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Wireless Reviews

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the 3700 using our standard test method is summarized in Table 1. While I wasn't able to verify NETGEAR's claim of "High WAN to LAN throughput of over 500 Mbps" (stated on the product web page Overview), the upload, download and simultaneous up / down throughput all measured over 400 Mbps using TCP/IP. This should be plenty for even fiber connections and earned it the #2 slot, right below the D-Link DIR-685 in the Router Charts.

Test Description WNDR3700
Throughput - (Mbps)
WAN - LAN
408.9
LAN - WAN
422.3
Total Simultaneous 473.8
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 200 4096
Firmware Version
1.0.4.35NA
Table 1: Routing throughput

The Simultaneous connection test maxed out at my test limit of 200 on the first try. I'm sure that it can handle plenty more.

Updated 5/11/2010: Posted results for new Max. Simul. Connection test

I finally got around to running the new Maximum Simultaneous Connection test on the WNDR3700 with newly installed V1.0.4.55NA firmware. The best results out of three runs showed that the router only supports 4096 simultaneous connections. This is the next-to-lowest result (the lowest is the D-Link DIR-825 B1) of all the routers that I have tested or retested since changing to this new test method. Still, 4K connections should be plenty for P2P or gaming applications.

Figure 5 is a composite plot of the three routing tests, which shows relatively steady routing throughput.

WNDR3700 routing throughput composite plot
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: WNDR3700 routing throughput composite plot

Although NETGEAR doesn't spec jumbo frame support for the 3700, I know that the Realtek RTL8366SR supports them. So I ran a quick check on the switch using 9K jumbo frames, which it passed with no problems.

ReadyShare

The 3700 includes the ability to network-share an attached USB drive, which NETGEAR has dubbed ReadyShare. But even with the nod to NETGEAR's popular ReadyNASes, ReadyShare is no substitute for a real NAS.

To test performance, I plugged in the Iomega UltraMax Pro dual-drive NAS that I use for NAS backup testing and ran the Vista SP1 filecopy test from my NAS test suite. Write speed was 11.4 MB/s and read measured 9.8 MB/s—not bad for a router-based NAS. Note that this is much faster than the 2.8 MB/s reported in the Preview article, which could be due to my use of Vista SP1.

As far as ReadyShare functioning as a UPnP / DLNA server, Windows Media Player 11 seemed to recognize it ok. But I have neither an XBox 360 nor PS3 to test it otherwise. I should note, however, despite clicking the Scan Now button multiple times, WMP 11 never showed the uncompressed ripped DVD that I had uploaded to the default USB_Storage share. It didn't display a .wmv or Quicktime .mov file either.

Wireless Controls

A quick run through the 3700's basic wireless settings page (Figure 7) shows SSID, Channel, Mode and Wireless security settings all present and accounted for. NETGEAR has opted for a simple approach to Mode settings, with Up to 54 Mbps, Up to 130 Mbps and Up to 300 Mbps the only options for both radios. The 5 GHz radio can be set to channels 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161 and 165.

NETGEAR pointed out that this is its first consumer 11n router to support WPA / WPA2 Enterprise (RADIUS) mode.

WNDR3700 routing throughput composite plot
Click to enlarge image

Figure 7: Basic wireless controls

Figure 8 shows the Advanced Wireless Settings that include Transmit Power Control for each radio (25% clicks). Note that there is no way to set the maximum transmit rate on either settings page, nor is there a control to keep clients from communicating with each other.

Advanced wireless settings

Figure 8: Advanced Wireless Settings

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