFi LED is turned off, this means the wireless radio is off.
- Solid green – if it is just solid green, then WiFi radio is operating successfully.
Comes with Parental Controls
If you have kids in your house and want to make sure they are only accessing the right sites, the Netgear N300 is a good budget option. It offers Parental Controls, which you can access on its dashboard.
Here’s how set up a live Parental Controls on your Netgear N300:
- Launch your preferred web browser and enter www.routerlogin.net or www.routerlogin.com on the address field. Upon loading, a login screen will appear.
- Enter the router username and password. By default, the username is “admin”, while the default password is “password”. Note that the username and password are case-sensitive.
- After successfully logging in, the BASIC Home screen will display.
- From there, select Parental Controls, and click either the Windows Users or Mac Users button.
- Just follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the NETGEAR Live Parental Controls management utility. Don’t worry, it is free and it comes with your Netgear N300.
- After installation, launch the Live Parental Controls, although in some cases, it will automatically launch.
- Click the Next button, and read the note. Click the Next button again to proceed.
- Because Live Parental Controls uses free OpenDNS accounts, you are prompted to log in or create a free account.
Select a radio button as follows:
- If you already have an OpenDNS account, leave the Yes radio button selected.
- If you do not have an OpenDNS account, select the No radio button.
After that, click the Next button.
- To continue, complete all the fields and click the Next button. After you log on or create your account, and will show different filtering levels.
- High – protects against all adult-related sites, illegal activity, social networking sites, video sharing sites, phishing attacks and general time-waster.
- Moderate – protects against all adult-related sites, illegal activity, and phishing attacks.
- Low – protects against pornography, and phishing attacks.
- Minimal – protects only against phishing sites.
- None – nothing blocked.
- Select a filtering level and click the Next button. Wait until the Setup is Complete screen displays.
- Click the Take me to the status screen button. Parental controls are now set up for the router. The genie BASIC Home screen displays Parental Controls as Enabled.
Features a lot of ports.
Just like any other Netgear routers, the Netgear N300 offers a complete set of ports. It has four Ethernet ports at the back and a single Internet port. You can easily connect up to four devices on the Ethernet ports like a computer, laptop, and other consumer gadgets such as video game consoles, Google Chromecast, and television. If you don’t want to use Netgear N300 as a router, you can use it as a switch. Yes, you can use the router as a switch. To learn more about it, check this article on Devsjournal.
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
While the Netgear N300 is an old WiFi router, it has many features that still work in today’s standard. The 2.4GHz WiFi, while susceptible to interference, still works just fine, given you place it on the right spot.
We also love the free Parental Controls dashboard, which lets users track and block websites their kids’ access in real-time. But I think the best thing about the router is that it is available anywhere online for less than $50! If that’s not a steal, we don’t know what is. Yes, it’s old and fussy, but it works just fine. Perfect for those who need a new router but don’t want to spend more than $100.