In recent reviews, the Netgear WNDR3700 makes many expert lists of top 10 wireless routers; reviewers like the unit's high throughput, bandwidth management and speed. In many reviews, the WNDR3700 is up against Apple's AirPort Extreme as some of their features overlap, and it wins in some categories and loses out to the AirPort Extreme in others. However, experts recommend the WNDR3700 router more highly than any other non-Apple model.
Easy setup. The Netgear WNDR3700 is a simultaneous dual-band, wireless-N unit that most reviewers find easy to set up.
Among the fastest wireless routers. The WNDR3700 allows the use of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands at the same time, at a speed of 300 Mbps per band. This router proves to be fast, especially at close range, although some testers say throughput speeds on the faster 5 GHz band drop dramatically as they move away from the router. Others say speeds drop mysteriously after a few weeks of use.
However, the unit crawls as a network-attached storage (NAS) device; in fact, the Netgear WNDR3700 is the slowest network-attached storage (NAS) device in CNET's test; it's even slower in SmallNetBuilder.com's evaluation, where it takes four minutes and 15 seconds to write a small 2.79 GB file to the disk. At these speeds, CNET says the Netgear's NAS feature is only "suited for light and basic network storage tasks, where only one or two users access the drive at the same time."
While Apple wireless routers win two awards for reliability and have nearly perfect owner ratings at Amazon.com, Netgear gets only average dependability scores at PCMag.com and PC World. In addition, some owners at both Amazon.com and Newegg.com complain that the WNDR3700 loses most of its signal strength after a few weeks of use.
External hard-drive sharing. The WNDR3700 wireless router comes packed with features, is highly rated for use with both Windows PCs and Macs, and allows wireless external hard-drive sharing. The WNDR3700 includes four Gigabit LAN ports for other devices, parental controls, the ability to set up guest networks on both bands and a USB port that accepts an external hard drive for wireless sharing. The router also has a traffic meter, which is especially useful if you don't have unlimited Internet access, even though it doesn't let you limit the amount of downloading a user can do.
However, the WNDR3700's USB port can't attach to a printer for wireless sharing. Even so, the majority of owners love the WNDR3700 wireless router, and several experts recommend it -- especially for PC-savvy users who love to tweak their equipment. Netgear allows users access to more settings than Apple does.
Unlike the Apple AirPort Extreme, the WNDR3700 reads the more common Windows NTFS format. For Windows users, this means "you can just plug an existing hard drive with data already on it into the router and share that with the rest of the network," CNET's Dong Ngo says. "Very convenient."
Review Credibility: Very Good The editors of TopTenReviews.com award Netgear's WNDR3700 second place in their review of the top10 premium wireless routers. They praise its excellent bandwidth and management as well as its security features, which include parental controls. Its ease of setup and guest networking abilities are also highlighted.
Review: Netgear N600 WNDR3700, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good The Netgear WNDR3700 router receives 4 out of 5 mice and is called "business ready" and a "joy to use." Although Jon Jacobi is impressed with the unit's speed and reliability, he says this comes only after a difficult setup and configuration process. Once the WNDR3700 is running, he says, "there's no better performing" router for home and small business use. This review also appears in PC World.
Review: Netgear N600 Wireless Dual-band Gigabit Router (WNDR3700), Jon L. Jacobi, March 28, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good Samara Lynn gives the Netgear WNDR3700 an Editor's Choice award, identifying it as one of the fastest routers she has ever tested. The unit's extensive feature set, ease of setup and high throughput combine to provide wireless networking power for both home and business use.
Review: Netgear N600 Wireless Dual-band Gigabit Router (WNDR3700), Samara Lynn, March 6, 2011
4. Small Net Builder.com
Review Credibility: Very Good Tim Higgins reviews version 2 of the Netgear WNDR3700 router, which increases flash memory to 16 MB and changes the antenna configuration for the 5 GHz band. He says the original WNDR3700 outperforms the later version in the 5 GHz band.
Review: Netgear WNDR3700v2 N600 Wireless Dual-band Gigabit Router Reviewed, Tim Higgins, Jan. 20, 2011
5. Small Net Builder.com
Review Credibility: Very Good With high-end features including guest networks on both bands and "routing speed well above what most of us can use," the Netgear WNDR3700 is one of this site's most highly recommended routers. Detailed tests show how the unit surpasses two rivals, the Linksys WRT610N -- now the E3000 -- and D-Link DIR-825.
Review: Gentlemen, Start Your Buying: Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual-band Wireless-N Gigabit Router Reviewed, Tim Higgins, Updated May 11, 2010
Review Credibility: Good The Netgear WNDR3700 beats all rivals -- including the D-Link DIR-855 and Cisco Linksys E3000 -- in this seven-router shootout. The WNDR3700 offers the best performance at almost every tested distance on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Michael Brown does find a few flaws, like the lack of USB printer sharing, although you can plug a printer into one of the router's Ethernet ports and share it that way.
Review: Router Roundup: We Review 7 Top-Tier Routers, Michael Brown, Oct. 27, 2010
7. The Wall Street Journal
Review Credibility: Good The Netgear WNDR3700 comes out on top in Geoffrey A. Fowler's "real-world torture tests" to find a wireless router that isn't "sluggish and flaky." The unit covers the farthest reaches of his apartment, and its performance mode improves its reliability.
Review: No Signal: Homes Often Baffle Wi-Fi From Routers, Geoffrey A. Fowler, Dec. 22, 2010
8. PC & Tech Authority (Australia)
Review Credibility: Good Editors test 12 of the latest wireless-N routers, including the Netgear WNDR3700. Despite its great feature set and "blazing" speed in the 5 GHz band close to the router, they find that performance drops dramatically as you move away from the unit, and it doesn't win an award in this test.
Review: Time for Faster Wireless? 12 Latest 802.11n Routers Reviewed, Editors of PC & Tech Authority, June 11, 2010
Review Credibility: Good With more than 850 reviews posted, the Netgear WNDR3700 earns an overall score of 4 eggs out of 5. Its reliability and stability are praised by long-term users and, in contrast to professional reviews, some owners find it easy to set up and configure.
Review: Netgear WNDR3700-100NAS Wireless Gigabit Router, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Netgear WNDR3700 gets an overall rating of 3.6 stars out of 5 from more than 1,000 users at Amazon.com. Although more than 400 owners give the router a perfect 5 stars, others complain that it fails after weeks or months of use.
Review: Netgear N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router WNDR3700, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Netgear WNDR3700 earns a spot on CNET's list of the best wireless routers in 2009. After a full test, Dong Ngo says the router could be quicker, but its "decent" performance and robust features -- including network-attached storage -- make it a great choice for "networking enthusiasts who also want a quick and easy network storage solution."
Review: Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual-band Wireless -N Gigabit Router (Premium Edition), Dong Ngo, Sept. 23, 2009
12. Information Week
Review Credibility: Fair The Netgear WNDR3700 is "truly is packed with features," which Bill O'Brien lists briefly along with details on five other routers he recommends. However, although this website does evaluate routers, O'Brien doesn't discuss any performance testing of this unit.
Review: 802.11n Router Buyer's Guide, Bill O'Brien, June 5, 2010