First: familiarity. Since I hadn’t researched specific models, I wanted a brand I knew or had used before. This meant Netgear, Linksys, or Belkin.
Belkin was out of the question. In fact, I was muttering about how I’d never buy a Belkin router, when I was approached by a Belkin representative who proceeded to explain about how much better their product was than any of the others. The problem is that Belkin lost my trust last year when they set their routers to redirect web requests to their own advertisement page. (Basically one every eight hours until you bought the filtering service or clicked on an opt-out link on that web page). Aside from the annoyance factor, there’s a lot of web traffic that isn’t actually trying to load a web page. It could be your antivirus program trying to download new definitions, or your news reader updating an RSS or Atom feed. It could be Windows Update. Sure, they eventually disabled the “feature”, but come on!
So at that point it basically a toss-up between Netgear and Linksys. The Netgear packaging was more focused on the networking capabilities, and the Linksys packaging was more focused on the parental controls, so I went with the Netgear.