By Ki Grinsing
It has been widely produced various models of wireless router and will always come variety of new models with a variety of new features offered as well as new technology to offer and is claimed the most advanced as well. However, Apple has always offered the same wireless router products i.e. Apple airport extreme from the first generation to the fifth generation today. Apple is known for its reliable and proven products that always get a very good response in the market.
Netgear offers many variants wireless routers ranging from router with N600 technology which is in one class with apple airport router to wireless ac router. So far Apple has not offered a new router product which is based on wireless ac.
Airport extreme Vs Netgear 3700
One of Netgear router products which is very popular in the market up to now is Netgear 3700 series that is in the same class with Airport Extreme. How is the comparison between the two routers?
It’s not good if it does not show you a table to compare between the two routers though only the main features are shown (see table below).
Indeed, both the routers use the same N600 wifi technology, but not necessarily provide the same speed performance. It could be one of the routers more solid than the other or vice versa depending on the environment and the many factors that influence. Or it could be because of the performance from the router is indeed the case. The N600 wireless technology delivers the high speeds of up to 300Mbps each band (2.4GHz and 5GHz bands). Both bands deliver the same high speed theoretically.
Apple Airport uses internal antennas with smart MIMO technology while Netgear 3700 is equipped with fine-tuned antennas for better speed and range.
Indeed, both are equipped with Gigabit Ethernet both LAN and WAN ports, the number of ports is different. Airport Extreme has three LAN ports only one fewer than the Netgear 3700.
I believe that mostly home users do not use more than three Ethernet ports including one desktop computer that sits close to the router, one port for wired connection to your game console (if wireless gaming adapter is not installed) and probably one HDTV (with Ethernet ready). The others are mobile devices which connect wirelessly to the network.
With wireless network around, you can connect all your home theater devices to the network (the internet) wirelessly. You can use multiple-port wireless internet adapter such as Airstation WLI-TX4-AG300N with four Ethernet ports. You can connect your home theater devices including the XBOX, Blu-Ray player, HDTV and DVR to this device to allow them connect wirelessly to the network, eliminating the clutter of the wires.
Both routers include one USB port but the function is not totally the same. USB port on Airport extreme can be used to share the external USB storage or share the USB printer accessible by users on the network. Even you can add a USB hub to let you attach both storage and printer to share at the same time.
On the other hand USB port on Netgear 3700 can only be used to share the storage but cannot be used for shared printer. The router with the shared storage is DLNA certified to assure any DLNA-based devices share and enjoy your digital content effortless.
Netgear router that is equipped with 2 USB ports can be found in Wndr4500 (N900) that you can use to host both storage and printer together, do not bother to replace the cables every time you change printer or storage.
It’s quite often that you invite your friends to your home and give them internet access. It means that you give them your wireless password to get the internet access and can access your local network resources including your critical business documents. Guest network is an easy way to segment the network with different password without granting other local resources. This way you don’t need to worry about compromising the security. Apple Airport Extreme let you create one Guest network while Netgear 3700 let you create guest network each band. Even the new TEW-692GR lets you create up to four SSIDs each band.
|Click the link for specs details||Apple Airport Extreme||Netgear WNDR3700 N600|
|Wireless Standards||Wireless N dual band simultaneous
|Wireless N dual band simultaneous with Fine-tuned antennas best wireless speed and range|
|Ethernet Ports||3x Gigabit LAN and 1x Gigabit WAN||4x Gigabit LAN and 1x Gigabit WAN|
|USB Port||One port for shared storage or printer||One port for shared storage|
|Guest Network||Yes||Yes, each band|
|Customer ratings||averagely 4.4 out of five stars for ease of installation, ease of use, range and extensibility||averagely 3.6 out of five stars customer ratings for ease of installation, ease of setup, ease of use and features|
Apple Airport Extreme receives averagely 4.4 out of five stars customer ratings while WNDR3700 receives averagely 3.6 out five stars customer ratings. However, it doesn’t show you precise benchmark by just reading user’s opinion about the product.
You can setup the router by connecting to the broadband modem to share the internet connectivity as shown in the above figure. The diagram shows you the attached storage connects to the USB port and Apple TV is used to stream the HD contents from the internet and view them in your large screen HDTV.