NetGear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router WNDR3400 review: NetGear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router WNDR3400

The second feature that we really like about the WNDR3400 is its Traffic Meter, which allows you to control the router's bandwidth. 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 limited quota and don't want to go over. Unfortunately, the Traffic Meter doesn't offer the bandwidth control for individual computers. This means you can't use it to restrict one individual from downloading too much.

The WNDR3400 also offers the Live Parental Controls feature that was first introduced with Netgear's WNR2000 router. This feature requires a dynamic DNS account with OpenDNS, which is free. You can set up this feature by installing the Live Parental Controls setup software from the included CD and it will walk you though the short installation processes. Once the setup is done, you can access and control the router's comprehensive Web-filtering function, from anywhere in the world, by logging in to http://netgear.opendns.com.

Like most RangeMax routers, the WNDR3400 has a very intuitive and responsive Web interface, which makes managing the router a pleasant job. The router also has many other features found in most RangeMax routers, such as Content Filtering, which lets you block certain Web sites or services, port forwarding, Quality of Service, and Universal Plug and Play.

For security, the router supports all existing wireless encryption methods including WEP, WPA, and WPA2. It also comes with Wi-Fi Protected Setup features that enable 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.

Performance
The Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router WNDR3400 offered very good wireless performance in our testing, although its network storage throughput speed could use some improvement. We tested the router in dual-band mode, and also tested it the way we test other NAS servers.

The router's wireless performance was one of the best we've seen in true dual-band routers. On CNET Labs' max throughput test, where the router is 15 feet from the client, the WND3400 registered 75.8Mbps on the 5GHz band and 65.4Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It was the second fastest on the former and the fastest on the latter among all wireless routers we've reviewed. At these speeds, the router can transmit 500MB of data in about 52 seconds and 62 seconds on the 5GHz band and on 2.4GHz band, respectively.

In a range test, in which the router was placed 100 feet away from the client, it again did impressively at 59.8Mbps on the 5GHz band, topping the charts. On the 2.4GHz band, it did slightly worse at 37.1Mbps, getting third place on our charts.

In the mixed mode test, where the router was set to work with both Wireless-N and legacy Wireless-G and B clients, the score was one of the best we've seen at 59.7Mbps. We tested the mixed mode only on the 2.4GHz bands, as generally legacy clients don't use the 5GHz band.

The WNDR3400 also offers great range, up to 300 feet on the 2.4GHz band and 250 feet on the 5GHz band. Note, however, that at these distances, the wireless connections are only good for light Web surfing and not much else. It's best to use the router within 100 feet. The router also passed our 48-hour stress test, during which time it had to move a large amount of data back and forth between multiple clients. I didn't disconnect once.

NAS performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  

2.4GHz Wireless-N performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Mixed mode  
Range  
Throughput  
Netgear WNDR3400
59.7 
37.1 
65.4 
D-Link DIR-825
55.04 
40.4 
57.44 
Belkin N+ Wireless Router
36.16 
29.44 
55.44 
Netgear WNDR3700
41.8 
38.6 
54.8 
Cisco Linksys E3000
35.3 
32.8 
43.5 
Apple Airport Extreme Base Station
35.2 
21.12 
40.6 
Linksys WRT610n
27.04 
28.8 
35.76 
Apple Time Capsule
20 
20.8 
32.2 

5GHz Wireless-N performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Range  
Throughput  
Netgear WNDR3400
59.8 
75.8 
Apple Time Capsule
57 
70.16 
Linksys WRT610n
54.8 
64.8 
Cisco Linksys E3000
48.8 
65.4 
Netgear WNDR3700
40 
60 
D-Link DIR-825
36.48 
80.96 

Like all routers we've seen with a built-in network storage function, the WNDR3400 didn't have very fast throughput performance for data access to the USB external hard drive connected to its USB port. We tested this via network cable and the scores were around 45.6Mbps for writing and 54.6Mbps for reading. These were about the slowest on our charts. With this kind of performance, the WNDR3400 is suited to light and basic network storage tasks, in which only one or two users can access the drive at the same time. If you want to assign the storage to multiple users and transfer a lot of data, you will need a dedicated NAS server.

Service and support
Netgear ships the N600 Wireless Dual Band Router WNDR3400 with a standard one-year warranty--standard for most routers these days. The company offers free (and toll-free) phone technical support that's available 24-7. The support pages on Netgear's site are somewhat elusive (you have to click on many layers of links to get where you want) but nonetheless offer lots of support information from troubleshooting and a knowledge base to firmware, drivers, and manual downloads.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Weight 1.1 lbs