While I was testing Windows 7, I came across a bit of a unique problem -- but I have a hunch I won't be the only one with this issue when it releases Thursday. I should preface that it might not be the fault of Windows 7, but rather of a Netgear wireless router not working well with Windows 7. Here's the breakdown:
- My home wireless is provided by Comcast, as is the Netgear wireless router they installed 18 months ago.
- I never had a problem using my home WiFi with various devices (on laptops using XP, XBox 360, Wii, iPhones, Google phones and tons of other random WiFi gadgets I've tested). But when Windows 7 connected to the home WiFi, it could only access Google-related sites (like GMail or do a Google search) and my work webmail. No Facebook. No Microsoft. No Bing. No MiamiHerald.com. It wouldn't even go to a site listed on a Google search result. Nothing.
- Microsoft's team was a bit stumped on that one. As was I, since Windows 7 worked fine on any other WiFi I connected it to. We tried a few things but nothing worked at home.
- I call up Comcast. A technical operations supervisor comes by the house to tell me that my Netgear router model isn't something they put in homes anymore (Model: CG814WG v2) and it could be causing the problem. Netgear had no recent updates for this model. Perhaps it's not a supported model anymore.
- Being that I was testing Windows 7, it seems it was the first time the South Florida Comcast crew heard of a problem like this. They replaced my router with a newer model, but the supervisor told me he's heard customers complain about this router before.
- I'm told Comcast is prepared for anyone who calls up with a similar problem, and the staff will just replace the Netgear router with a newer model.
Strange, I know. But I wanted to post about it in case anyone else was having an similar issue. It could be a problem with that router, and if so, just ask to get it replaced. The supervisor told me "very very few" people down here had that router put in. Guess I'm just lucky that way.
Anyway, on to the review. Other than trying to solve that glitch, my experience was pretty good with Windows 7. Check out the video below for a quick glimpse at the newest features, or read the full review here.
The bottom line is that if you've ever had problems with Vista, go ahead and get the upgrade. If your life is dandy with Vista, then save some money and wait to experience Windows 7 when the times comes to buy a new computer.
You have something that won't work on Vista, then you'll like Windows 7 because you can tap into XP Mode to run older software (XP Mode is only on Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions, and you better make sure your computer has the hardware needed to run it.)
But if you're an XP user, it's not worth the money or the trouble to upgrade. You're better off just getting a new computer down the road with Windows 7.