Netgear DGND3700

Netgear's DGND3700 is quite the desirable bit of kit. It has fantastic wireless performance, and offers enough networking capability to satiate all but the hardest of the hardcore. Now, if only we could push that warranty just a little bit higher ...


9.0
CNET Rating
5.6
User Rating

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Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


A modified version of its WNDR3700, to include VDSL capability, the DGND3700 is currently the papa bear of Netgear's ADSL modem/router range. It can stand vertically, or the base can be detached for traditional horizontal fare. In a nice touch, there's a physical button on the front to turn off the wireless capability, along with the typical WPS button.

Specs at a glance

Firmware tested 1.0.0.12
ADSL2+ modem Yes, with VDSL support
Annex M Yes
3G modem Through USB
IPv6 No
Wireless protocols 802.11b/g/n
Dual band Simultaneous
Highest wireless security WPA2
WDS Yes
Ethernet ports 4x gigabit, 1x gigabit WAN
USB print sharing/storage Storage
Accessories Ethernet cable, phone line filter, phone cable

Connections

The DGND3700 is one of those rare modem/routers that comes with a gigabit WAN port, much like the Fritz!Box 7390. This means that come the NBN, you theoretically shouldn't have to turf your old modem to take advantage of the faster speeds.

There are otherwise four gigabit Ethernet ports and a pair of USB ports, which, when used for storage, can be shared via SMB, HTTP and FTP, or can act as a DLNA server. Unlike its competitors, Netgear doesn't support printers, UPS, 3G modems or USB pass through, but it does allow you to keep a whitelist of authorised devices.

Netgear DGND3700 rear

DSL line in, gigabit WAN port, 4x gigabit Ethernet ports, USB port, power switch and power jack. There's another USB port on the front — both are only USB 2.0, despite the blue colouring.
(Credit: Netgear)

UI and features

Netgear's UI is simple to use, but almost to a frustration. It actively hides the high-level configuration options, choosing to auto detect instead. Great for the neophyte; vexing for the advanced user.

Despite its general ugliness, it does provide excellent help down the right-hand side, though; something that we don't see often enough in modem UIs, although saving your settings is inexplicably slow. Just to change our ADSL password took 59 seconds.

Netgear DGND3700 UI

The right-hand frame contains useful contextual help.
(Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

There are a few features that stand out from the norm: content filtering is impressive, allowing you to block sites, ports, set a schedule for these blocks and even send email alerts when someone tries to access a blocked site. Little pubescent Timmy would no doubt be slightly bewildered that you knew exactly what sites he was trying to visit.

There's an automated router upgrade, although this didn't work when we tried it, dumping us back to the status page and forcing us to manually upgrade the router.

You can record the amount of internet traffic through the router, too, if you wish, allowing you to disconnect the internet or make one of the lights on the router flash orange once the limit (MBs or hours) has been reached. Those on TB plans will be out of luck here: the limit only supports six digits, locking you to a maximum of 999,999MB. We'd love to see Netgear go one step further, and throttle connections based on a MAC address, or refuse internet access to certain MACs should they exceed a pre-set, per MAC limit.

Performance

After analysing the spectrum with InSSIDer, an empty channel of either 1, 6 or 11 is chosen for 2.4GHz wireless testing. Usually, the router is restricted to the 20MHz band if the option is available.

We use iperf to determine throughput, running eight streams, with a TCP window size of 1MB and an interval of one second. The test is run for five minutes in three different locations, on two separate occasions. The locations are in the same room as the router: one floor down around spiral stairs and with concrete walls and floors, and two floors down under the same conditions.

The wireless throughput is tested using three chipsets (the Atheros AR5008X, Ralink RT2870 and Intel Ultimate-N 6300), and then all results are averaged.

