A few months back I purchased the NETGEAR DGND3700v2 Wireless ADSL Router to replace my old BT Home Hub 2.0 which was having some incredibly frustrating intermittent crashing issues. I decided to purchase the DGND3700 as I knew that NETGEAR have a pretty good track record in specialising in wireless routers and other related networking equipment. The router also featured a Gigabit ethernet port which is something I’ve wanted for a while and wireless connectivity supporting up to 145 Mbps.
Price & Specifications:
The router currently retails for around £99.99 and for that you will get a router with a Built-in modem, WiFi supporting IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz & IEEE 802.11 a/n 5.0 GHz, the router has a transfer speed in excess of 300 Mbps, supports both 2.4GHz & 5GHz wireless connectivity, useful if there’s lots of 2.4GHz traffic in your area, it also features Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK) & WEP, Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT firewall), Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention, Live Parental Controls with flexible and customizable filter settings, the router also supports ADSL2+, it has 4 internal antennas for greater range (can’t really beat the external antennas though), there’s also 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 ADSL2+ port, 5 10/100/1000 (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports, it supports pretty much any OS, and it measures: 223mm x 153mm x 31 mm. Other features that they don’t really mention includes the readyshare support for hard drives and printers attached to the router and the ability to create guest networks of both the 2.4 & 5GHz variety.
In the box you get the router itself, the manual & other documentation, an ethernet cable, a phone cable & ADSL filter and the power adapter.
As far as appearance is concerned, the router is fairly modest and won’t look particularly out of place anywhere, it has a plain black glossy shell, no visible antennas, a nice light blue trim surrounding the status lights on the front of the device (there’s a lot of them) and a stand that allows you to mount the router in a vertical space-saving position, it’s removable too if you wanted it to lie flat on the surface on which it is placed. There are also some ventilation holes around the perimeter of the device.
Setting Up The Router:
The router was relatively easy to set up. The manual contains the general setup information for plugging in the various cables and whatnot and also how to access the router’s control panel. I simply plugged in the cables that I needed to and plugged in my notebook computer via ethernet and accessed the router’s control panel via it’s IP address (192.168.0.1). I was surprised to see that the control panel had a fair amount of polish to it. It’s a nice, easy, clean looking UI that seems to get straight to the point. I proceeded to connect the router to our broadband connection and used the router’s setup wizard to automatically find our ADSL type and as soon as that was done, the router was online! I then proceeded to turn off all wireless networks except for our main 2.4GHz network, we didn’t really require the 5GHz network or either of the guest networks. It’s very easy to individually toggle functions in the router’s control panel. Readyshare was a bit of a pain to set up and use to be honest as you need corresponding software on the client computers in order to use the connected printer and / or storage drive, it isn’t simple plug and play unlike some routers, in that respect I was disappointed.
You can also control the router with your phone or tablet too which is nice, there’s a NETGEAR Genie app which allows you to toggle basic functions of our router, unfortunately the app’s UI isn’t as good, there was lots of UI inconsistencies and it generally just looked like something that was put together as a prototype and was just never finished.
There are also lots of troubleshooting & help menus built into the control panel and utilities to measure the upload & download speeds, connection stability, noise margin, line attenuation etc. These are all very welcome features as it really can help you figure out whatever the problem could be.
Life With The Router:
The router has been great for the most part, a solid performer. It never struggles to allocate sufficient bandwidth to individual devices and I haven’t once had the router crash. It’s wireless range does well when there’s nothing in the way (I can now go to the bottom of the garden and still have a signal) but it seems to struggle more when the device is in the opposite side of the house and on a different floor, whereas the old router also had this problem, the problem seems more pronounced with this router. The router is quite slim & compact which is a plus, you could probably put it between books on a bookshelf and it really wouldn’t be noticed or have too much of a footprint. The router also seems to keep quite cool, obviously I still wouldn’t recommend putting it in an extremely confined area though. Readyshare is just terrible in my opinion, I really much would’ve preferred it if storage devices and printers would just register to all clients as a storage location with an IP or a simple IP printer. Fortunately the printer wasn’t much of an issue in the end as I purchased a new wireless printer, but to those who want to use an existing USB printer or storage device over the network, it is possible but you have to run NETGEAR’s software which to be perfectly honest isn’t the worst but it’s just ANOTHER piece of software getting in the way.
If you’d like to find out more information on this router visit NETGEAR’s website here. – NETGEAR