Netgear WNDR3700

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[edit] Versions

The Netgear WNDR3700 is a powerful consumer simultaneous dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n router, sporting a fast Qualcomm Atheros (v1, v2, v4), Broadcom (v3), or Mediatek CPU (v5), good routing performance and transmit power capability, and a USB 2.0 port. To date there are 5 hardware revisions of this router, v1, v2, v3, v4, and v5. v5 is not supported and there is no ETA, each of which requires its own firmware build, whether you use stock firmware or DD-WRT. Installation of DD-WRT is very simple and can be done in a few steps.


Note: factory.img is for worldwide units flashing from NETGEAR firmware to DD-WRT, or recovering from TFTP mode. factory_NA.img is the same except for North American units. Webflash is from upgrading an existing DD-WRT firmware to a newer build via update firmware option.


[edit] v1

v1 units are not labeled at all and are just called "WNDR3700".

See Where do I download firmware? for links.

Download DD-WRT for the WNDR3700 v1 depending on the region you purchased your router from:


North America (NA): Go to the netgear-wndr3700 folder then download the wndr3700-factory_NA.img file

World Wide (WW): Go to the netgear-wndr3700 folder then download the wndr3700-factory.img file

Web Flash BIN (Both) to upgrade dd-wrt: Go to the netgear-wndr3700 folder then download the wndr3700-webflash.bin file


[edit] Note

If you try to install DD-WRT on v1 with initial factory firmware (1.0.4.31NA), the upload will fail with "Invalid file name!" Work-around for this problem is to first upgrade to a later version of factory firmware (e.g., 1.0.7.98NA) before installing DD-WRT.


[edit] v2

v2 units are labeled on the side of the box, in firmware, & under the router as "WNDR3700v2".

See Where do I download firmware? for links.

If you have a WNDR3700 v2, download from here following the same flashing steps:

North America (NA): Go to the netgear-wndr3700v2 folder then download the wndr3700v2-factory_NA.img file

World Wide (WW): Go to the netgear-wndr3700v2 folder then download the wndr3700v2-factory.img file

Web Flash BIN (Both) to upgrade dd-wrt: Go to the netgear-wndr3700v2 folder then download the wndr3700v2-webflash.bin file

Note: You must have no later than 1.0.0.12 of the netgear factory firmware in order to flash dd-wrt to this unit. Netgear has put a check in later firmware revisions to see if you are not using their firmware and will fail. http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=731615#731615


[edit] v3

v3 units are labeled on the side of the box, in firmware, & under the router as "WNDR3700v3".

Initial Flash: From the WNDR3700v3 OEM GUI, flash a k2.6 trailed build (broadcom_K26 folder):
K2.6_mini-WNDR3700v3.chk [See Where do I download firmware? for links]

Upgrade Builds: Use nv64k.bin (or trailed) builds. This is a Broadcom unit with 64k nvram, identical to WNDR4000.

  • K3.X builds do work on this unit but you must first flash K2.6, as there is no mini K3.X build.

Ensure mega builds are less than 7995392 bytes (7808 KB) in size before flashing or you will brick the unit.


[edit] v4

v4 units are labeled on the side of the box, in firmware, & under the router as "WNDR3700v4".
If you flash with a factory img file newer than r23503, stock firmware will give a cgi timeout error. Use the r23503 factory file to get on DD-WRT first, then use the webflash below to be updated to the latest build.

If you have a WNDR3700v4, download from here following the same flashing steps:

See Where do I download firmware? for up to date builds, and the forum for build recommendations.

[edit] Reset

Do not 30/30/30 reset, and GUI Factory Defaults reset may not work.
Reset via Telnet/SSH if needed: `erase nvram && reboot` Reference: forum thread

[edit] Recovery for v4

If the unit is soft-bricked (flashing power light) then:

  • TFTP build r23503 wndr3700v4.img to it at 192.168.1.1
    • Reset is not necessary, but if wanted see the Reset section above
  • After it boots, load the webif (at the previously set IP address if no reset), then install the last working build

To TFTP when not bricked, power-up holding the reset button to TFTP:

  1. Set a static IP (e.g. IP address 192.168.1.9, subnet mask 255.255,255.0, default gateway 192.168.1.1)
  2. In a TFTP client, use 192.168.1.1 as server, password blank, select above DD or OEM Netgear firmware
  3. Don't start TFTP yet...open a cmd window, run `ping -t 192.168.1.1` (for Windows; no '-t' for linux)
  4. Press and hold the reset button and power up the router. Start the TFTP when ping replies with TTL
    • The thread says to look for TTL=100, but this has also worked when TTL=64 is seen
  5. It should push the firmware, then wait and watch the lights and the pings.
  6. After a few reboots, with consistent ping, access the router on routerlogin.net (192.168.1.1 unless in use)

MTD backups: mtd partitions and DD-WRT boot log. Use at your own risk!


