Eventually I gave up and just returned the fucking thing.
A few days ago I HAD to get a new router, because now I needed a wireless access point. Instead of going with Netgear, which I swore I never would again, I bought a Linksys Router made by Cisco systems.
I put in the install CD and braced for another grueling setup situation, and lots of cursing as the stupid software gave up for the umpteenth time.
This install took about 5 minutes. Every step was simple and easy. It detected the information it needed automatically. Instead of requiring me to shut down all of my software including my software firewall it required nothing but physical connection. It is up and running now and I already have a password encrypted network set up.
In a way I'm glad the old new router never got hooked up, because managing it would have been a nightmare with its user HATEFUL (not just unfriendly) software. This thing is a breeze.
The two routers were purchased pretty close to one another, and cost about the same amount of money (Maybe $10 difference.) One company, Cisco, just made a flat out better product than Netgear, at least in terms of my needs.
From now on if I need networking products I know what company I will choose, and if people ask me for my advice (which they do fairly frequently even though I haven't been up to date with this stuff for like 8 years) I will advise them to buy from Cisco and avoid Netgear at all costs.
And that's what capitalism is supposed to do for us. Allow us to choose the products that best fit our needs and shape our buying habits accordingly.
In Soviet Russia, Router chooses YOU!