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Netgear DB104 10/100 Network Kit

The Unit
  • (2) 32-bit 10/100 NIC cards
  • 4 Port 10/100 hub
  • (2) 25 foot RJ-45 cables

Netgear's Site

(+,-) $129 USD

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It's been almost a year since I did the Linksys Network Starter Kit review. The main selling points of that kit were its price and easy install. A year later a 10 MBps network such as the Linksys kit really is showing its age and 100 MBps networking is rapidly becoming the home standard. While I think a very small home network that runs at 10 MBps is fine, I'd really recommend buying a faster kit right off the bat and avoiding the need to swap out components later. Netgear was kind enough to send their DB104 Network Kit for review. I think many of you would be very happy with this unit.

First Impressions

The first thing that struck me about the DB104 kit is its weight. This is no wimpy kit here folks. It hefts! Once I opened the box I could see why: the hub packed with this kit is not made from plastic but has a metal housing. Wow, score one for build strength. The other thing that struck me was the cool blue NIC cards (network interface card) packed with this kit. Tired of boring green PCB boards? Netgear makes it a point to color-coordinate their NIC cards with the hub and cabling in the kit. Takings up of the box are the RJ-45 cables, each being a great 25 feet. Many kits features cables as short as ten feet. I have a friend that has two computers networked together through a wall - he literally drilled a hole in the wall between two rooms so that he could run the RJ-45 cable from room to room. Now he is stuck with a setup that cannot be moved in each room. I asked why he didn't just invest in better cabling, and once he told me the prices he had seen for long RJ-45 cables it all made sense. Its nice to see that Netgear packs cables of such quality and length into their kit so you can run your cables correctly the first time. Taking up the rest of the space in the box are the wall-wart power supply unit and setup manual, which is really only a couple of fold open guides: one for the hardware setup and the other is for file and printer sharing setup.

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