[edit] v5

v5 is not supported and probably will never be due to the Mediatek SoC.
v5 units are labeled on the side of the box, in firmware, & under the router as "WNDR3700v5".

[edit] DD-WRT Installation (Other info)

See version specific info above first.

See Installation info.

To restore from the brick TFTP the stock firmware or a known working build of DD-WRT back from it (-factory.img file). To upgrade to a newer build of DD-WRT, use the web interface and selecting the "wndr3700-webflash.bin" file instead. Also, if you do partially brick your router, use Special TFTP instructions for Win 7+ to unbrick it.

Now that DD-WRT is fully installed and NVRAM is cleared, ensure your PC does not have any internal static IP then point your browser to 192.168.1.1, this is the DD-WRT default IP and can be changed to any IP you like. You should be at the username and password screen, set them accordingly then proceed to setting up DD-WRT.

[edit] Known Issues

[edit] Weak Radios (v1 only)

There has been some reports of very weak radios (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz) after flashing DD-WRT, but there is also reports of weak wireless with those that never flashed DD-WRT. The issue seems to be faulty hardware, a fairly large bad batch off the assembly line (see "fix" below). Owners with this problem report the wireless is so weak one can't move any further away from the router than 1 meter. A chart has been made by a WNDR3700 owner that is linked at the bottom of this page, you have over 85% chance to get a good working router. See this thread on netgear forums for some low S/N information: http://forum1.netgear.com/showthread.php?t=54442

According to this thread TA numbers ending in 01R15 are likely to be bad. 01R17 are better, 07R18 is 50/50, and it appears 01R21+ are usually fine. Anything starting with 02R is from the "2nd generation" and no issues have been reported with the 2.4Ghz/5.0Ghz bands.

Fix: Exchanging the router for another one.


[edit] MAC Address

Some report MAC addresses changing to FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF, this is caused by a improper flash. Reflash following the steps above before attempting the fix. If reflashing did not fix the problem replacing caldata should, see fix link.

Fix: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=468313#468313 (whole thread overall has lots of info)


[edit] Specifications

Feature v1 v2 v3 v4 v5
CPU Atheros AR7161 680 MHz Atheros AR7161 680 MHz Broadcom BCM4718A1 480 MHz Atheros AR9344 560 MHz Mediatek MT7621S 880 MHz
RAM 64 MB 64 MB 64 MB 128 MB  ?? TODO
Flash 8 MB 16 MB 8 MB 128 MB  ?? TODO
Switch Realtek RTL8366SR Realtek RTL8366SR Broadcom BCM53115 Atheros AR8327 Mediatek MT7621ST
Radios (2.4/5 GHz) Atheros AR9223 / Atheros AR9220 Atheros AR9223 / Atheros AR9220 Broadcom BCM4718A1 SOC / Broadcom BCM4331 Atheros AR9344 SOC / Atheros AR9582  ??/?? TODO
Max TX Power (2.4/5 GHz) 17 dBm / 24 dBm 17 dBm / 24 dBm 251 mW / 251 mW 26 dBm / 22 dBm  ??/?? TODO

Max TX Power assumes used regulatory domain is Canada/USA/Haiti. Others may or may not allow higher TX powers (up to 30 dBm/1000 mW).

[edit] FAQ

See Firmware FAQ first before posting a question in the forums.

Q: After flashing DD-WRT, the LAN LEDs are now green for 10/100M and orange 1000M? (v1/v2 only)

A: This is an intentional change by the DD-WRT developers, Netgear had the colors backwards as gigabit is usually orange (check any other NIC!).


Q: I heard some WNDR3700 radios were dying shortly after flashing DD-WRT? Does the firmware damage routers?

A: No DD-WRT does not damage routers, there is also reports as said above, of WNDR3700's having weak wireless even when DD-WRT was never put on it. It is a faulty hardware issue.


Q: Is there going to be a special version of DD-WRT for this router?

A: No, there are no special versions anymore except for Buffalo routers.


Q: Is it possible to restore the factory or stock firmware that came with my router?

A: Yes. Refer to WNDR3700: Restore Factory Firmware in Five Easy Steps.

[edit] Useful Information

WNDR3700v2 broken reset button

[edit] Unbricking

See Reinstall the firmware on a router without the setup CD recovery tool