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Pogue tests 802.11n routers, blasts Netgear


In today's New York Times, friend to Mac users and finder of lost loves, David Pogue does a nice user-focused job of reviewing four 802.11n wireless routers (story, video), evaluating performance and ease of setup for the Apple, Belkin, Netgear & Linksys offerings. His conclusion: the Airport Extreme, while slightly more expensive than the other units and lacking Gigabit support on the Ethernet side, is far and away the best performer (up to 90mbit transfer speeds, almost double the best results with the other three routers, testing details in his video) and certainly the easiest to configure and control. He also points out that current Macs are firmware-updatable to 802.11n, while most other PC manufacturers will make you buy a new card to get your speedy on.

For the real entertainment, however, check out Pogue's behind-the-story blog post. His experience with the Netgear software installation for a USB 802.11n adapter -- a madness-inducing swirl of EULAs, unsigned drivers, UI design from Graphix-R-Us, and plain ol' Windows user-hostile behavior -- is both familiar and chuckle-worthy.

Update: Clarified the 2nd paragraph to note that Pogue's issues with the Netgear installation were specific to the adapter, not the router itself.

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