- Internet & the Web
Is the Netgear N600 C3700 gateway suitable for you?
Is the Netgear N600 C3700 the right gear for you?
Looking for the right device to get connected to the internet may seems simple to some but unfortunately for many people it is often very confusing.
As what I have done with my other reviews on technical topics such as home networking equipment like cable modems, WiFi routers, gateways etc; I will also make this Netgear N600 review as simple as possible.
I will address many commonly asked questions in relation to the Netgear N600 WiFi cable modem router so that you can decide whether this device, sometimes referred to as a gateway is the right networking device for you.
Can I use my existing phone with the Netgear N600 C3700?
The very critical and important question to many people who are telephone subscribers from providers such as Cox, Time Warner Cable (TWC) etc is:
"Can I continue to use my existing phone if I were to use the Netgear N600 C3700?"
Unfortunately the answer is NO. You cannot plug in your existing phone to the Netgear C3700 as there is no phone jack on the device. However if you want to explore the possibility of continuing to use your phone, you may have two options:
Use an EMTA device such as the Arris TG822G or the Arris TG862G and combine it with a wireless router such as the Zoom 5363 or the TP-Link Archer C7. By the way the Arris TG862G has a build in wireless router so you don't need to buy an additional router if you go with the 862G.
If you are not familiar with wireless routers, check out the link for to find out how to buy the best home wireless router. Likewise I recommend that you read my comparison analysis of the Motorola SB6141 and SB6121 for cable modems. This hub has over 100,000 views at the time of writing!
By the way, EMTA stands for Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter. In simple terms it means that an EMTA device will allow you to connect an analog phone to it make phone calls.
Use a VOIP (Voice Over IP) device such as Ooma Telo or Skype.
Who is your service provider?
Knowing who is your cable service provider is very important as increasingly the latest firmware is provided by the provider and different providers may have different firmware even for the same device.
As such the firmware is dependent upon the ISP for their delivery and your device may not work when you switch from one provider to another.
If you are a subscriber to cable Internet providers such as Comcast XFINITY, Time Warner Cable (TWC), Cox, Cablevision and Bright House Networks, then the Neatgear N600 C3700 will work.
If you are on Charter, the certification is in the process. Until it has been certified, you cannot use the Netgear N600 WiFi cable modem router with Charter.
If you are with XFINITY, you can even get connected without placing a service call. This self-activation allows you to be quickly connected without any hassles.
If your cable ISP is not in the above list, then I highly recommend that you give their customer service a call or check up their website to see if the Netgear N600 C3700 is on their list of approved devices.
What network wiring technology does the Netgear C3700 use?
This is also another very important point to take note.
The Netgear N600 C3700 is a cable modem. Fortunately for us in the USA, about 80% of the homes in our country are using cable. So most likely many of you will be able to use the Netgear C3700.
However if you are with providers with DSL, fibre, satellite etc (or any other technology other than cable), then the C3700 will not work for you. If you want to be absolutely sure, please contact your provider.
How many bands does the Netgear N600 have and what are the advantages?
The router part of the Netgear N600 can broadcast simultaneously on two bandwidths - 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz.
The 2.4 GHz band's connection is slower and generally more congested. This is because many people especially your neighbors may be using this band. However the advantage is that the 2.4 Ghz band has a longer wireless range than the the 5 GHz band.
The 5 GHz bandwidth on the other hand offers higher network transfers and throughput for multiple devices but the disadvantage as mention earlier, is its lower range as compared to the 2.4 GHz band.
The fact that the 5 Ghz band currently is less congested could be due to the need for both a 5 GHz capable router as well as a 5 GHz capable wireless card in your computer or device to make use of the bandwidth. However, right now 2.4 Ghz client devices are more prevalent.
As both bands can also be connected to simultaneously, you can take advantage of this by creating two hotspots. Depending on how you are using each device in your network, let those devices connect to the band that works best for them.
If you need to disable the Wifi, there is a button at the back of the Netgear C3700 that easily allows you to toggle the Wifi on or off.
How far can the signal travel?
It all depends.
As mentioned earlier, the 5 GHz bandwidth has a lower range and signal penetration while the 2.4 Ghz has a longer distance.
