Netgear has introduced several new wireless n routers since the IEEE approved the draft version of 802.11n standard. Netgear also redesigns existing routers to comply with the ratified version of 802.11n standard. Currently there are five wireless n dual band routers (one with built-in DSL modem) which are designed to meet high-performance category routers for fastest downloads, smooth gaming and better streaming video. They are WNDR3300 dual band router; WNDR3400 N600 dual-band router; DGND3300 wireless n DSL router; WNDR3700 wireless gigabit router; and WNDR37AV wireless router for gaming and video. WNDR37AV is believed for future replacement for WNDR3700 router.
3700 and 37AV routers are almost similar except that 37AV supports Windows 7, Live parental control, and DLNA compliant. DGND3300 is designed with built-in ADSL modem - a single solution for home wireless network environment. Now let's have a look the comparison between the three routers 3300, 3400, and 37AV.
All the three wireless routers are designed with simultaneous wireless -n dual-band to work with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands. All routers are compliant with wireless a/b/g/n devices. With dual-band, the system provides double bandwidth for faster speed.
LAN / WAN Interface
All the three wireless routers are embedded with 4xRJ-45 LAN port and 1x WAN Ethernet port but only 37AV router is embedded with Gigabit ports for both LAN and WAN interfaces. All ports are Ethernet with auto-sensing, means the port can detect the network cable either cross or straight-through type and can adjust the signal automatically to match the cable type accordingly. You don't need to worry in selecting the cable type; both cross and straight-through cable can work.
Both 37AV and 3400 routers are embedded with the USB port which can be used as the storage server. Netgear with ReadyShare technology provides fast and easy shared access to an external USB storage device. 37AV features a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) Media Server allows you stream video and music from a USB drive to media players, DLNA TVs, and any other DLNA compliant devices without the need to turn on the PC.
WNDR3300 wireless router does not include the USB port. This is one of the con sides of this router compared to other WNDR37AV and WNDR3400 routers.
The disadvantage of the three routers regarding the USB port is that they do not support the USB Printer for sharing. If you require the routers that support USB printer for sharing, you can consider the new Belkin including Share, Play, and Max Play wireless routers. Or you can consider the TEW-673GRU wireless router by Trendnet. TEW-673GRU is an all-in-one solution for wireless router, storage, and print server.
All the 3300, 3400, and 37AV routers support the latest wireless encryption Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2 - PSK) and WEP (Wired Equivalent Protection) for connecting to legacy wireless clients. For network protection, NAT & SPI firewall and VPN pass-through for secure tunneling are also included.
The 'free live parental control' and 'guest access' are the distinct security features for 3400 and 37AV compared to 3300. 3300 doesn't support the guest access and free live parental control. With guest access, you can create specific SSID for guest separate from your private network. With live parental control, you can block bad sites for your kids and you can manage remotely from anywhere.
All the routers support Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OS, UNIX, or Linux. WNDR3400 and WNDR37AV also support Windows 7, but WNDR3300 does not. Other requirements are the same.
Netgear Green Technology
Except 3300, both WNDR3400 and 37AV support Netgear Green technology. With green technology, the routers are designed with eco-friendly to help conserve the energy including power/wireless on/off buttons, 80% recycled packaging, energy star compliant power adapter etc.
Both the prices of WNDR3300 and 3400 are under $80 currently, but for 37AV currently the price is around $140. Now which one do you need for your home wireless environment? Unless you require high-performance environment for video streaming and gaming more enjoyable and you also require Gigabit for fastest wired connection, you can consider WNDR3400 which is around 70% cheaper than 37AV. Otherwise, consider 37AV wireless n dual-band router.
By Ki Grinsing
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