Netgear's WNDR3700 wireless router has the speed, but lacks the range

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This article appeared in the June, 2010 issue of CRN magazine.

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Netgear's WNDR3700 wireless router has the speed, but lacks the range

There's nothing shy about Netgear's range-topping WNDR3700. Although it has no protruding aerials, it measures more than 200mm tall and 150mm wide; fortunately, its glossy finish and LEDs aren't intrusive.

This router boasts twin radios and simultaneous 2.4GHz/5GHz coverage, a total of eight internal aerials and maximum rated throughput of 300Mbits/sec in each band.

Our tests reflected these blazing specifications, with the router achieving average router to laptop transfer speeds at close range of 133Mbits/sec and 80Mbits/sec in reverse.

Speed over 2.4GHz wasn't as good, but it was on par with the rest, and enough to stream our Full HD movie clips smoothly.

Range-wise, it was more mixed. In our long-range test, the Netgear fared well over 2.4GHz, again achieving similar rates to the rest of the group.

But over 5GHz, speeds tailed off dramatically. Rates from laptop to router of 12Mbits/sec and 15Mbits/sec in the other direction place it a long way behind most of the other dual-band routers. Full HD movie streaming at these speeds proved impossible.

The feature set is better, with the facility to set up guest networks on each band, a USB port for file sharing and media streaming via UPnP, and easy to use administration pages. It can also check for firmware updates at login.

Overall, however, the WNDR3700 doesn't quite do enough to win our vote this month, the main reason being its middling range. That, combined with a price thats not significantly cheaper than the Linksys by Cisco WRT610N, means it just misses out on an award.

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