Which is best wireless router choice? Netgear N450 WNDR4000 or N300 WNDR3800 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 416 Old 03-23-2011, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I have received many questions from AVS members regarding which router should people purchase. Netgear announced 2 new routers that at a 1st glance seem to be a better best situation but in fact they are not. Seems many folks are confused. Should they buy the WNDR 4000 now or wait for the WNDR 3800? Isn't the 4000 an upgrade over the 3800? (no it isnt) Why does the 3800 cost more then the 4000 if the 4000 is better (because the two routers are have different performance focuses). Will the 3700 still be available? (Yes) Should I buy a 3700 now or wait for the 3800? (feedback from members please)

Given these questions I thought it would be worthwhile to start a thread where AVS members can chime in into what they feel is important and or the best choice when purchasing a new router today. Should people be buying the latest and greatest in the new WIFI spec? Or should you be buying a great networking machine workhorse with proven wireless performance and a broad feature set?



For a little background let me explain the difference in these two similar but altogether different routers.

Netgear WNDR4000 has recently begun shipping. It is Netgear's 1st foray into the N450 space, the new highest performance wireless standard. It is a direct competitor to the Linksys E4200 series routers. Netgear has positioned this router as their maximum performance wireless device. N450 as opposed to N300 (N300 had been the highest current N standard) uses a 3x3 radio configuration (N300 uses a 2X2 Radio configuration) . What that means is you have 3 150 mhz radios that can simultaneously talk to a client that also has an N450 adapter. This is how the new spec increases the theoretical maximum speed from 300 mbs to 450 mbs. To get the benefit your client device must have an N450 compatible radio installed.

The 4000 also sports the Readyshare port for a usb drive but does not support printer sharing. It also supports DLNA like the 3700 as well. For more info here is the link to Netgear's site. http://www.netgear.com/home/products.../wndr4000.aspx




The Netgear WNDR3800 is the logical successor the to highly regarded WNDR3700 Router. It has been updated and enhanced with many new features and functions that have come from the long list of Netgear 3700 owners. Enhanced over the 3700 are the following

1. ReadyShare Remote and ReadyShare Remote iPhone and Android Access. This enhancement over the 3700 will allow users easy access to their attached hard drives content from any web enabled PC as well as mobile access from iPhone or Android devices. This content sharing allows you to have your own personal sharing capability limited only by the size of the hard drive you connect via it's usb port.

2. ClearChannel Selector. This is a new wireless technology that ferrets out interference and communicates to the devices connecting to it to change channels to a less noisy one. Overall this is a great enhancement for ensuring best wireless connections with todays wifi products.

3. ReadyShare Printer You will now be able to connect a printer to your router and share it with other computers on your network. Also supports MFP as well. (This usb port works with a usb hub so you can connect both printer and hard drive at the same time)

4. Mac Time Machine support If you own a Mac you care about this!

Link to the Netgear 3800 page. http://www.netgear.com/home/products.../wndr3800.aspx




So what do you think? Should people be buying the latest and greatest in the new WIFI spec like the Netgear WNDR4000? Or would you recommend buying a great networking workhorse with proven wireless performance and broad feature sets like the Netgear WNDR3700 or Netgear WNDR3800?


Bob Silver
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post #2 of 416 Old 03-23-2011, 11:15 AM
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post #3 of 416 Old 03-23-2011, 01:30 PM
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Or should you be buying a great networking machine workhorse with proven wireless performance and a broad feature set?

Personally, I have not seen a router that is a workhorse when it comes to serving files. I have never received quick file transfers with these types of devices. It may work well for simple file sharing, but I can't see trying to transfer 20GB files to these devices
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post #4 of 416 Old 03-23-2011, 03:02 PM
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Bob,

Thanks for starting the this thread. I'm in the market for a gigabit N router and all these Netgears have my interest. Nice summary of the differences. Now I'd like to hear from owners of GB N routers.

EDIT: Bob, any idea when the 4000 and 3800 will hit the streets?
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post #5 of 416 Old 03-23-2011, 04:10 PM
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I just got the Cisco E4200. My Wireless is 2-3x faster now than i had with my Linksys WRT160N
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post #6 of 416 Old 03-23-2011, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kenable View Post
I just got the Cisco E4200. My Wireless is 2-3x faster now than i had with my Linksys WRT160N
What type of clients are you using? Are they 2.4gz or 5gz N?
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post #7 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ejhuzy View Post

What type of clients are you using? Are they 2.4gz or 5gz N?

