The Netgear WNDR3700 N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router is a great performing dual band router with a rich feature set including USB network hard drive capability, guest networking, traffic monitoring and four Gigabit wired ethernet ports. The WNDR3700 is sleek and stylish and will look great on the desktop, wall or in the equipment room. Like all Netgear Routers set up is quick and easy and Netgear’s intuitive web interface makes set up, firmware updates, monitoring and maintenance a breeze.
All Netgear routers use a simple color-coded 1-2-3 setup process making setup quick and easy. Whether you’re a novice or pro you will have this router up and running in a matter of minutes. The cables and connections on the router are labelled and color coded along with easy to follow color coded illustrations and instructions in on the quick setup sheet.
Setting up and customizing the Netgear WNDR3700 can be done either with the supplied software CD Rom or manually through your web browser by logging into the routers setup menu. Since the CD-Rom may not work with all operating systems we recommend you use the manual log in method and familiarize yourself with this set up and configuration method since this method will be used throughout the life of your router to make adjustments, configuration settings, usage monitoring and firmware updates.
To log into the routers set up and configuration menu , you simply type routerlogin.net from your web browser (Firefox, Safari or IE – not Chrome). Each time you log into the router the router will check for firmware upgrades before displaying the configuration page.
Netgear’s setup menu is well laid out, intuitive and easy to navigate. The setup and configuration page is broken up into three columns, a list of feature sets on the left panel, a list of option choices for each feature set on the center panel and the right panel displays short explanations on what the features and options mean. All information is written in Nontechnical, easy to understand language.
4 Networks in 1:
With the WNDR3700 dual band router however you can actually set up four (4) discrete networks using this one router. The router allows you to set up one network for each of the dual bands as well as one guest network for each of the dual bands for a total of four networks. Your guest networks can be configured differently to limit guest access to other computers or peripherals on the network such as printers, hard drives etc… Each network can have a different name, password and privileges. While this may sound difficult to set up, Netgear’s intuitive set up page actually makes it fairly straight forward and easy.
4 Wired Gigabit Ports:
The back of the router contains 1 – WAN port for connection to your Modem, 4 hard wired gigabit ports for wired devices and one USB port which can be used with an external hard drive to turn the router into a network attached storage (NAS) device.
Network Attached Storage Ability:
The router supports any hard drive formatted in NTFS or Fat32. The USB port can also provide bus power to compact USB hard drives. For file sharing the WNDR3700 supports the Windows SMB protocol with allows any computer in the network to access the connected USB hard drive using a network browser (Firefox, IE) without addition software installed. Access to the hard drive can be password protected and restricted for read and write privileges. The NAS feature can also be configured to work with DLNA-enabled streaming devices such as Xbox 360, Playstation, DVD players, Netflix Boxes and TV’s and receivers with DNLA built in. When enabled the DNLA devices automatically search NAS drives for digital content making it available within the network. The external connect hard drive can also be configured as an FTP or +HTTP server and accessed remotely over the internet. This takes a little more work to set up and requires a dynamic DNS service such as Dyndns.org unless your internet connection has a static IP address.
The Netgear WNDR3700 has a built in traffic meter which will allow you to monitor and control the routers bandwidth which is useful if you have a limited bandwidth quota and don’t want to go over. You can set the router to disconnect from the internet if a certain amount of data has been used over a period of time (up loaded or down loaded). The traffic meter won’t allow you to restrict individual computers on the network but is applied to every device connected so you can’t use this feature to restrict one user from downloading to much.
Security, Parental Controls & Port Forwarding:
Like all Netgear routers the WNDR3700 supports the most common wireless-encryption methods, WEP, WPA and WPA2. It also supports content filtering to allow you to block certain Web Sites or services and port forwarding which is essential in our business for remote viewing of CCTV camera’s, DVR’s and alarm monitoring.
680Mhz powerful MIPS 32-bit processor
Memory: 8MB flash and 64 MB RAM (note V.2 has 16MB flash)
1 – Wired Wan Port
4 – Wired Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Simultaneous Dual Band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Operation
2.4 Ghz – up to 100Mbps (B & G protocol)
5 Ghz – up to 300 Mbps (N protocol)
I’ve installed several of these Netgear routers in homes and offices and found the performance to be good to excellent and reliability to be rock solid.
The 5 Ghz band is fast and reliable at distances under 50 ft and begins to slow the further away from the router your device is connected. At distances over 100 ft the connection speed slows noticeably and drop outs begin to occur.
The 2.4Ghz band signal strength and range is excellent on this router and the speeds and performance are among the best we’ve every tested. We’ve maintained a reliable connection up to 250 ft away from the router with speeds averaging 45Mbps.
The read and write speeds of the connected Hard Drive were slower than we would have liked so if you are planning to use this router with a connected hard drive as a NAS unit you should be forewarned it will be adequate for light duties and small data transfers but Large data transfers or multiple users accessing the drive at the same time will be met with frustration over the slow read and right speeds. If you require faster speeds from a NAS device you may wish to purchase a dedicated NAS or Media Server such as an HP Media Smart Server, Synology or iOmega Storcenter all of which has read and write times 3-9 times faster than the Netgear WNDR3700 USB connected hard drives. It should be noted these other aforementioned units are dedicated NAS only units and are not routers.
In summary the Netgear WNDR3700 is a sleek, stylish, reliable router that’s easy to set up and use and provides good to great simultaneous dual band performance in both the 5Ghz and 2,4Ghz ranges. The ReadyShare™ external HD option along with Gigabit Ethernet Ports, DNLA support, Parental Control and Traffic Meter make this router an ideal fit for most home and office environments.
Personal Note: I personally use the Netgear WNDR3700 in my home and have been very pleased with the performance since replacing my trouble ridden d-link unit with this one. My previous routers were Belkin, Apple Time Capsule and d-link. I have also installed several other routers including the aforementioned as well as linksys and cisco and would personally recommend Netgear products as my first choice.
Important Note for Shaw Cable Users & Net Gear Routers:
If you are using a Netgear router with Shaw Cable as your ISP in Alberta or BC, you will need to change your incoming and outgoing mail server names from “shawmail” to “shawmail.ed.shawcable.net” in order for your email to work.