I was at the PC Show 2008 last week and thought that I got a damn good deal. A Wireless-N Gigabit router for SGD165! It's a beautiful D-Link DIR-655 lookalike Zyxel NBG-460 wireless-N gigabit router.
Let's look at the feature of the NBG-460 router.
- Wireless LAN 802.11n (Draft 2) with 300 Mbps
- 4-Ports Gigabit Switch
- 3 x 2DBi external antennae
- Virtual DMZ-Zone
- Built-in DDNS Support
- IPSec-VPN Tunnels
- WPA/WPA2 Personal Support
The feature set looks great and it's definitely value for money. However, I learnt the bad way... Good things are not cheap and cheap things are not good!
The Web-GUI looks cool and easy to use and configure. The first incident was that the router hanged on saving my settings. No joke, I am connected wired to the router. I assumed that this might be one-off incident. Next, I got my D-Link DNS-323 gigabit NAS connected to the NBG-460 gigabit port.
After getting my iMac and Macbook Air hook up wirelessly, I started copied a 259MB file from my iMac wirelessly (line of sight to the router) to the NAS. It took 21 minutes to complete the transfer with no other activity going on. I rebooted the router and try to copy a 300MB file again from my iMac to the NAS, I almost felt off my chair this time round. It took 53 minutes to complete the transfer.
Without luck, I bought out my Macbook Air to surf the net and use the iMac to monitor the CPU and memory usage of the router (through it's web GUI). The CPU was above 20-30% for a normal site but it comes to heavy sites with flash/media/graphics, it went up above 60%. The memory is always high between 50-65%. The worst part is, the router kept hanging every now and then (10-15 minutes interval). I will have to reboot the router to continue surfing.
After a day trying lucklessly with the router, I decided enough is enough. I bought the router back to the retailer in the PC Show and demanded a refund. They reluctantly refunded me in full which I managed to convince another retailer to sell me the Linksys WRT310 Wireless-N gigabit router at SGD167.