Both. Here's what i have in my network:

- Dlink dual wireless bridge DAP-1522, connected to this are:
  • Xbox 360
  • Vizio BR Player
  • HP HTPC
  • Satellite VIP922
- Linksys wrt160N router converted to wireless bridge (DDWRT), connected to this is Netgear NeoTV550
- Sony BDP-BX57 (connected wirelessly)
- Netgear WGPS606 wireless print server used as bridge w/Seagate Goflex tv connected
- 2 HP wireless PCs
- 1 HP wired PC
- 2 Buffalo NAS drives, wired (with a usb drive connected to one of them, 4TB total)
- 1 wired Cisco VPN router with my work PC and phone connected to it
- Various wireless iPOD touch, and mobile phones with wifi

I measured twice the wireless internet speed as measured by speedtest.net and 3x the wireless intranet file xfer speed on the wireless computers once i went with the E4200. I got even better speed when i went from the cat5 to cat6e cables.
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post #8 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejhuzy View Post

Bob,

Thanks for starting the this thread. I'm in the market for a gigabit N router and all these Netgears have my interest. Nice summary of the differences. Now I'd like to hear from owners of GB N routers.

EDIT: Bob, any idea when the 4000 and 3800 will hit the streets?

4000 is shipping now. Supplies probably tight but you will find it a Best Buy. Frys. Amazon. Let me know if you have any issue finding it. The 3800 is scheduled to hit the streets in early June.

Bob Silver
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post #9 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenable View Post

Both. Here's what i have in my network:

- Dlink dual wireless bridge DAP-1522, connected to this are:
  • Xbox 360
  • Vizio BR Player
  • HP HTPC
  • Satellite VIP922
- Linksys wrt160N router converted to wireless bridge (DDWRT), connected to this is Netgear NeoTV550
- Sony BDP-BX57 (connected wirelessly)
- Netgear WGPS606 wireless print server used as bridge w/Seagate Goflex tv connected
- 2 HP wireless PCs
- 1 HP wired PC
- 2 Buffalo NAS drives, wired (with a usb drive connected to one of them, 4TB total)
- 1 wired Cisco VPN router with my work PC and phone connected to it
- Various wireless iPOD touch, and mobile phones with wifi

I measured twice the wireless internet speed as measured by speedtest.net and 3x the wireless intranet file xfer speed on the wireless computers once i went with the E4200. I got even better speed when i went from the cat5 to cat6e cables.

Thanks for the reply. That's lots of stuff!

I didn't follow all of that (I have to read up on bridges).
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post #10 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

4000 is shipping now. Supplies probably tight but you will find it a Best Buy. Frys. Amazon. Let me know if you have any issue finding it. The 3800 is scheduled to hit the streets in early June.

Bob Silver

A quick check on BestBuy's web site doesn't find the 4000. Amazon has the 4000 ready for pre-order. It's ok, I'm leaning towards the 3800 or 3700.
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post #11 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin190 View Post

Personally, I have not seen a router that is a workhorse when it comes to serving files. I have never received quick file transfers with these types of devices. It may work well for simple file sharing, but I can't see trying to transfer 20GB files to these devices

Your point about file sharing performance through the router is a good one. The router sharing was never intended to be the be all solution for content sharing. It is an easy and low cost way to share some media (music, photos, videos) but clearly not designed for high performance sharing. Keep in mind there are less technical people out there who by simply plugging in a drive can then have access to their media with the internet enabled TV with very minimal setup or hassle. In my home the drive attached to my 3700 is used by my wife. She understands it and it is easy. She has a Mac so when the 3800 comes out I will be upgrading to it fort the Time Machine support.

Bob Silver
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post #12 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ejhuzy View Post

A quick check on BestBuy's web site doesn't find the 4000. Amazon has the 4000 ready for pre-order. It's ok, I'm leaning towards the 3800 or 3700.

Thanks for the update. Let me check with sales and get back. I was told the 4000 were in the channels now.

Bob
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post #13 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenable View Post

Both. Here's what i have in my network:

- Dlink dual wireless bridge DAP-1522, connected to this are:
  • Xbox 360
  • Vizio BR Player
  • HP HTPC
  • Satellite VIP922
- Linksys wrt160N router converted to wireless bridge (DDWRT), connected to this is Netgear NeoTV550
- Sony BDP-BX57 (connected wirelessly)
- Netgear WGPS606 wireless print server used as bridge w/Seagate Goflex tv connected
- 2 HP wireless PCs
- 1 HP wired PC
- 2 Buffalo NAS drives, wired (with a usb drive connected to one of them, 4TB total)
- 1 wired Cisco VPN router with my work PC and phone connected to it
- Various wireless iPOD touch, and mobile phones with wifi

I measured twice the wireless internet speed as measured by speedtest.net and 3x the wireless intranet file xfer speed on the wireless computers once i went with the E4200. I got even better speed when i went from the cat5 to cat6e cables.

