Netgear packs the WNDR3700 with the standard Ethernet cable, stand, power adapter and quick install guide. Nothing fancy here, just what you would expect from a router with no external antenna. Hopefully, the configuration of the router will be just as easy.
Taking a quick tour around the body of the WNDR3700v4, we see at the top is the WPS button for one-touch secure connection of your wireless devices. Below that are a WiFi status indicator, power status, internet connection, 2.4Ghz/5Ghz radio status, 4-LAN ports, and 2 USB indicators. Many of these indicators will change color or flash depending on the state the device is in. Overall, it is a pretty clean and efficient way of displaying information and users didn’t find the indicators annoying or flashy as we used the device.
On the back you can the WNDR3700’s USB ports, 4 Ethernet LAN ports, a WAN port, DC power plug, and On/Off push button.
On the bottom of the device you will find the reset button, instructions on how to log in to the router, and the only physical evidence of router version.
As with the previous Netgear router products we have reviewed, Netgear has standardized their router set up and configuration for the novice user by allowing access to the router’s user interface via web browser. If you type http://routerlogin.net into the address bar you will be taken to the front page of Netgear’s GUI called the Netgear Genie.
The Netgear Genie GUI works with OSX, PC’s, Android smartphones, and tablets. The Genie application works very well and makes for easy installation. It includes a personal dashboard which will allow you to monitor, repair, and manage your home network.
As we discussed in our Netgear R6300 review, the Negear Genie software is designed to diagnose and repair many common computer errors. When it is time for you to fix the problem – such as network conductivity – the Genie assists you in applying easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to rectify the issue.
If you want to test out the Netgear Genie home networking software, it is free to download from this Netgear link: www.netgear.com/genie.
Turning back to our GUI, we found that the firmware we were using V188.8.131.52 is essentially the same as what our Netgear N900 and R6300 are currently using. If you are a current owner of a Netgear router product, the feel and features that this current Genie GUI has will be old hat.
Netgear’s Genie makes it very easy to configure both wireless radios of your router as well as assign independent levels of security. For instance, I have one of my network SSIDs viewable to the public with encryption while the other is hidden with a different password.
The Netgear Genie for the N600 WNDR3700v4 also includes the ability to connect and share a USB printer or USB hard drive with your connected devices via its ReadySHARE application. ReadySHARE Access allows you to connect most USB storage devices so that you can share the contents with other users on your network.
In the past, we have successfully shared thumb-drives as well as the contents of large USB hard drives. Both ReadySHARE (Printer and Hard Drive) functions are fairly simple to set up and use and the only thing you have to be careful about is the compatibility with certain devices. We had issues using an older USB enclosure that required a driver that needed to be download or load from a CD.
During the course of our testing, we did plug a few different thumb drives in and our Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex USB drive in and it worked flawlessly. For people who are looking for Network Attached Storage without the huge price of a stand-alone NAS, the ReadySHARE Access option on the Netgear WNDR3700v4 is a very good option.
We aren’t going to spend a lot of time on the details of the GUI, but you can check a more detailed walk through of the Netgear firmware here in our R6300 review. To be honest, we really don’t feel that anything needs to change.
Now that we have the router set up and ready to go, let’s take a look at the Wi-Fi speeds the WNDR3700v4 can generate.