Comments about Netgear ProSafe WNDAP350 Dual Band Wireless-N Access Point:
Overall this product is good for the price. However, I can't say that it's the right product for everyone, because it is not a solid product. This is going to be a long and detailed post, but I want to be fair and provide some real information that someone looking for a medium end WAP with business features for a home or a small business.My biggest complaint is that the wireless is a bit flaky. Connections randomly become slow and in some cases become unusable and have to be reestablished. When it is working as it should, the performance is good for a few devices doing data intensive work. e.g. A laptop streaming a move, Xbox 360 gaming and a laptop and an iPod on facebook and general web browsing. Too much of this and you will notice. I can stream 2 movies over wireless, 3 sometimes and forget 4.The second major issue is Netgear seems to provide very poor support in fixing problems with these small business devices. It has taken a year for them to provide an update that fixes 2 issues and then a couple of months later they release an update that fixes 8 issues, but at the expense of loosing all of your settings. The fix to that is to manually enter your settings. That is just not acceptable for a business class device.An issue I ran in to was that I had a friends Laptop running Windows Vista that would not work when connected to any of my SSIDs using WPA. I tried updates, different drivers, restored the laptop to factory defaults, tried different drivers again, etc., but it would not work with WPA. The connection would be established and the laptop could obtain an IP, but no communication would occur. It worked fine when connected to this WAP using WEP using the same SSID or others already configured for WEP. I tested this same laptop with a Netgear consumer wireless router (DIR-825) and a D-Link WAP (DWL-8600AP) and everything worked as expected when connected to an SSID using WPA or WEP on either of these devices. With the DIR-825 all things were not equal because it connected directly to my internet connection and had it's own SSIDs and wireless security settings, while connections from the WNDAP350 had to get through a pfSense firewall. However, DWL-8600AP is a business WAP and a potential replacement for the WNDAP350 and all of the SSIDs, WEP/WPA settings and keys, VLANs and connection to the pfSense firewall were identical. This indicates an issue specific to the WNDAP350 and the issue continued even when it and the laptop were reset to factory defaults.Another issue is that the WNDAP350 does not boot via POE from my Cisco switch. It will using high end Cisco switches. Once the WNDAP350 has power if I unplug the main power it will remained powered via POE until I disconnect the Ethernet cable for about 5 seconds. So basically it will not boot using POE. The DWL-8600AP has no issue booting via POE when connected to my Cisco switch. This indicated that the WNDAP350 needs more power to boot then is claimed via their documentation.Well I hope this review helps someone make a decision. For some this device may work exceptionally well, but for others it could be a [$] nightmare. I have not been able to find any other WAP with this feature set at this price point. The closest replacement I have found is the D-Link DWL-8600AP which retails at just under $600 and it does not have all the features of the Netgear unless perhaps those can only be set via CLI which would be fine with me.I have not had much time with the DWL-8600AP, but so far I have not been able to set WMM settings or the time zone, client isolation is all or nothing rather than SSID specific, time server hostnames that start with a number are not accepted and the web interface looks old, but it is faster than the Netger interface and allows https only. On the plus side, the DWL-8600AP is not generating errors, has more solid wireless connectivity, allows you for force SSL access, works perfectly with POE, boots faster, allows for up to 16 SSID per radio (32 total), etc. For performance and less headaches, the DWL-8600AP seems to be the better option. The price is steep, but not compared to a Cisco or Juniper with the same base feature set. As far as I can tell higher end products by companies like Cisco are the next step.DWL-8600AP is working better for all my devices with more wireless traffic. So far I have streamed 3 movies over the network via 2 laptops and an Xbox 360 plus another movie via Netflix via a WDTV Live Plus while surfing with an iPod. Of course, there was other non-wireless local network and internet traffic at the same time. There have been no issues so far.