A combo router with excellent file and device sharing.
A common theme among the ADSL routers we’ve reviewed here is that they’re also capable of serving as standard broadband routers. Like the Cisco Linksys X3000, the Netgear DGND3700 has a Gigabit WAN port in addition to its ADSL2+ port. That makes it ready for when your ASDL connection gets replaced by the NBN.
Another particular strength of the DGND3700 – and of Netgear routers is general – is the support for media and file sharing from USB storage devices. Using Netgear’s ReadyShare, you can easily stream media from an attached USB storage device to an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or DLNA TV set. It works very well, even talking to a notoriously finicky Samsung DLNA TV set when we tested it.
The Netgear is also notable for its family-friendly features. It’s among the easiest routers to set up, with a smooth interface and comprehensible wizards. It also has excellent live parental controls – not just setting internet access times, but also blocking known undesirable web sites. And then there’s a broadband usage meter that keeps track of how much you’ve downloaded in a given period; unfortunately this doesn’t support per-user metering, which would be handy in a lot of homes.
The Netgear’s four LAN ports are all Gigabit, and it supports 300Mbps dual-band wireless, which is about as good as you'll get in an ADSL router. It provided excellent reception when we tested it; at 12m and through several walls it streamed data at an average rate of 5.3MB/s to a test PC, which is a good result relative to other devices we tested in the same scenario.
Special features :
- Gigabit WAN Port
- Media Streaming
- Simple setup
Pros : Fast wireless, Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, excellent file sharing.
Cons : Lacking a few higher-end features (like advanced QoS).
Verdict : 9/10. Editor's Choice!
Available from Netgear, retailing for $175