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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NetGear WMDR3700 -OpenWRT
Netgear RangeMax V1
It wasn’t much of a contest: Netgear’s WNDR3700 V1 retained its crown as our Best of the Best router with spectacular TCP through-put, a strong feature set, and an even stronger price/performance ratio. It’s the second-most expensive router we tested, but it’s worth every penny.
The WNDR3700’s 2.4GHz radio delivered the best performance at every client location except one (where it placed second), and its 5GHz radio finished first in six of our seven locations. D-Link’s DIR-855 firmware is more customizable, but Netgear’s router offers several important features D-Link can’t match, including a DLNA-compliant media server, the ability to configure either radio as a wireless bridge/repeater, and NAS functionality that doesn’t require a client-side utility.

Supremely fast, feature-rich, and relatively inexpensive: There's little we don't like about Netgear's WNDR3700.
If your ISP subjects you to download limits and penalizes you for overages, you’ll appreciate the WNDR3700’s traffic meter. This tool measures both online time and download volume and can be configured to prevent you from exceeding either quota. Unfortunately, the meter measures in aggregate, so you can’t establish limits on a per-client basis. We also find it odd that Netgear doesn’t support printer sharing on the WNDR3700’s single USB port.
We suspect the primary reason the WNDR3700’s press-time street price was so low is because Netgear was clearing inventory to make way for the WNDR3700 V2. Netgear is promising to double the router’s memory, deliver a 50 percent performance boost on the 5GHz band, and provide full support for IPv6. We can’t wait.
You’ll find our complete Netgear WNDR3700 V1 network and NAS benchmarks here.

Radio Frequencies Dual-band: 2.4- and 5GHz
Guest Network Yes, on both radios
DLNA-Compliant Media Server Yes
USB Ports One (for storage only)
NTFS Drive Support Yes
WDS Bridge/Repeater Support Yes, on both radios

The Netgear RangeMax WNDR3700 V1 Verdict
Wonders  Awesome price/performance ratio; DLNA-compliant media server; dual guest networks; traffic meter.
Blunders No USB printer sharing; traffic meter can't limit on a per-client basis.

The Performance Picture

A router worth its salt will perform favorably in a variety of real-world scenarios
2.4GHz Benchmarks

Asus RT-N16 Belkin Play N600 HD Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH D-Link DIR-855 Linksys E3000 Netgear WNDR3700 Trendnet TEW-691GR
Bedroom, 10ft (Mb/s) 74.3 53.2 56.9 59.6 56.1 98.7 75.9
Kitchen, 20ft 54.1 60.9 42.8 55.0 55.9 96.6 86.8
Enclosed Patio, 38ft (Mb/s) 35.5 32.9 3.7 5.7 4.8 53.8 44.9
Bedroom 2, 60ft (Mb/s) 25.5 25.5 41.5 4.3 3.8 27.1 2.0
Media Room, 35ft (Mb/s) 6.3 18.5 3.7 4.9 2.3 22.8 1.1
Outdoors, 85ft (Mb/s) 1.9 3.1 0.5 3.2 N/C 4.0 N/C
Best scores are bolded. TCP throughput measured using IPerf. N/C indicates no connection at that location.

5GHz Benchmarks

Belkin Play N600 HD D-Link DIR-855 Netgear V1 Trendnet TEW-691GR
Bedroom, 10ft (Mb/s) 70.6 86.1 94.5 84.4
Kitchen, 20ft (Mb/s) 34.5 64.6 68.9 50.8
Enclosed Patio, 38ft (Mb/s) 32.5 23.9 34.7 27.5
Bedroom 2, 60ft (Mb/s) 28.1 22.0 44.3 5.1
Media Room, 35ft (Mb/s) N/C N/C 4.3 N/C
Outdoors, 85ft (Mb/s) N/C 2.4 N/C N/C
Best scores at 5.0GHz are bolded. TCP throughput measured using IPerf. N/C indicates no connection at that location.

NAS Benchmarks

Asus RT-N16 Belkin Play N600 HD D-Link DIR-855 Netgear WNDR3700 Trendnet TEW-691GR
Large File Write (min:sec) 8:24 22:23 9:06 11:41 5:52
Small Files Write (min:sec) 2:48 9:42 2:13 4:15 1:32
Large File Read (min:sec) 7:53 23:36 11:58 3:59 6:45
Small Files Read (min:sec) 1:59 5:36 2:36 1:04 1:11
Best scores are bolded. We used the contents of Maximum PC's November 2007 CD for the small-file test, and a single 2.79GB for the large-file test. All scores are averages of three transfers.

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