2.4GHz throughput (in Mbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Linksys WAG320N (2.4GHz)
  • AVM Fritz!Box 7390
  • Netgear DGND3700
  • Location one (same room, no obstructions) 107.5399.7069.2065.97
  • Location two (one floor down, some obstructions) 114.3366.3064.6354.37
  • Location three (two floors down, some obstructions) 44.9044.3038.2335.27

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Hot on the heels of the Fritz!Box dominating our charts, the DGND3700 comes in and absolutely trounces everything else in the 2.4GHz stakes.

5GHz throughput (in Mbps)

  • Netgear DGND3300 v2
  • Linksys WAG320N
  • AVM Fritz!Box 7390
  • Netgear DGND3700
  • Location one (same room, no obstructions) 151.33140.6793.9792.5
  • Location two (one floor down, some obstructions) 100.9793.1092.692.5
  • Location three (two floors down, some obstructions) 4.50.4100

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

We've subbed in the Netgear DGND3300 v2 here, as the Billion 7800N isn't capable of 5GHz wireless.

Meanwhile, the DGND3700 proves that it's good at 5GHz wireless performance, too, even managing to connect to the Intel chip in our difficult third location (scoring 0.41Mbps, something that's not really viewable on the graph above). It's only the second router to be able to connect at 5GHz from this position, the first being the Linksys WAG320N, and even then only to our Linksys-branded dongle. The score for the Netgear above is over the average of the three chipsets, and is therefore affected by two zero scores where it would not connect — the score alone for the Intel chipset was 1.23Mbps.

Warranty

Netgear covers the DGND3700 with a one-year warranty; disappointing, considering the two-year warranty from Billion, and the five-year warranty from AVM.

Conclusion

Netgear's DGND3700 is quite the desirable bit of kit. It has fantastic wireless performance, and offers enough networking capability to satiate all but the hardest of the hardcore. Now, if only we could push that warranty just a little bit higher ...

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RogerV posted a comment   

Just bought my n600 yesterday, and it seems quite nice. But I see that in the manual, they say to mount it vertically, so don't remove the stand, folks. (The antennas would be horizontally polarized it's it's laying down, so could that explain the range issues some have experienced? ) Kind regards, Roger V. :-)

Glenina
1
Rating
 

"Very weak signal. Not as good s the DG834N"

Glenina posted a review   
Australia

The Good:User interface, easy setup

The Bad:Unusable outside 6 meters

Worst purcase I ever made. Couldn't pick upa reliabl signal in the next bedroom 6 meters away throuhgh a Gyprock wall. Purchased it as an upgrade for my si pear old DG834N. I'm still using my DG834N.

By the way Netgeat were supportive, they sent me a replacement. Same problem. The DG834N is ok but signal is unreliable at about 20 meters

 

MichaelC9 posted a comment   

Can you please adjust your review - I am very angry that I bought this modem based on your review and that it supported annex-m, however this does not currently appear to be the case.

AdelaideTechHed
10
Rating
 

"Stylish Beast"

AdelaideTechHed posted a review   
Australia

The Good:1x gaming pc, 1x laptop, 2 iphones and 2 tablets only limited by my lousy internet speed ;D

The Bad:it doesnt make my coffee

joined up just to praise this modem/router :D, stable-stable connection (wired and wireless) to my lousy internet and good to share vids around the house (only a small house! - and only one small black spot,,,which is more a grey spot hehe) great coverage for me as an amateur user 10/10...

 

ColinS4 posted a comment   

I just bought this on the strength of this reviews indication that it supports 3G modems (specs at a glance) but now have read further that this functionality is not included. Any advice CNET?

JordanW2 Facebook
1
Rating
 

"Crap"

JordanW2 posted a review   

The Good:Connects to the internet (barely)

The Bad:Frequently crashes, very slow administration panel

This is the second time I've used a Netgear DGND3700v2. On both occasions I've had nothing but problems and been left feeling like I've wasted money on an inferior product.

The web administration panel is very slow and unresponsive. To disconnect and reconnect to the internet requires you to close the window and reopen it again to see what the status if of the router.

