LAS VEGAS--If you like Netgear's premium WNDR3700 router, you'll likely love what the company announced today. It's the upgraded version of the company's flagship router, now called N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router--Premium Edition, model number WNDR3800.
This is Netgear's high-end, noncompromising consumer wireless router that has two USB ports to host printers and external storage devices. The router offers what the WNDR3700 had, plus a handful of new features, including:
ReadyShare Printer: the USB ports now support multifunction printers, meaning you can not only print from any networked computer (both wired and wireless) but also do other functions, such as scanning or faxing.
Quick Start, Steady Stream HD: A new feature that helps stream HD videos stored on a connected USB storage device faster, both in terms of starting up and reduction of buffering delay during the playback. This feature works both with the locally connected devices and over the Internet.
- Clear Channel Selector: The router is now capable of automatically and dynamically avoiding busy Wi-Fi channels by detecting the least used one and switching to it when all connections are idle.
Other than that, the new WNDR3800 is a true dual-band router, meaning it can offer two wireless networks, one in the 2.4Ghz frequency band and the other in the 5Ghz frequency band at the same time. It has guest networking, which allows for creating separate wireless networks for guests.
For those who want to have more control over the Internet usage, the new router features Live Parental Controls, a Web-filtering feature first introduced with Netgear's WNR2000 router. There's also a broadband usage meter.
For its network storage functionality, the WNDR3800 is is DLNA-certified, has an option to extend TiVo storage, and is compatible with OS 10's Time Machine for Macs' backup. Netgear also claims that it's the first among routers of its type to offer one of the highest USB access speeds thanks to a powerful processor that runs at 680 MHz.
The WNDR3800 is slated to be available during the second quarter of the year and costs $180.