Curious as to the performance you are getting with the Neo550 on your bridge. I can only assume you are not streaming BD rips. As I have found the only wireless solution able to support that is the 3DHD WNDR3004 solution from Netgear.

But kudos to your setup just the same.

Bob
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post #14 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ejhuzy View Post

Thanks for the reply. That's lots of stuff!

I didn't follow all of that (I have to read up on bridges).

There is a fine line between bridges and access points. A bridge connects to your wireless network like a standard wifi device. But has an Ethernet port to connect your devices. An access point is a device that connects to your network via an Ethernet cable and then broadcasts an additional wifi signal. Useful for expanding wireless coverage and is the best way to do it. You can covert routers to a an access point by configuration. Not aware how to do this to make it a bridge unless that sw was built in from the start.

Good low costs bridge is the Netgear WNCE2001. Currently single Ethernet port. They are coming out with multiport units as well as dual band products very soon.

Bob Silver
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post #15 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

Curious as to the performance you are getting with the Neo550 on your bridge. I can only assume you are not streaming BD rips. As I have found the only wireless solution able to support that is the 3DHD WNDR3004 solution from Netgear.

But kudos to your setup just the same.

Bob

It seems to work really well. I only have about 4 blu ray rips, but they play fine on each streaming device, each of which is connected to a wireless bridge. If the movie had DTS sound track, i ripped it with that audio and it comes through fine as well.

The majority of the rips (~650) i have are SD DVDs ripped into VOBs in video_ts folders. I used to have the boxee box but had nothing but trouble with that...it didn't know how to display the VOBs correctly and wouldn't stay connected to the network. That saga covered in the boxee forums here for any interested. The HTPC has always worked well, so far both the Netgear 550 and the Segate goflex are doing the job.
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post #16 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

There is a fine line between bridges and access points. A bridge connects to your wireless network like a standard wifi device. But has an Ethernet port to connect your devices. An access point is a device that connects to your network via an Ethernet cable and then broadcasts an additional wifi signal. Useful for expanding wireless coverage and is the best way to do it. You can covert routers to a an access point by configuration. Not aware how to do this to make it a bridge unless that sw was built in from the start.

Good low costs bridge is the Netgear WNCE2001. Currently single Ethernet port. They are coming out with multiport units as well as dual band products very soon.

Bob Silver

Thanks for the explanation Bob. That definitely helps. So a bridge is like adding a point for devices to wire into and then connects to the LAN wirelessly. While a access point connects the LAN via wire, but broadcasts the wireless signal.
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Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

Thanks for the update. Let me check with sales and get back. I was told the 4000 were in the channels now.

My local Fry's has them on an endcap.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

There is a fine line between bridges and access points. A bridge connects to your wireless network like a standard wifi device. But has an Ethernet port to connect your devices. An access point is a device that connects to your network via an Ethernet cable and then broadcasts an additional wifi signal. Useful for expanding wireless coverage and is the best way to do it. You can covert routers to a an access point by configuration. Not aware how to do this to make it a bridge unless that sw was built in from the start.

Good low costs bridge is the Netgear WNCE2001. Currently single Ethernet port. They are coming out with multiport units as well as dual band products very soon.

Bob Silver

If you have an old router you can convert it into a bridge by reflashing the firmware with this stuff (as long as it's one that is supported). I was able to change my old router into a bridge by installing DD-WRT. What's nice is that it has a check box that allows you to use all 5 ethernet ports to connect devices to instead of just 4. So far, works great!
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post #19 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

Thanks for the update. Let me check with sales and get back. I was told the 4000 were in the channels now.

Bob

From the sale dept on the 4000 availability

"It just started shipping last week. Fry's has it and it will show up at amazon, newegg etc in a few days The rest of the channel resets on 4/19."

Bob Silver
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post #20 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ejhuzy View Post
Thanks for the explanation Bob. That definitely helps. So a bridge is like adding a point for devices to wire into and then connects to the LAN wirelessly. While a access point connects the LAN via wire, but broadcasts the wireless signal.
you got it Ed

Bob
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post #21 of 416 Old 03-24-2011, 11:31 PM
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Do you know if the Netgear WNDR4000 has a feature to manually set the channel bandwidth to 40MHz... my WNDR3700 doesn't have that feature and is only on auto...

Cheers!

Cameron
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I use SonicWall devices - they have a complete range from inexpensive devices ($250) for home use up to very expensive devices for the enterprise.

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post #24 of 416 Old 03-26-2011, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgvroadster View Post

Do you know if the Netgear WNDR4000 has a feature to manually set the channel bandwidth to 40MHz... my WNDR3700 doesn't have that feature and is only on auto...

Don't know but will find out. But curious what you are trying to accomplish ?

