Netgear N300 vs. N600 Wireless Adapter

Buying a router is a confusing endeavor. Choosing from a wide variety of router models from different manufacturers, with all the codes and alphabets that come with them, the whole experience is everything but painful.

Okay, let’s narrow it down to these two: Netgear N300 and N600. At first look, without considerable analysis and ample research, you’d think automatically that the N600 is better. Of course, the number in itself is higher than the N300. It must be the latest model. That said, it must have all the good things that none of the N300 has.

Netgear router

Well, for starters, what does N mean? Does it refer to something significant or do you simply just focus your eyes on the numbers next to that letter?

The Netgear N300 and N600 are two of Netgear’s remarkable wireless adapters in the market today. Better than D-Link or TP-link or whatever manufacturer using the same model name or code. However, both the N300 and the N600 have their own distinct features and differences. Each model has its own purpose hence, they perform differently and better according to situations and uses.

Both the Netgear N300 and N600 wireless adapters are knights in shining armors for IT people as well as overnighters who burn the midnight oil and unrepentant weekend bingers and downloaders. Let’s first understand why.

Wireless N Technology Basics

By theory, the N in the model refers to the maximum speed of the wireless adapter is capable of. The number next to the alphabet is that maximum speed. For example, the Netgear N300 is capable of up to 300 MBPS speed. And the N600 is capable of offering up to 600 MBPS of wireless or Internet speed. And so on, and so forth.

Again, all that works in theory. There are other considerations that must be taken into account, such as band and spacial streams. We can get too technical down this path but let’s take a stab.

Apart from the maximum theoretical speeds that the wireless adapter can offer, the adapter’s special stream as well as its band, whether its single or dual band, can affect the wireless speed that the adapter can offer in actual. While the N300 is advertised as an adapter that’s capable of offering up to 300 MBPS wireless speed, this Netgear wireless adapter model also has a 2×2 radio stream.

By standard, a typical N spacial stream offers 75 MBPS speed (for a single stream). So, if the Netgear has a 2×2 spacial stream, the actual wireless speed it can offer would then be, transmit stream speed * 2 plus receive stream speed * 2. Therefore, it would look like this:

(75 MBPS * 2) + (75 MBPS * 2) = 300 MBPS

That is for a single band. Now, think about the N600 (or even the models with the higher number), which are designed with dual bands. The formula then would be:

Band 1 + Band 2 (for the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz), or:

[(Transmit stream * 2) + (Receive stream * 2)] + [(Transmit stream * 2) + (Receive stream * 2)]

In that formula above, the dual-band added another layer of complexity and capability of the wireless adapter. A dual band means that the wireless adapter is capable of transmitting/receiving wireless signals in different frequencies, ie: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

With this, it’s much easier to connect a device to any of the two bands of the adapter without any problems. The higher the frequency, the higher the speed, and potentially the lesser the congestion. The only caveat is if the device you’re connecting to the adapter is compatible. This means that when you connect your device to the 5 GHz band of the wireless adapter, you have to make sure that your device is compatible to 5 GHz.

Moreover, the interference is much lesser with the 5 GHz especially when there are non-Wi-Fi appliances around the house, such as cordless phones and microwaves.

Phew! Hopefully, that didn’t feel like a firehose pointed straight at you. Anyway, let’s go back to the difference between the Netgear N300 and the N600. Before that, let’s look at the features and specifications of these two amazing wireless adapters.

Netgear N300

  • Wireless speed: 300 MBPS
  • Wi-Fi technology: 802.11n
  • Wi-Fi range: Medium homes
  • Frequency bands: 2.4 GHz
  • Wireless technology: N
  • Weight: 0.67 ounces or 19 grams
  • USB file sharing: None

Netgear N600

  • Wireless speed: 300 MBPS
  • Wi-Fi technology: 802.11n
  • Wi-Fi range: Medium to large homes
  • Frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • Wireless technology: N
  • Weight: 0.67 ounces or 19 grams
  • USB file sharing: Yes

Just looking at the specs quickly, the Netgear N600 appears to be really good and fast. Both Netgear wireless adapters are convenient and compatible with most wireless router models and brands. Both have reliable interference reduction features and Push N’ Connect push button security. However, the Netgear N300 will give you rapid and quick Internet speeds. It offers up to 300 MBPS wireless speed on a single band. It is also much cheaper than the Netgear N600.

On the other hand, the Netgear N600 will give you really fast Internet speeds considering its dual-band offering. You can get up to 600 MBPS with the N600 and connect compatible devices in either the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz frequencies. It has the upper hand in terms of running multiple and simultaneous Internet applications.

You’ll be assured your Internet connection won’t ever bug down or stall provided you have a great Internet service provider. You can certainly enjoy a lot more downloads and streams with the N600. It also will require you to spend a few more dollars for it.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the best choice between the two would boil down to the use and purpose of the wireless adapter. The N300 is best for personal use as well as for medium-sized environments. It comes a few dollars cheaper than the N600. The N600 is great if you’re using it at home and if you have a bigger environment with a few other people connecting to it.