NetGear WNDR3800 N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router - Premium Edition review:

NetGear WNDR3800 N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router - Premium Edition

Like the N900, the N600 comes with a traffic meter that allows you to control the router's Internet connection. For example, you can set the router to disconnect from the Internet if a certain amount of data has been downloaded (or uploaded, or both) over a certain period of time. This is useful when you have a quota and don't want to go over. Unfortunately, the traffic meter applies the bandwidth control to the whole network rather than to individual computers, which means you can't use it to restrict one individual from downloading too much.

For security, the router supports all existing wireless-encryption methods: WEP, WPA, and WPA2. It also comes with Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a feature that enables you to add a new client to the network at the press of a button, instead of having to type in the encryption key manually. The router also supports IPv6, the new version of the Internet protocol that replaces IPv4, which is running out of addressing space.

Performance
The Netgear WNDR3800 N600 router offered very good performance in our testing on both bands.

On the 5GHz band, it averaged 89.6Mbps in close-range (15 feet) throughput tests and 74.7Mbps in long-range (100 feet) tests. These numbers put it among the top performers on our charts. Similarly, on the 2.4GHz band, the router scored 66.3Mbps for close range and 40.6Mbps for long range, being the second fastest on both counts.

The router also offered a very long range in our test faculty, up to around 290 feet away. To get the best performance, however, we recommend using it within a range of 170 feet or less.

Like other routers with built-in network storage features, the N600's data rates with a connected USB external drive didn't impress us much. When tested via Gigabit Ethernet, the router offered just about 34Mbps for writing and some 89Mbps for reading. This isn't fast enough to make it a viable network storage option; it's better suited for light document sharing or streaming of music or photos. If you want to do a lot of data sharing or HD media streaming to multiple clients, you should get a dedicated NAS server.

The router also passed our 48-hour stress test, during which it didn't disconnect once. Note, however, that the stress test was conducted within a range of just around 15 feet. As the range gets longer, the stability of the signal might be reduced.

2.4GHz Wireless-N performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

5GHz Wireless-N performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

NAS performance (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Service and support
Netgear backs the WNDR4500 N900 with a limited lifetime warranty. The router also comes with 90-day free and toll-free technical support. Netgear's site offers lots of support information: troubleshooting, a knowledge base, firmware, drivers, and manual downloads.

Conclusion
The Netgear WNDR3800 N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router - Premium Edition is an excellent router for anyone who wants a fast and robust wireless solution for a home or home office.

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