The administration settings that it gives you is very limiting - the control over the ability to blacklist/whitelist/forward ports leaves much to be desired. There is no ability to throttle bandwidth by MAC address, IP or port. It only lets you QoS the uplink speed.

This router is prone to crashing. The router will randomly lock up and restart itself - I haven't been able to find a reproducible trigger, it seems to do it when the network is being utilised.

I would not recommend this router to anyone who values a steady internet connection. Don't waste your money here.

MondyBoy
10
Rating
 

"Very stable even when operating at full blast"

MondyBoy posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Its stability. It looks nice. Reception is excellent

The Bad:Nothing... at the moment

Absolutely love this modem. My previous set-up kept dropping out, especially when there was a bit of strain on the bandwidth. But I've had the DGND3700 going at full blast for a week now and it hasn't fallen over once. Just for that I give the modem full marks.

In terms of the signal, even with obstructions and from the further points of my house, every device I own has been able to connect with the modem and surfed the web etc without any issue.

Highly recommend. (I bought it for $143.00 at Officeworks).

mcgyro
3
Rating
 

"All Round Disappointment"

mcgyro posted a review   
New Zealand

The Good:Looks

The Bad:Parental control, stability, range

The DGND3700v2 was purchased to replace an old Linksys. This was after reading the CNet review. Now I understand why the user rating is so much lower than the Cnet rating. The parental controls will not permit individual MAC address time/day based access control. Poor range resulted in the purchase of a Netgear Range extender; not required when using the old Linksys. On phoning Netgear help, I was informed that the access restriction issue was an advanced help issue and my advanced help 90 day warranty expired so an extra charge was required for any further help. I wont have anything further to do with Netgear as they have failed on product performance suppoer and user review.
It would be helpful if CNet would revisit their own reviews when there is a large difference between their rating and user ratings.

JeanS1 Facebook
3
Rating
 

"Parental control apps don't work"

JeanS1 posted a review   

The Good:Some functionality of parental controls via computer

The Bad:no functionality via mobile devices

I purchased Netgear because of Parental Controls - turns out the ipad and android apps absolutely do not work and I've found no reliable posts to the contrary. I'm very disappointed as it defeats the purpose of having the netgear when my old belkin worked just fine. Netgear you need to do something about this.

 

Glenina posted a comment   
Australia

I purchased an N600 as an upgrade for my old Netgear DG834N , which is good but struggles in the garage. What a disappointment. With a service of 4Mbps from Optus I could not watch ABC's iView 10 meters away. I analysed the strength of the signal and found it was weaker than my neighbours network signal. I reverted to the old DG834N and while the signal was not much stronger it was solid and did not drop out like the N600. I was able to stream the ABC without a problem with the old router. I sent back my new N600 thinking it was faulty. A brand new replacement arrived within three days, no questions asked. Unfortunately it was just as bad, maybe worse because the dropouts were more frequent. I tried different channels, turned off anything that might interfere but the old unit was always far better. I got great service from the technical support team but there was nothing they could do. The unit was not faulty, it is simply not as good as my old router. If you want to stream TV or movies from more than 6 meters away the N600 is a very risky investment.


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User Reviews / Comments  Netgear DGND3700

  • RogerV

    RogerV

    "Just bought my n600 yesterday, and it seems quite nice. But I see that in the manual, they say to mount it vertically, so don't remove the stand, folks. (The antennas would be horizontally polarize..."

  • Glenina

    Glenina

    Rating1

    "Worst purcase I ever made. Couldn't pick upa reliabl signal in the next bedroom 6 meters away throuhgh a Gyprock wall. Purchased it as an upgrade for my si pear old DG834N. I'm still using my DG834..."

  • MichaelC9

    MichaelC9

    "Can you please adjust your review - I am very angry that I bought this modem based on your review and that it supported annex-m, however this does not currently appear to be the case."

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