Netgear 314 Gateway Router

By William LaMartin, Editor, Tampa PC Users Group
lamartin@tampaby.rr.com


If you are using a cable or DSL connection to the Internet and have more than one computer, you need one of these routers. In the September 2000 newsletter (http://www.tpcug.org/newsletter/nl_2000/September2000/cable_router.htm), Larry Anders wrote about his good experience with the Linksys router. This month I am writing a similar laudatory article on the Netgear router with a four port 10/100 Mbps switch.

For several years, I have had a network connecting the four computers I and other family members use around the house. And, as described in an article in the April 2000 newsletter (http://www.tpcug.org/newsletter/nl_2000/april2000/comments200004.htm), I had even run extra cable so that I could connect the upstairs computer to the downstairs cable modem when I wanted more than a regular dial-up connection for that computer. But I had resisted the Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing feature of Microsoft Windows 98 SE and Windows Me since some aspects of it didn’t appeal to me. Neither did the installation of proxy server software, which also allows you to share an Internet connection, which I tried way back in 1997 and wrote about in an article in the December 1997 newsletter (http://www.tpcug.org/reviews/december97.html). But after Larry’s article I began researching such routers and watching the pricing.

Last month when I stopped by CompUSA for some new antiviral software, I noted that they had the Netgear 314 router on sale for $129, down from the usual $169 by way of an instant $20 rebate and a $20 mail in rebate. So I could wait no longer.

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The router’s installation is basically very simple. Each of your computers that will be connected to it will need a network card. These cards need to each have Client for Microsoft Networks installed, as well as the TCP/IP protocol with the TCP/IP that is bound to your network card set to obtain its IP address automatically. This can all be achieved by a right click on the Network Neighborhood icon on the desktop (Network Places in Win Me) and then a click on Properties.

Next, to install the router, with everything powered down you connect your cable or DSL modem to the Internet port on the router, then connect the network cable from each of up to four computers to one of the four Local ports on the router. Finally you plug the router’s power adapter into an AC outlet and then power everything up. Everything worked right out of the box for me with the exception that I couldn’t see the files on one computer from the other computers. That problem was solved by enabling File sharing for that computer’s drives.

The router dynamically assigns each computer on the network an address like 192.168.0.2, 192.168.0.3,…. The router itself has address 192.168.0.1, and you communicate with it via a Telnet to this address. When you do this Telnet you are presented with many menus which allow you to configure the setup in many ways. For example, if you want to be able to run a Microsoft NetMeeting session from a specific computer on the network, say, computer 192.168.0.2, then you will need to use Menu 15 to assign ports 1720 and 1503 to address 1922.168.0.2.

Similar considerations exist for interactive games like Quake, or using a particular computer as a web or FTP server. To be able to use your computer for such purposes, you will have to assign certain ports to a particular computer and possibly remove certain default filters that are implemented in the default setup of the router. There is a very detailed manual in Adobe Acrobat format that describes how all of this is accomplished. However, for the average users, the default setup will probably do what they want.

Http://www.netgear.com. u