"Outstanding!"on by mb34r
Pros -Setup was a breeze, even without the CD.
-Tidy web-UI with handy explanations of everything.
-Options galore (the wireless options especially, are glorious).
-Flawless UPnP setup for Home Server.
-One-Click Firmware Updates.
Cons -none yet. it just sort of...works!
Summary Got this router to replace a DLink DIR-825 I was quite unhappy with (daily required restarts, shaky wireless signal, etc.) NOTE: I had hardware version A1 which doesn't support the 2.02 firmware. Apparently 2 is better. I didn't bother trying to find out.
Anyway, on to the meat of the matter:
Overall, I'm very impressed thus far. Setup was a breeze and it's been running like a charm. Even remote access to my Home Server feels much snappier since I plugged this beast in.
The included install CD refuses to play nice with Win7. I didn't list it as a con since the router auto-configures flawlessly - just had to restart the modem.
The router is a little big compared to others, but it's still not large by any measure. Wall-mounted, it'll only stick out about an inch, and standing on your bookshelf it'll still take up less space than, say, an old Trig book you never look at but refuse to throw out because it cost you a fortune 10 years ago.
So, in conclusion:
After a long stint with Linksys that eventually went sour, and a brief affair with D-Link that was reminiscent of the schizophrenic red-head I dated in high school, this router is a welcome breath of fresh air I just might bring home to meet the folks some day.
In future, I'll look to Netgear for ...uh networking gear, first.
Pros It sets up easily with a step by step CD coach.
Two multi-Gig bands deliver enormous speed and bandwidth
Ideal for streaming videos
Ideal for gaming
Cons I can't find a single thing wrong with this unit.
Summary I am not really a technical guy, although I've been around computers since 1980. But here is my reaction:
You cannot appreciate what a really good router can do until you actually own one. Now I do own one.
My wife's Dell laptop seems completely rejuvenated with websites that seemed to take forever loading in the blink of an eye and the signal strength indicator at five green bars. You need a wireless connection like this to really take advantage of the advanced processors in today's laptops! With the Netgear WNDR3700, that two-year old Dell is downloading streaming content at a blistering pace and making all internet-related tasks a pleasure.
I am using this router with my LG BD390 Blu-ray networking player. Streaming files from Vudu, YouTube and Netflix that used to stall when playing or which took minutes to load now load in just a few seconds, at the highest possible quality, and play uninterrupted --even when the file is 1080p - quality video. The player had to reconnect to my weak router signal after each streaming video...which involved turning the player off and then on again to regain the signal. There is no signal loss now with the Netgear WNDR3700.
The signal strength of the unit is very strong. I live in a small 1940's cottage of wood and plaster. With my old g-band router there were hot spots and dead spots. My whole house is now a hot spot with a very strong signal in every room. I can even lounge in the yard with my laptop and still get a solid and fast signal.
This may have been the best $150 I've ever spent on a piece of hardware. I have spent the last two weeks being happy --even smug-- about my purchase. This is a classic piece of equipment that you've got to own if you want your wireless devices to live up to their full potential.
Pros Feature wise, the unit is very comprehensive and is a great price for all that it includes: 4-port Gigabit switch, simultaneous use of 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wireless N, USB drive network server, and good network management.
Cons 5 GHz range/speed is somewhat disappointing. The range and speed on 2.4 wind up exceeding 5GHz after passing through a wall or two. Also, WPS failed to work between the router and a matching Netgear USB Dual-Band N receiver for some reason.
Summary In general, the breadth and depth of the feature set in this router makes it suitable for advanced home users, but the automated setup process and the built in help are distinctly a cut above average, which for the typical home user would be quite helpful. The automatic check for firmware upgrades on router login is also a nice touch. Combined with the bandwidth usage monitoring and simultaneous dual-band Wireless N support (with repeater modes supported), and DLNA-compatible media serving from an attached USB storage device, this unit does almost everything.
I have only experienced a few minor negatives:
1) One very minor gripe I have is that the port forwarding feature claims to be limited to 20 rules, which I came very close to exceeding, and also, it doesn't permit translating an incoming port to a different receiving port at the destination, which was a feature I liked in my previous router. Supporting multiple remote desktops requires configuration changes on every machine rather than being centralized at the router as a result.
2) While the device claims to support WPS wireless setup, I was entirely unsuccessful in getting a laptop with a matching Netgear dual band USB Wireless N adapter to recognize the router in WPS mode. Both sides simply time out.
3) Be careful of the power cord's attachment to the router. It fits somewhat loosely, and is prone to coming out with only a minor pull.
4) Most importantly of all of these, I was really hoping that less congestion on the 5GHz band would translate to higher speeds. While this seems to be true, it comes with the caveat that the range of the 5Ghz signal is _significantly_ lower than 2.4 - making the improvement moot if you're not with a fairly close line of sight to the router, or if you have a few walls to pass through.
Pros Great signal strength, easy to setup, simultaneous dual bands, no drops yet.
Cons Nothing yet.
Summary I have had this router for about a week and it has performed flawlessly. Signal strength is excellent. We have three laptops, a PS3, an ipod touch, an HP wireless printer and a Wii using the wireless signal and it has performed flawlessly for all. Not a single drop and no complaints so far.
Pros Fast accoss the board. Great throughput wireless and wired (and both at once - even in multiples), thrives on multiple routing streams. As future proof as you can get - supports many connections with nearly no decrease in speed, true dual.
Cons Cost. When people see a $150 wifi router, they don't get what seperates it from the $40 discount N routers or even $80 "dual band"
Summary I have 3 wireless N routers, and have owned 3-4 G in the past. This blows by them all - real world benefits with my phone wifi and laptop - even just in 2.4Ghz band. After wasting my money on the lower end - I finally bit the bullet.
My NAS was losing connection during a high bandwidth transfer when I surfed the net or did other things to increase network traffic. THis was with two less expensive "gigabit" routers, you could even tell the internet/WAN had slowed due to LAN heavy usage. With the WNDR3700 - no dropped connections even with full use of my NAS, plus access the the internet on two devices - perfect and rock solid.
I have 3 wireless N routers, and have owned 3-4 G in the past. This blows by them all - real world benefits with my phone wifi and laptop - even just in 2.4Ghz band.
My wireless connection would sometimes drastically drop to a low link speed even with "excellent signal strength". With the WNDR3700 my link speed (and throughput) is faster at the other corner of my house. It is rock solid and far faster even staying with 2.4GHz only. I had a 136Mbps link speed and 9MB/s constant through 3 walls and 40 feet.
Finally the build in "NAS" USB - no it isn't a DROBO. But since I can hit 10MB/s (80Mbps) reads it can support streaming up to blu ray rips - pretty good for a throw in feature. Even a cheap slow NAS costs a decent chunk of change. I probably won't write using this feature often - it was around 30Mbps (just under 4MB/s)
To those disappointed in 5Ghz range "half" - well that is physics. High freq are absorbed quicker with less penatration. You won't find ANY routers better or near equal 5Ghz range as 2.4GHz. On "another site" this router was one of the only to even reach some of the test locations.
Bottom line - a great router with a great design. It is one of very few true simultaneous dual band routers - as future proof as you can get.