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Router: Netgear WNDR3700

Tom's Hardware's 2009 Gift Guide: Part 2, System Add-Ons
By

www.netgear.com
$159
By: William Van Winkle

Does it seem weird to anyone else that this is the first holiday season in which we have official 802.11n gear? If you already have a Draft 2.0 router, odds are that there’s little to no performance benefit tied to getting a new, bona fide 11n replacement (in fact, you'll probably find a firmware soon, if not already, to bring it up to speed). Moreover, don’t expect a new model to deliver miracles of performance improvement. We’ll soon have a networking roundup on Tom’s Hardware showing that the latest crop of 11n routers still average in the 50 to 80 Mb/s (TCP) sustained throughput range.

However, the latest flagship router from Netgear showcases many of the feature advances that show there’s a lot more to routers than megabits per second. For starters, the WNDR3700 features a 680 MHz processor for rapid handling of many concurrent transfers and sessions, as well as delivering high WAN to LAN speeds, making this a good fit for fiber and DOCSIS 3.0 cable subscribers. Worldwide, WAN speeds are crossing the 100 Mb/s (fiber) threshold, and in South Korea, even 500 Mb/s has been spotted coming into peoples' homes (now you know what to ask for next year). The real purpose of that 680 MHz chip is to deliver WAN to LAN speeds in the 400 to 500 Mb/s range and be ready for whatever the future brings.

More importantly, the WNDR3700 is one of the new breed of simultaneous dual-band (SDB) routers with discrete 2.4 and 5.0 GHz radios. You can’t bond streams from these two radio bands into a single super-stream, but you can roughly double your total bandwidth by, for example, running a high-def video stream or two on the 5.0 GHz radio while concurrently running VoIP, games, and file transfers on 2.4 GHz. This is further aided by the many quality of service (QoS) features Netgear integrates, particularly for video on the 5.0 GHz band.

If you’re the file sharing type—including sharing with yourself if you work from multiple locations—this is one of the friendliest routers I’ve ever seen. The ReadyDLNA (successor to UPnP-AV) server support is worth a nod if you’re the media streaming type, but I’m far more interested in using the router’s single USB 2.0 port to plant a fat external hard drive on my LAN and use the router’s self-supplied IP address to access the drive’s files and folders from anywhere across the Internet, including cell phones. Naturally, the external drive can also map as a local drive to any other system on the LAN in good NAS fashion.

The WNDR3700 supports up to four SSIDs—one for your private network and three for everybody else you don’t want snooping around your data. All four LAN ports are gigabit, you can throttle radio output power to minimize broadcast range, set limits on Internet usage in a given period (in case you get billed by data downloaded), and much more. This is an incredibly well-stocked router sure to satisfy in 2010 and well beyond.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    tortnotes , December 14, 2009 6:22 AM
    And here I was hoping we could all be mature enough to act normally if--gasp!--there are photos of a woman.

    ..sigh.
Other Comments
  • -3 Hide
    DjEaZy , December 14, 2009 5:20 AM
    ... interesting... it is very hard to read the descriptions or look on the products... i wonder why... [?]
  • 7 Hide
    shubham1401 , December 14, 2009 5:47 AM
    That dress is cute!
  • -5 Hide
    presidenteody , December 14, 2009 5:51 AM
    i need a napkin
  • 6 Hide
    tacoslave , December 14, 2009 5:56 AM
    presidenteodyi need a napkin


    o.k...
  • 14 Hide
    tortnotes , December 14, 2009 6:22 AM
    And here I was hoping we could all be mature enough to act normally if--gasp!--there are photos of a woman.

    ..sigh.
  • 1 Hide
    tacoslave , December 14, 2009 6:49 AM
    ok some troll went through all of our comments and by the way @presidentteody come on this is toms not fapfest 09 holiday edition! Leave the immaturity to the Apple fanboys!
  • 2 Hide
    jebusv20 , December 14, 2009 7:22 AM
    tomshardware, a forum for men.

    with heads below the belt
  • 1 Hide
    The Lady Slayer , December 14, 2009 7:23 AM
    "PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies."

    Only if you've never heard of Corsair.
  • 1 Hide
    nlcbryan , December 14, 2009 8:55 AM
    oh my..i think i've been living in a hole or something. When i saw how they described the ZuneHD functionality, im horror struck! All in the small thing? even 10hrs ?? wow im amazed..
  • 0 Hide
    Gedoe_ , December 14, 2009 9:31 AM
    +1 for using the same cute girl as last year (apparently your still together)


  • 6 Hide
    cangelini , December 14, 2009 9:36 AM
    gedoe_+1 for using the same cute girl as last year (apparently your still together)


    Hehe, last year Alicia, my wife, was in the gift guide. This year it's Sarah, who has done these since, I think, like 2005?
  • 0 Hide
    Harby , December 14, 2009 10:40 AM
    The Lady Slayer"PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies."Only if you've never heard of Corsair.


    Actually, Corsair is better only if you've never heard of PCP&C. Unless you need modular bling crap that shoot lasers and whatnot.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , December 14, 2009 10:58 AM
    Does the Dell U2410 monitor have an IPS panel?
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 14, 2009 1:00 PM
    Or you could get a 27 inch LG for 200 bucks cheaper.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005127
    Tpk=W2753V%20PF
  • 0 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , December 14, 2009 1:36 PM
    I was going to add $0.02 and make some lurid comment about wanting Sarah to pose with my USB stick so I could take pictures and post on the interwebs but then I noticed something.

    How many pictures did this poor girl have to pose for? By the end of the photoshoot did you at least get her drunk for her troubles?
  • -5 Hide
    tamalero , December 14, 2009 2:08 PM
    The Lady Slayer"PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies."Only if you've never heard of Corsair.



    you're clearly a sad individual and dont know about real quality if you claim that Corsair is better than PC Power & cooling.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 14, 2009 2:30 PM
    Actually, in the "low end" up to 850W Silencer series, Corsair and PC Power&Cooling uses the same parts look on reviews when they disassemble the PSUs both using Seasonic and Corsair is always cheaper so it is the way to go,I got a 850w 70amp/12v for the price of a 750 PC P&C and both offers 5 year of warranty. BUT if you want a 860w+ like the 1.2Kw PC Power&Cooling is the way to go(Better quality than the HX1000 from corsair) if you have the money. And the turbo cool series from PC P&C offers 7 years warranty.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 14, 2009 2:36 PM
    I forgot to add the fan on the Corsairs vs PC P&C Silencer series, the corsairs 140mm which is much quieter than the Silencer series.The Turbo cool from pc p&c is 860w+
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