The day that I hooked up my first NETGEAR (NASDAQ:NTGR) wireless router was about as exciting for me as riding my first (banana-seated) bike or driving a car (Chevy Impala) by myself the first time. Mind you, I'm no techie, just a person who had been confined to a desk for so long that it was starting to drive me crazy. When I picked up my laptop and walked out of my office and around the house, the feeling of computer independence was incredibly liberating.

Sitting on my den couch typing away at my eMachines widescreen laptop, listening to Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) on Echostar's (NASDAQ:DISH) Dish Network, one simple thing came to mind: It's great to be free! Obviously, I'm not the only person enjoying the run of the house; fellow Fool Tim Beyers mentioned companies such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) Linksys, and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) in his love for the Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) technology.

NETGEAR's target market is small-business and home users that need networking solutions. The company announced that its second-quarter earnings of $0.15 per share, which were a penny better than the consensus estimate, were driven by a 28% increase in revenue and an improving gross margin. Demand for the company's wireless, broadband, and Ethernet switching products was strong (especially in the small-business market).

The firm also excited the investment community with its rosy forecast for its third quarter. NETGEAR now expects revenues in a range of $98 million to $101 million for the quarter, from a previous expectation of $94.3 million. This top-line windfall is anticipated to be achieved as a result of traditionally strong back-to-school sales.

NETGEAR shares have been riding a roller coaster of peaks and valleys over the past year, from a high above $20 per share to a low just under $9. The positive third-quarter expectations pushed the company's shares up more than 20% to nearly $11 per share in early trading. This move, however, has done nothing to diminish my enthusiasm about the stock (after all, we are fundamental, not momentum, investors around these parts). The shares, which are trading at 13 times the 2005 earnings estimate of $0.83 per share, are quite attractive when compared with the company's projected five-year growth rate of 23%.

Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.