Netgear DGND3700 review: Netgear DGND3700

4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Fantastic wireless performance. Great content filtering. Fantastic help feature. Physical button to turn off wireless, along with physical power button. Gigabit WAN port. Multiple guest SSIDs.

The Bad No IPv6. Auto update feature didn't work on review unit. Advanced options are often hidden in favour of auto detect. USB ports are storage only. Quota warnings won't work with those on TB plans. Excessively slow to update settings.

The Bottom Line 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 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Sep '11

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.

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