Netgear DGND3700 N600 Dual-band Gigabit router £150.13

1st Jun 2011 | 15:25

Netgear DGND3700 N600 Dual-band Gigabit router

This dual-band router is one seriously speedy machine

TechRadar rating:

4.5 stars

A satisfyingly fast dual-band router that delivers 5GHz at range alongside stunning 2.4GHz capabilities with a good range of features for home and office.

Like:

Incredibly fast 2.4GHz performance; Top-flight 5GHz performance; Solid feature set;

Dislike:

Aging interface;

Netgear DGND3700 review : Overview

The Netgear DGND3700 is the big brother to the Netgear DGND3300 Dual Band router that we recently took a look at here on TechRadar

Describing itself as the ultimate DSL router, it appears to have a lot to live up to, but on the basis of just the specification and its full name - there's no less than nine words in there - it should do a good job.

It's a full ADSL2+ capable dual band 5/2.4GHz wireless gateway with Gigabit Ethernet, a WAN port and two USB sockets.

On offer is a raft of additional features such as NAS, a DLNA streaming media server, the ability to store multiple SSIDs with individual settings, alongside a guest network.

There's a 'more detail' statistics module and a refreshed content filtering section, plus a detailed repeater mode and the usual quality of service and UPnP features.

To help make adding systems as simple as possible there's also full WPS support.

Netgear DGND3700 review: Benchmarks

We tested the wireless performance in various scenarios to see how the Netgear DGND3700 performed in typical real-world situations for both its 2.4GHz and 5GHZ modes.

The first was a same-room configuration transferring a large file from the router to the laptop.

The second involved the laptop being place one brick-wall and a standard wooden floor away.

Finally we ran a distance test at 25m with a direct line of sight, to see how it coped with distance.

Same room average transfer speed

File copy – MB/s: higher is better

ASUS RT-N56U 2.4GHz 12MB/s
ASUS RT-N56U 5GHz 24.5MB/s
Fritz!Box 7390 2.4GHz 9.9MB/s
Fritz!Box 7390 5GHz 19.3MB/s
Linksys E4200 2.4GHz 12.4MB/s
Linksys E4200 5GHz 17.5MB/s
Netgear DGND3700 2.4GHz 17MB/s
Netgear DGND3700 5GHz 18.9MB/s

One room away average transfer speed

File copy – MB/s: higher is better

ASUS RT-N56U 2.4GHz 10.7MB/s
ASUS RT-N56U 5GHz 17.6MB/s
Fritz!Box 7390 2.4GHz 6.3MB/s
Fritz!Box 7390 5GHz 9.8MB/s
Linksys E4200 2.4GHz 11.7MB/s
Linksys E4200 5GHz 10.6MB/s
Netgear DGND3700 2.4GHz 15.6MB/s
Netgear DGND3700 5GHz 17MB/s

25m line-of-sight average transfer speed

File copy – MB/s: higher is better

ASUS RT-N56U 2.4GHz 1.1MB/s
ASUS RT-N56U 5GHz 2.0MB/s
Fritz!Box 7390 2.4GHz 2.3MB/s
Fritz!Box 7390 5GHz 6.4MB/s
Linksys E4200 2.4GHz 3.6MB/s
Linksys E4200 5GHz 5.2MB/s
Netgear DGND3700 2.4GHz 8.9MB/s
Netgear DGND3700 5GHz 13.7MB/s

Netgear DGND3700 review: Verdict

Netgear has slowly revamped its consumer units over the year. The latest addition is what we'd consider a somewhat unsightly lip to its front - so it does seamlessly blend in to an removable vertical stand but it seems at odds with the rest of the case.

What hasn't changed is Netgear's fast and easy-to-use to web-based interface. As we've commented on in the past, this remains a welcoming sight, although it does lack any of the flash touches that Netgear's competitors are now using, and is perhaps a sign it finally needs a refresh.

With WPS in place and a semi-automatic ADSL installation the Netgear DGND3700 is certainly easy to get up and running.

It's primed to accept both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections both at up to 300Mbps, indicating twin antennas for both frequency ranges.

Usefully, both can have up to four SSIDs assigned to them, with each having their own configuration. Alongside this, there's the option for a guest network, as well. We imagine this should be flexible enough for even small businesses.

Unlike the Netgear DGND3300, this unit sports four Gigabit Ethernet ports for full throughput. Up and running we were happily surprised by the 5GHz performance, while good at short range averaging 18.9MBs and peaking at 21MB/s.

Where the Netgear DGND3700 really came into its own was at distance, being multiple times faster than anything else we've tested.

What most impressed us was the standard 2.4GHz performance, where the Netgear DGND3700 simply romped away - so much so that we had to double check we had indeed turned off the 5GHz antenna.

Lastly, ADSL2+ connection speeds were as we'd expect, matching our standard router for download speed and providing a slightly improved upload speed of 1400Kbps over 1200Kbps.

We liked

This is one of the best-performing 2.4GHz routers we've ever seen: at short distance it manages to rival the 5GHz speeds of many routers.

Balancing this, the 5GHz speeds are equally good, also matching the best we've seen at short ranges but greatly outpacing them at distance.

We can certainly see ourselves using the media streaming and NAS features thanks to the twin USB ports, and the enhanced stats and logging features are also appreciated.

We disliked

We're not convinced on the new lip design. The interface also really needs something of a polish, as even Linksys units from a few years back look better but these are more quibbles.

Netgear router networking
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