Bob Silver
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post #25 of 416 Old 03-26-2011, 05:16 PM
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I'm going with cable internet. My cable modem is going in the basement, this might be a dumb question but, can I put a wireless router down in the basement and it will still give good range to the first floor and basement? I will be doing wired as well, two connections at 5 different locations in the house, do I need a switch for this?? I'm trying to build a network and I'm new to this and learning. Going to run cat5e next weekend.

Here is what I so far:

Motorola SB6120 cable modem
WNDR3800 wireless router
(looking at) D-Link DGS-1024D switch to connect all the cat5e runs from the different rooms in the house.

Thanks!
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post #26 of 416 Old 03-28-2011, 04:00 PM
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When wil the netgear wndr3800 be released? We currently have the netgear wndr3500 wireless N router and we are looking for an upgrade to the high performance end of the routers. It looks like the 3800 will be best because of the wifi channel selector process it has is that correct are is there one currently out are coming out that WILL be better than the netgear wndr3800 will be the things that will be on the network are
1 Hp laptop with windows 7 using wii
1 Hp laptop with windows vista using wifi
1 xbox 360 slim hooked into port
1 xbox 360 white system using wireless adapter
2 motorola droid 2 cell phones
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post #27 of 416 Old 03-28-2011, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bley View Post

I'm going with cable internet. My cable modem is going in the basement, this might be a dumb question but, can I put a wireless router down in the basement and it will still give good range to the first floor and basement? I will be doing wired as well, two connections at 5 different locations in the house, do I need a switch for this?? I'm trying to build a network and I'm new to this and learning. Going to run cat5e next weekend.

Here is what I so far:

Motorola SB6120 cable modem
WNDR3800 wireless router - DO YOU MEAN WNDR3700??
(looking at) D-Link DGS-1024D switch to connect all the cat5e runs from the different rooms in the house.

Thanks!

Yes you can put the wireless router in the basement. It's effectiveness on the 1st floor will be determined by what your flooring materials are. Wood great. Concrete not so great. But more likely then not it will be fine.

Since you are adding other wire drops my suggestion would be to place it near the center point of where you will want wifi coverage. To do this you will need to make sure you have a dedicated wire from your cable modem to the router. As the connection for modems is unique on routers. There is only one.

The other consideration is other type of gear you may add. For example a server. You would probably want to keep this in the basement (for noise). If you were to do that and keep the wifi router in the basement you would connect the server to a lan port on the router, connect your other wired cables to lan ports on the router and then connect the modem to the modem port. Then you would put switches on the other parts of the home where you have wired connections. Note that the router has a built in 4 port switch already. If you need greater wifi coverage then what the router in the basement provides you can extend it with range extenders or an access point.

Not familiar with the switch you mention but there are many options on switches. Netgear makes a range from 5 port to 24 port. Then you choose speed. 100mbs or 1gig mbs. For most things 100mbs is fine.

Long answer but the point I am trying to make is that you will accomplish anything you need with your setup as described.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant
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post #28 of 416 Old 03-28-2011, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt192004 View Post

When wil the netgear wndr3800 be released? We currently have the netgear wndr3500 wireless N router and we are looking for an upgrade to the high performance end of the routers. It looks like the 3800 will be best because of the wifi channel selector process it has is that correct are is there one currently out are coming out that WILL be better than the netgear wndr3800 will be the things that will be on the network are
1 Hp laptop with windows 7 using wii
1 Hp laptop with windows vista using wifi
1 xbox 360 slim hooked into port
1 xbox 360 white system using wireless adapter
2 motorola droid 2 cell phones

The WNDR3800 will be available in early June. Your current router should hold you over to then. The 3800 is the router I will be using for the channel selector and the other sharing features that are built in.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant.
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post #29 of 416 Old 03-28-2011, 05:23 PM
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I appreciate the information. Do you know an exact date and price also why did netgear release the 4000 IF the 3800 is going to be so MUCH better?
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post #30 of 416 Old 03-28-2011, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by matt192004 View Post

I appreciate the information. Do you know an exact date and price also why did netgear release the 4000 IF the 3800 is going to be so MUCH better?

The price for the 3800 will be $179. The 4000 is $149. The 3700 which used to be $179 can now be bought for $129. The routers are built on different chipsets so at least at this point have different capabilities. Logically I have the same question but it all comes down to available technology and chipsets to the manufacturers. From a positioning standpoint if you want next generation wifi then buy the 4000. If you are looking for an all around workhorse then the 3800/3700 would be the way to go.

Availability for the 4000 is now. The 3800 in June. The net is I would determine what is most important to you. Do you care about having the latest spec in wifi? If so then the 4000 is the best choice. Do you want greatest flexibility and maximum performance of the current wifi spec (N300) then Id buy the 3700 or 3800.

Either way you go all 3 are great routers. You cant go wrong with any of them.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant
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