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Old 11-17-2010, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
It also has probably the best range of any N router I've tested.
That's some really interesting reading!
Because is there one thing bugging me with the Netgear WNDR3700 at the moment it's the wireless capabilities.

I've just got my hands on a rev4 board WNDR3700 / WNDR37AV, I've been around v1.0.4.55, v1.0.4.68, v1.0.4.68_Traffic_Meter_Test and the latest v1.0.4.75 and they all seem to work okay for me when it comes to routing performance and stability, I've yet to overload the rev4 WNDR3700, it's been running rock solid for me even when thrashing it with lots of P2P and torrent action and things like that, so can't blame the stability of the thing! Though the WNDR3700 rev1 that I had was having some troubles forcing me to reboot it every other day, that's why I've got the rev4 board where this memory leak problem was supposed to be fix, and it seems like it is!

But in regards of the wireless I'm not that impressed, I tend to read your wireless charts up and down before I buy my networking equipment and the WNDR3700 seemed like something sent from heaven when it had plenty of routing performance to fit my needs, it seemed to be rock solid (and it has proven to be!) and it's wireless charts was rather impressive boosting what seemed to be the best range and throughput on 2.4GHz @ 40Hz as well as 5.0GHz @ 40Hz with your Intel Centrino NIC.

So as I have a Intel Centrino 6300 I though I would get about the same experience as you did, but I was mistaken. The range for instance isn't on pair with the Linksys / Cisco WRT320N I had for about one year back. It's no major difference, but in the other end of the house my WNDR3700 isn't really able to provide me with a usable wireless connection, whereas the WRT320N actually managed. In regards of raw performance I'm sticking with 2.4GHz, Channel 6 @ 40Hz because that gives me the best combination of range and performance, there are too few other 2.4GHz wireless connections around for me going 5.0GHz simply because it lacks range AND throughput, which your charts also confirms when 2.4GHz @ 40Hz doesn't only provide better coverage but also gives higher average throughput compared to 5.0GHz.

Whether or not the WNDR3700 gives higher average throughput than for instance the WRT320N I can't really tell, I didn't really test the raw performance. What I can tell though is that the stability of both my WNDR3700 regardless of firmware has been disappointing, I can't lay in my bed watching even one single episode of Prison Break! That's a 5588 kbps video streaming over 2.4GHz @ 40Hz wireless, it's going about 7meters with just half a wooden wall in-between my bedroom and the router, and my computers is a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 featuring a Intel Centrino 6300 NIC. This is in the middle of the night, no one is using the wireless besides myself and there is just one other 2.4GHz wireless network around our house so shouldn't be too much interference either.

Do I expect too much when I want this 5588 kbps video file playing flawless over wireless? It normally freezes at least two times, and might have some hiccups two - three times besides that. It's not the end of the world, but it's still disappointing as I was expecting more from the WNDR3700, at least after reading your charts.

I might be unlucky with the WNDR3700, or it might be you being lucky with your test model? Looking at the WNDR3700 forums there seems to be plenty of people disappointed with the wireless on the WNDR3700, but of course you will always find whiners on the forums, why would people without any problems be around on the forums? Most of roundup reviews I've read never seem to recommend the WNDR3700 either? They don't claim it to be bad in any way, shape or form but most reviews out there seems to be recommending WRT610 v2 / E3000 instead of the WNDR3700 for a overall more stable and better experience? Unfortunately none of these reviews have had the Asus RT-16N so I have no idea how it would compare. I don't normally take these reviews as serious as yours, they tend to never go into the roots and the raw data of the routers, it's just a rather short roundup of several high-end consumer market routers but I'm wondering why the WNDR3700 never seems to triumph in these tests?

I'm seriously considering getting myself a D-Link DAP-2553 and use that for the wireless (might go 5.0GHz after reading the impressive wireless charts on this unit) and just use the WNDR3700 as a router, seems to be like a more stable and better way to do things.

I also consider replacing my WNDR3700 with a Asus RT-16N as it has full DD-WRT and Tomato firmware support and more RAM than the WNDR3700, so with better firmware, more RAM and a broadcom CPU capable of swallowing my 25/25 mbit connection anyway I might consider that as a more feature rich and stable solution, the major downer with the RT-16N is the wireless but if I'm going for the DAP-2553 on the wireless part anyway it doesn't really matter.

