By Ki Grinsing
Vendors competition in producing router with N600 technology is very tight, almost all vendors introduce flagship products with this technology which is the first dual band technology with bandwidth of up to 300Mbps per band such as Linksys E series 3200, 3700 Netgear, Buffalo AG300H, Belkin N600 DB and more.
Linksys Vs Netgear
Just compare the two wireless routers in N600 class between Linksys 3200 and Netgear 3700 which are the flagship product of both vendors in this class.
Basically the two routers have nearly the same features. The table 1 shows the main manufacturers specs between the Linksys E3200 Series Vs Netgear WNDR3700 routers.
We have already discussed upfront that both routers is packed with N600 technology with the aggregate bandwidth of up to 600Mbps. For that reason, the name N600 derived total bandwidth of the two bands that operate simultaneously.
This speed gives sufficient power to your multimedia devices including game consoles, Blu-ray, HDTV and the other for a good performance in streaming and gaming.
In this class you still can find most popular Asus RT-N56U first dual band router introduced by Asus.
Fast Ethernet with speed 100Mbps is very adequate for highly reliable wired connection for variety of applications from your desktop computers. Even both routers are geared with the gigabit interfaces 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet.
Another advantage is that with gigabit WAN port allows you upgrade your cable modem with new generations of DOCSIS 3 cable modem such as Surfboard SBG6120 which is also equipped with the gigabit port for optimal communication between the routers and modem.
Basically your modem and router cannot improve the performance of your internet connectivity experiences except you upgrade your broadband plan from the ISP.
To support your home theater environment, the capability of hosting an external USB storage is very important to let you stream the multimedia files from the storage to your home theater devices including your XBOX gaming console, Blu-Ray player, Internet TV and so on.
WNDR3700 with Ready-Share USB storage is DLNA certified meaning you can assure that the router can connect to any DLNA-compliant devices seamlessly. Linksys 3200 includes Cisco Connect Software to let you easily manage the devices connect to the router. You can also easily manage the router configuration including the guest network and other wireless experiences.
Unfortunately both routers cannot be used to share the USB printer. You need to buy separate print-server for shared printer. But if you really require the router that capable of hosting both shared storage and printer at the same time, you can consider the new Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond which includes two USB ports.
Do you often invite friends with laptops with them and provide internet access to play games online? Of course you worry if they get into your internal private network. For that guest network is used for to help you create a separate wifi network from your wifi for security reason.
Comparison table Linksys 3200 Vs Netgear 3700
|Linksys E3200||Netgear WNDR3700|
|Wireless Technology||N600 with 6x internal antennas – MIMO technology||N600 with internal antennas|
|USB Port||Yes for storage||Yes for storage and is DLNA-certified|
|Guest Network||Yes, one||Yes, each band|
|Customer Ratings in Amazon||3.8 out of 5 stars
5 star: (165)
4 star: (81)
3 star: (29)
2 star: (28)
1 star: (47)
|3.6 out of 5 stars
5 star: (488)
4 star: (159)
3 star: (50)
2 star: (98)
1 star: (232)
|MSRP||$ 149.99 (online retail cost around $110)||$159.99 (online retail around $90)|
Other standard features are the same including the NAT and SPI (for threats protection), DHCP server (ease of managing the IP address to the clients), VPN pass-through and WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption.
Both wireless routers can be connected as shown in the below figure. It shows Netgear router which connects to the modem to get internet service and couple of home theater devices.
- Default IP address for Linksys 3200 is 192.168.1.1 with user admin, password “admin”.
- Default IP address for Netgear 3700 is 192.168.0.1 with user admin, password “password”
Linksys introduces new version of E4200V2 – a new firmware with N900 technology. It is enhanced for HD streaming and gaming and is capability of hosting USB printing.