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Wireless Reviews

Routing Performance

Routing throughput running the latest 1.0.0.6 firmware measured in the low 400 Mbps range in both directions and mid 400 Mbps range for both WAN to LAN and LAN to WAN tests running simultaneously.

Benchmark WNDR3700v2 WNDR3700v1
WAN > LAN 429 409
LAN > WAN 420 422
Total Simultaneous 469 474
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 4096 4096
Table 1: Routing throughput summary and comparison

Table 1 compares routing throughput for the v2 and v1, which are, for all intents and purposes equal.

The IxChariot plot in Figure 10 shows throughput isn't rock steady. But it's doubtful you'd notice the variations with most Internet services.

WNDR3700v2 routing throughput

Figure 10: WNDR3700v2 routing throughput

Wireless Performance

The question in most buyers' minds is whether the v2 has improved wireless performance. But, just as important, is whether performance has gotten worse. Unfortunately, it looks like the change in 5 GHz antennas yields has changed performance for the v2 vs. the v1.

I tested the v2 using our standard six-location open-air test. As usual, I set the 2.4 GHz radio to Channel 1 and the 5 GHz radio to Channel 36. I've recently changed to running performance tests using WPA2 / AES encryption instead of no encryption, because that's how Wi-Fi gear should be secured today, so that's how the v2 was configured. I left all other router defaults in place.

The test client was an Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 AGN mini-PCIe card. For the v1, the card was in a Dell Mini 12 running WinXP Home SP3 and using Intel's Win XP 12.4.3.9 driver. For the v2, I used an Acer Aspire 1810T notebook running Win 7 Home Premium and Intel's Win 7 13.4.0.9 driver for the Intel card, because I recently switched to that platform, again to more accurately reflect current usage patterns.

I ran a Wireless Performance Table comparison for the v1 and v2 and split it into 2.4 and 5 GHz band results, shown in Figures 11 and 12. For each test location (A through F), the higher throughput is highlighted in yellow. If both readings are within 1 Mbps of each other, both are highlighted. Then the product with the most location highlights is itself highlighted. If both products have the same number of highlights, then both products are highlighted.

For the 2.4 GHz band, v1 and v2 are tied for three of the four benchmarks run, with the fourth benchmark (40 MHz mode, uplink) going to the v1.

WNDR3700v1 and v2 wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz

Figure 11: WNDR3700v1 and v2 wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz

For the 5 GHz band, the v1 wins for all four benchmarks, consistently yielding higher throughput particularly in the medium signal locations C and D. Note that neither router managed to even be detected by the client in our dead-zone locations E and F.

WNDR3700v1 and v2 wireless performance comparison - 5 GHz

Figure 12: WNDR3700v1 and v2 wireless performance comparison - 5 GHz

Here are links to the IxChariot wireless test plots if you'd like to explore further:

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