Netgear DGN1000 Review

After my recent problems with Picasa I decided it was time to replace my ageing Linksys router with something a bit more up to date, modern looking and hopefully would solve some problems with my XBox Live and uploads to Picasa. I’d always installed Netgear kit and other peoples houses so I thought I’d go to the latest version for myself this time – the nice and shiny black DGN1000. Tracking it down was easy, in the end Amazon came up with the best price of £34 which was a bout £7 cheaper than everywhere else but to my horror it received totally appalling reviews pretty much everywhere!

Anyway its specs where exactly what I needed so I decided to give it a whirl, this is what Netgear  have to say about it:

The NETGEAR N150 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router is a simple and secure way to share your high-speed Internet connection at Wireless-N speeds for surfing the Internet, email, online chat and Facebook. Complete with a built-in DSL modem, it is compatible with all major DSL Internet service providers and Wireless-G networks, allowing hassle-free connection flexibility.

  • Built-in DSL modem — ADSL2+ modem and router combined create complete gateway for DSL Internet connection
  • Surf, email, chat — Wireless-N connection for basic Internet applications like surfing the Web, email and Facebook
  • Share Internet connection — Allows Internet broadband sharing and the freedom of wireless Internet usage
  • Easy setup — Smart Wizard® CD with graphical installation guide and multi-language support
  • Live Parental Controls — Keeps your Internet experience safe
    • Blocks unsafe Internet content and applications and can be managed from anywhere
    • Protects connected devices through the router such as PCs, gaming consoles, and iPod touch®
    • To learn more visit www.netgear.com/lpc
  • Secured connection — Push ‘N’ Connect offers a secured wireless Internet connection at the push of a button
  • Compatibility – Compatible with all major DSL Internet service providers (ISPs)
  • NETGEAR Green features — Power and Wi-Fi on/off buttons, Energy Star-compliant power adapter and 80% recycled packaging

 

I have to says its pretty good, I haven’t written a review on Amazon about it because I’ve only had it two weeks but I set it up in all of 2 minutes and its stable as can be, hasn’t had to be rebooted once and on Wireless N is lightening fast. The only issue I have with it is from my Media Centre running Vista refusing to get an internet connection, it connects using WPA2 well and gets an IP address but for some reason will not allow an internet connection, switching back to WEP all is well and everything in the house connects perfectly. To be honest I haven’t investigated this too much and is probably an easy fix.

I’d buy it again I think for the price, probably not if it was £45 or more.

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Turtle Beach Wireless Headset Ear Force X41 For Xbox 360

As I mentioned previously I bought an XBox wireless headset that was perfectly good for in game chats. The trouble I was having was that I ONLY play COD Black Ops and I only play at night when the kids have gone to bed. This meant that I had to have the volume on the TV turned down pretty low and I was definately at a disadvantage not hearing people creeping round corners or jumping on crates, etc. I tried some nrmal headphones into the TV but the wires restricted the distance I could get from the TV and you obviously had  no voice chat.

After a surf round I came up with either the Turtle Beach X41 wireless headphones for XBox or the Trittons. Here it came down simply to price as Amazon had a brief sale on the Turtle Beaches and I got them for £100 instead of £130. I didn’t want to go for a cheaper wired or analogue version because of the hassle with cable tidyness and having to piggyback the cables, I was after an option that allowed me just to use the HDMI connection from my XBox to TV and another single digital out from the XBox to something.

 

Setup on the Turtle Beaches is exactly this, you simply use a digital cable (supplied) from the back of the XBox into the Turtle Beach box and its all done.

The sound is amazing from these I have to say, turned up or low down voice chat is great and the detail in the sound is amazing. From just using the TV I had no idea that generators hummed or the flies made noises but they all do and it adds a massive amount to the atmosphere of the game.

This is what Turtle Beach have to say about them:

The Ear Force® X41 is our top-of-the-line XBOX 360® headset featuring 7.1 channel Dolby® surround sound, XBOX LIVE® chat and a digital RF wireless connection for crystal-clear game audio. Combining outstanding comfort with a stunning 360 degree sound field and enhanced online communication, the X41 puts you in the middle of the action so you’ll enjoy a gaming experience that’s second to none.
Playing your favorite XBOX® game with the Ear Force X41 is like having a “secret weapon” in your arsenal. You’ll get a competitive advantage by hearing sound cues that you can’t hear with speakers, such as the soft footsteps of an enemy sneaking up behind you, or the click of a loading weapon far in front of you. By hearing sounds others can’t—and by knowing where they’re coming from—you’ll react faster and take them out before they take you out.
If you’re serious about XBOX 360 gaming, get serious about the sound. Invest in an Ear Force X41 and experience the game the way it was meant to be heard. It will help you to become a better player and you’ll have a lot more fun enjoying your XBOX 360.
I think they are about to be replaced with a new model that gets over the only thing I don’t like – the colour – I wish they were black!

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XBox 360 Wireless Headset

So I picked one of these up last week when Amazon put it on the bargain sale price of  £18 delivered, these prices shoot up and down and two days later it was back up to £24, the price it normally sells for.

It dint have too many great reviews to be honest but I’d already had enough of the cheap wired version my XBox slim came with so it was worth a shot for the price. Unfortunately the first one I received broke within two minutes, the ear loop connector was faulty and kept popping off. Amazon replaced it promptly and the second one was fine. Sound quality is surprisingly good although there is still a feeling of a badly fitted ear loop, its not overly comfortable for long periods.

Apart from the funny ear loops the other thing I’m not impressed with is the charger, its an OEM connector when it could so easily have been a ubiquitous mini or micro USB which means there’s another cable hanging around the house now.

 

Experience enhanced voice chat with the Xbox 360 Wireless Headset. Designed specifically to work seamlessly on your Xbox 360, this hands-free, wire-free headset employs the same technology as the award-winning Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. Pair up both accessories for superior performance, freedom, and comfort. Use up to four Wireless Controllers and Wireless Headsetssimultaneously on one Xbox 360 for the most intense multiplayer gaming sessions ever.

  • Experience enhanced clarity and performance without wires to tie you down
  • Embrace the stylish, ergonomic design that fits comfortably on either ear, with two sizes of removable ear grips for a perfectly snug fit
  • The headset utilises the same 2.4GHz radio technology employed by the award-winning Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for clear communications within a range of up to 30 feet
  • Take command of the situation and communicate with superior audio quality over Xbox LIVE
  • Up to eight hours of battery life per charge, with an AC wall adapter for quick, convenient recharging
  • Outfit your teammates (or rivals) with up to four Wireless Controllers and Wireless Headsets simultaneously per Xbox 360 console
  • Supports Voice Command for select games
  • Conveniently located Power On/Off, Volume, and Mute Controls are right where you need them

 

On the whole I’d definitely recommend it at the £18 price point. The trouble I have is I play COD at night when the rest of the family have gone to bed, with this in one ear and TV turned down it was making it hard to hear anything so after a week of using it I bought some Turtle Beach X41’s instead, still its a handy backup!