Review: Netgear DGND3700 N600 Wireless Modem Router

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The Netgear N600 Wireless Modem Router is a performer in it’s category of networking gear. Not only does it integrate many devices into a single device, it does it well. Boasting Dual-Band 802.11n, gigabit connectivity, two USB ports for sharing storage devices and DLNA streaming, the Netgear N600 let’s users turbo boost their network with speedy and reliable connectivity.

Check out the full review after the break.

  • Score:

    7.5 / 10

  • The Good:

    Fast Wireless N, Great NAS Features, Easy setup if you have experience.

  • The Bad:

    No Setup CD, Flaky modem performance

  • Bottom Line:

    Great router if your looking for an upgrade. But don’t depend on the modem!

The Netgear N600 Wireless Modem Router combines two major network devices, a modem and a router. It’s a common thing these days but you still find people having both a modem provided by their ISP and their own router providing wireless and connectivity. The N600 has a built in ADSL2+ modem and a WAN port, allowing you to use a cable modem (or the NBN Box if you have it). It has 4 Gigabit LAN ports available to plug in your computers or networkable devices and two USB ports which allow you to plug in your external USB drives and share them over the network through DLNA or normal SMB sharing.

The N600 has dual-band Wireless 802.11n which sends two streams to your computer which doubles the speed of which you transfer at. This is handy for gamers who play games that require a fast, reliable stream or if you watch HD videos over your wireless connection. The N600 allows you to setup a guest network, which separates your normal network into a secure environment. Any guests connecting to the guest network will be able to browse the internet but not be able to access shared devices on the network or even computers. This is handy in a business environment but is also handy at home if you have people connecting that you don’t trust.

Setup

The N600 does not come with a easy setup CD like other Netgear or other brands come with but the setup through the interface is easy. You need to plugin the N600 into power, ADSL connection and ethernet to your computer, navigate to the routers web based configuration page (details are included in the routers documentation) and follow the steps. You can either follow the automated setup which can automatically detect your connection type, apply settings etc or you have choose to do it manually. I tried both ways and in the end, the router was setup the same.

Performance

During our testing, we found the N600 had very good performance compared to some other routers on the market (We really need to review more routers so we have things to compare to!). I had the router hooked up to a media server with gigabit connectivity and transferred a 4GB file (three times) and averaged the results. During my testing on the 2.4 GHz band, I received the following speeds:

Distance Avg Speed in Mbps
Next to it 60
3 meters, 1 wall 48
10 meters, downstairs 30

Performing the same tests but on the 5 GHz band, yielded the following results:

Distance avg Speed in Mbps
Next to it 120
3 meters, 1 wall 102
10 meters, downstairs 98

Personally, I was pleased with the results from our wireless tests. However, we did have some performance issues with the modem side of things. The modem was unable to hold sync for longer than an hour and there was significant drops in my sync speed. At the time, my Billion modem would sync at 4600 Kbps, however, the N600 would only sync at around 3000 Kbps. This is a disappointing let down as the rest of the router is great! Since the N600 offers a WAN port, you could buy this just for the router features and use another modem.

The built in NAS feature for allowing you to share files from a USB stick or USB hard drive was a great performer. Thanks to the N600’s dual-core processor, the files where transferred quickly through both gigabit Ethernet and dual-band wireless. I have no complaints, it was easy to setup and delegate different permissions to different users.

Conclusion

If your looking to upgrade your home network to Gigabit and Wireless N, this router would be great upgrade. The features and connectivity provided are speedy and easy to use but we aren’t too fond on the modem’s performance. Check out the WNDR3700 which is just the router (without modem) if your looking to upgrade everything but the modem. But all in all, great!

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