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 Netgear RP334 Cable/DSL Phoneline Router

 Author: Tim Higgins
 Review Date: 6/18/2001


Model: RP334

Pros:

- Fast
- Integrated HPNA 2 port
- Keyword content filtering with scheduling
- Three 10/100 Auto MDI/MDI-X LAN ports

Cons:

- No port filtering capability
- On the expensive side


The Basics

Indicators
  • Link/Activity, for each of three LAN ports

  • 100 BaseT for each of three LAN ports

  • Link for the Phoneline port

  • Activity for the Phoneline port

  • Link for the WAN port

  • Activity for the WAN port

  • Power

  • Test

Connectors
  • One RJ45 10BaseT for the WAN

  • Three RJ45 auto sensing 10/100BaseT LAN

  • Two RJ11 phone jacks

  • Power

Comes with
  • CD with PDF copy of User guide and Applications Notes

  • one page printed Installation Guide

  • one UTP Normal cable

  • one phone cabler

  • 120VAC power supply

Other
  • Hardware Reset switch

  • Power switch

  • LAN ports are auto-MDI/MDI-X sensing (see this page for more info).


Introduction


The RP334 is essentially an RP114 (minus one port) and PE102 in one box, and even includes two processors...one for the router and the other for the HPNA/Ethernet bridge. This dual-processor architecture causes the RP334 to cost about $100 more than Linksys' HPR0200 (reviewed here), but for the extra money you get a faster, more stable product, with three 10/100 switched LAN ports vs. Linksys single port.

I found it to be a solid performer, with no unexpected problems found. Just about anything you need to know about the 334's features can be found in either the RP114 or PE102 reviews. It already comes with 3.25 firmware already installed, so it supports 10 sets of forwarded port ranges.

Router Performance


I ran three sets of performance tests on the 334. One with an HPNA LAN client, the second with an Ethernet client, and the third to test HPNA/Ethernet bridging speed:

(Details of how we tested can be found here.)

Routing - HPNA LAN Client

Firmware/Driver Version:

V3.25(CH.0) | 5/17/2001

Test Description

Qcheck Transfer Rate (Mbps)

Qcheck Response Time (msec)
[10 iterations 100byte data size]

Qcheck UDP stream
[10S@500kbps]

(Actual throughput- kbps)

(Lost data- %)

LAN Adapter: NETGEAR PA301 10Mbps HPNA

WAN - LAN

5.3

5 avg
10 max

499

0%

LAN - WAN

5.3

5 avg
7 max

473

4%

Routing - Ethernet LAN Client

Firmware/Driver Version:

V3.25(CH.0) | 5/17/2001

Test Description

Qcheck Transfer Rate (Mbps)

Qcheck Response Time (msec)
[10 iterations 100byte data size]

Qcheck UDP stream
[10S@500kbps]

(Actual throughput- kbps)

(Lost data- %)

LAN Adapter: UMAX 10BaseT Ethernet PCMCIA adapter

WAN - LAN

5.1

3 avg
6 max

499

0%

LAN - WAN

5.1

3 avg
4 max

483

3%

Bridging - HPNA & Ethernet LAN Clients
Remember the following test does not include the router performance!

Firmware/Driver Version:

V3.25(CH.0) | 5/17/2001

Test Description

Qcheck Transfer Rate (Mbps)

Qcheck Response Time (msec)
[10 iterations 100byte data size]

Qcheck UDP stream
[10S@500kbps]

(Actual throughput- kbps)

(Lost data- %)

ETH LAN Adapter: UMAX 10BaseT Ethernet PCMCIA adapter
HPNA LAN Adapter: NETGEAR PA301 PCI

HPNA -> Ethernet

5.0

3 avg
5 max

499

0%

Ethernet -> HPNA

5.9

3 avg
5 max

499

0%

Comments: Excellent performance on all routing tests, including UDP streaming performance. The HPNA/Ethernet bridging speeds are slower than I measured for the PE102, but this could be due to my use of a slower 16 bit Ethernet card.

If you have both HPNA1.0 and 2.0 devices on your network, your 2.0 clients will not reach 10Mbps speeds. This is not a problem with the RP334, but the way that the HPNA spec works. See this for the explanation!

Summary


The RP334 was easy to set up and easy to use, with the HPNA & Ethernet ports nicely integrated. Whether your data stays local or is bound for the Internet, your HPNA and Ethernet clients get the same speedy treatment. If it weren't for the different jack on the back and lights on the front, you wouldn't know that HPNA was there!

So if HPNA, Ethernet, and Internet sharing are in your networking plans, you definitely should consider the RP334.


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