Last edited by RamGuy; 11-17-2010 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:18 PM
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The problem with using all N routers for video streaming is that they have high throughput variation, with frequent (or occasional, depending on the router) throughput drops to near 0 for a second or so. Go to the reviews and look at the IxChariot throughput plots and you'll see what I mean.

Unless the application / box you are using to view the streams has intelligent buffering (and many / most) don't, you're going to have the same experience.

Changing N routers doesn't help much. Manufacturers tune consumer N routers for high throughput at the expense of throughput stability. N tends to have higher bit error rate due to its complex technology. There are techniques to improve throughput stability, but they come at the expense of throughput.

I can't speak to why other reviews don't view the WNDR3700 positively. Could be any number of things.

Alternative firmware doesn't do a thing for wireless performance, nor do RAM, or CPU.
Tim Higgins
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:09 PM
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That's some really interesting things your mentioning.. Can't figure why higher throughput comes for the sacrifice of stability, what's the point with higher throughput if it lacks stability?

I guess enabling "video network" over 5GHz doesn't really do anything to prevent this from happening?

Is there anything I could do to improve things? Something I can tinker with within the drivers, something in the Windows operating system, something inside the router / firmware? Might there be some enterprise access points focusing more on stability? Might there even be some wireless NIC that are better in this regard, might the more "customizable" Atheros driver have some benefits compared to the more lackluster Intel Centrino drivers that could help me improve things?

Or might I just want to force 802.11G in order to get it stable, less throughput but even 802.11G should be able to handle a 5mbps bitrate movie.

I hate when getting the highest numbers comes for the sacrifice of overall stability, completely pointless and damn frustrating if you ask me.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:54 PM
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Default DIR-655 vs. E3000 vs WNDR3700

I purchased a WNDR3700 in July and using the latest f/w V1.0.4.68. I've had nothing but problems which I will not go into at this time. I did open a few tickets at my 3rd week on buying this, and the help I received was not making matters any better. I should have just returned the device locally at that time, since the local shop does refund within 3 months, but I was determined to get the device working properly, as I had read several reviews on other sites as well as Tim's review. [sorry Tim, just my 2 cents].

Since then, I've made other tickets and was told by a supervisor at tech support that he would notify customer service to email me a prepaid voucher to send the unit back. Customer service contacted me a couple of days later to advise me that this would not be the case, and that shippping charges would be my responsibility. I emailed them back telling them what occured and having to spend over an hour this past Saturday on the phone on hold, until I got fed up and hung up the phone, managing to contact someone else only to repeat my story. I had spent about 3 hours on the phone in total Saturday and nowhere ahead with the problem, except to send the device back at my cost. The problem existed from day one, so I don't see why I should incur shipping charges. I had contacted tech support 3 times in 2 months without any of my problems solved, so it was obvious that I bought a lemon. I never did receive a reply from my email to customer service and don't expect one, and I will not deal with Netgear in the future. Their customer service is the worst I've had to deal with in anything I've purchased online or locally. I can't really say anything positive on the WNDR3700, but buyer beware, their customer service is pitiful and I'm going back to using my trusty old D-Link 655 for the present.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:23 AM
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Get the Netgear WNDR37AV which is a replacement for the WNDR3700. Actually in the box is the 3700 with an updated firmware correcting the problems of the 3700 and enhanced for video streaming.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RamGuy View Post
I also consider replacing my WNDR3700 with a Asus RT-16N as it has full DD-WRT and Tomato firmware support
Asus RT-N16 has excellent 3rd Party support, though only 2.4Ghz radio. Just FYI as you mentioned 3rd Party support, the E3000 is now supported by Tomato, albeit a bit Beta, with simultaneous dual-band wifi now supported.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:09 PM
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Unhappy Should not have followed the advice from a SNB review

Based on the review on the WNDR3700 I purchased two units, one in April 2010 and one a couple of months later, mainly chosing the same brand and model to have one to use as a spare for the first one. The WNDR3700 DOES have issues (firmware...68)

1) now one of them frequently disables the wireless function and it is impossible by remote management to enable it. Furthermore sending emails with the log is also broken.

2) if you consider starting to use IPv6 eg. by using a 6to4 tunnel, keep away from it. It does not forward protocol 41 packets. My 7 years old Speedstream router does !

3) it has used the wellknown port 123 (NTP) for its own purpose, so you cannot run a NTP server with access from other servers. Serious flaw in a router to monopolize wellknown ports without ways to change it!
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