However there are many other variables to consider as well.
Obstructions in the house or office such as steel cabinets or structures, reinforcement mesh on the floors etc can drastically reduce the range. As such many people tend to put their device in the middle.
For example if they have a three story house, they will put their C3700 gateway on the second story.
How many devices can The Netgear C3700 handle?
Just like distance, it all depends.
Some people have more than 15 devices on their network and it works fine.
Generally the response time will depend the amount of data each device is actively using.
For example, actively streaming video to several pieces of equipment at the same time may slow down the network. You will also have to look at the total bandwidth that you are using.
The C3700 router can handle up to 600Mbps total bandwidth across devices and the 600 that you see in the Netgear N600 name refers to the total combined speed across all devices.
Overall performance is also dependent upon the speed that you subscribe from and actually received from your ISP; the distance the devices are away from the router and so forth.
What do you get with the Netgear N600 C3700
This is a summary of what I have highlighted in the previous sections. With the Netgear N600 C3700 gateway, you get
- a DOCSIS 3.0 modem and wireless router combo in one box
- With DOCSIS 3.0, you can potentially get up to 340 Mbps theoretical download speed. Good for streaming HD videos, faster downloads, and high speed gaming. However what you actually get is dependent upon the various factors I highlighted before
- 8 downstream and 4 upstream channels for the modem
- 2.4 Ghz & 5GHz dual bands and 300 + 300 Mbps (total of 600 Mbps) for the router
- This Netgear C3700 N600 gateway device is certified to work with Comcast XFINITY, Time Warner Cable (TMC), Cox, Cablevision and Bright House Networks. If you are with these providers, then you should not have any connection problems
- At the time of writing, certification in process for Charter. Please check with Charter for the latest update
- If you are with Comcast XFINITY, the Netgear C3700 is capable of self-activation without any service call
- You get 2 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and 1 USB port
Instace when you should NOT buy the Netgear C3700 N600 WiFi cable modem router
So what are the instances when you should not buy the Netgear N600 WiFi cable modem router?
- If you just need a modem - its cheaper to buy a modem its own. Checkout the Motorola SB6141 or Motorola SB6183 if you need the latest and fastest
- If you just need a wireless router - its cheaper to buy a wireless router on its own
- If your service provider does not provide cable. For example DSL, fibre, satellite etc will not work with the Netgear N600 C3700. This is a cable ONLY device
- If you need to connect a phone to it via a phone jack. It has no phone jack
- This is an "N" class device. If you need an "AC" class device, check out the Netgear C6300
Instances when you should buy the Netgear C3700 N600 WiFi cable modem router
You should buy the C3700 Netgear N600 wireless dual band router when...
- You need a fast upload and download speed. Depending on your plan, with DOCSIS 3.0 on this device you get up to 8x faster cable Internet download (as compared with DOCSIS 2.0) and up to 340 Mbps speeds
- You have cable connection and your ISP is one of those listed
- If you are renting. You could potentially save up to $120 or more per year which could easily recover your investment in the C3700 Netgear N600 wireless dual band router
- You have devices that can use both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz to provide better throughput and speeds, especially with a multitude of devices being used
What you can expect with the Netgear C3700 N600 WiFi cable modem router?
- Very easy to setup and use
- You have 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast wired connections. This is very ideal especially for HD gaming and streaming video
- You have one USB port to wirelessly share your hard drive or other USB enabled devices via its ReadySHARE USB access feature
- Easily find and play media on DLNA TVs and game consoles
- The friendly Home network manager Genie App gives you a personal dashboard for monitoring, controlling, and maintaining your home network
- Its Turbo-Transfer feature allows you to quickly transfer files within your home network across various devices at up to 40 percent faster than normal file transfers
- Good security features with parental controls, guess access and WPA/WPA2 for secure wireless connections
- Future proof
- Reasonably priced. On the average, you can easily recoup your money after one year if you are renting. After that it is savings all the way and you also own the device
If you have a large area to cover you might want to get this range extender.
Technically, the information presented is
Is the info on the Netgear N600 C3700 sufficient enough for you to make a decision?
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