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Netgear WNDR3700 review

Kat Orphanides
17 Nov 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
124
inc VAT

An excellent range of features, but this router performed inconsistently in our wireless transfer tests, with poor 5GHz speeds.

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Specifications

draft 802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Netgear's WNDR3700 is an expensive wireless router with some enticing features, including dual-band wireless networking, a USB port that lets you use the router as a network storage device and a wireless guest network, so visitors can access the internet but not the rest of your network.

It's easy to configure using the setup CD or the wizard built into the router's web interface. It doesn't prompt you to configure your wireless security settings, so don't forget to do this straight away. The interface looks a little cluttered but is easy to use, with detailed notes on every feature.

Useful advanced options include remote management, so you can access its settings from outside your local network, QoS web traffic shaping, a 5GHz Video Network mode to optimise local media streaming and the ability to block specific port ranges or websites according to a schedule. A traffic meter lets you limit the total amount of data downloaded, which is useful if you're on metered broadband.

As well as accessing USB storage as a Windows (SMB) share on your network, you can share it over HTTP or FTP. The HTTP web page is a simple file list and doesn't let you upload content, but you can upload files via FTP. The catch is that the router supports only two accounts: admin and guest.

Like all 802.11n routers, the WNDR3700 ships with channel-bonding disabled in 2.4GHz mode, although it's enabled in 5GHz mode. Disabling channel-bonding limits the router to a theoretical maximum throughput of 130Mbit/s, but this makes little difference in our real-world tests. Channel-bonding can improve performance if you experience poor signal quality, but it tends to reduce the maximum range of your signal. This router performed better without it.

Performance in our speed tests was variable. In the 2.4GHz band, we saw a maximum speed of just 25Mbit/s at a distance of 10m - poor compared with every router in our last group test - but it managed an impressive 26Mbit/s at 20m, one of the fastest speeds we've seen at that distance.

Our 2.4GHz tests with Netgear's own WNDA3100 wireless adaptor were disappointing. All were slower than the results from our Centrino 2 laptop, even when we switched channels. Its 5GHz throughput with Netgear's own adaptor was great at short to medium distances, with speeds of 81Mbit/s at 1m and 67Mbit/s at 10m. Sadly, the best result at 20m was just 17Mbit/s, which is slower than using our laptop on the 2.4GHz band.

The WNDR3700 has some brilliant features but its high price and inconsistent transfer speeds make it hard to recommend. If you need a simultaneous dual-band router with USB NAS capabilities, we recommend Linksys's similarly priced WRT610N.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Modem typenone
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportyes
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed300Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPAyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size223x153x31mm
Antennas8
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other portsUSB
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on6W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£124
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.netgear.co.uk