Netgear WNDR3700

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===Issue 1=== ===Issue 1===

Revision as of 16:12, 17 August 2010

Contents

Installation of DD-WRT

The Netgear WNDR3700 is an extremely powerful consumer 802.11 a/b/g/n router, sporting a lightning fast Atheros CPU, lots of RAM, lots of flash space, and capable of high transmit power that even gives 2Wire a run for the money makes this router is ready for the future, and DD-WRT makes it even better. Installation of DD-WRT is very simple and can be done in a few steps.


1. Download DD-WRT for the WNDR3700 from here: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/08-12-10-r14929/netgear-wndr3700/wndr3700-factory.img

2. Make sure you are connected to the router with an ethernet cable. Then upgrade your firmware through the stock firmware web interface, the process will take a few minutes. Do not interrupt the upgrade process and wait at least 2 minutes after 100% is reached.

3. The wireless LEDs should now be flashing, and if your NIC card is gigabit, you should also see one orange LAN led, if you see these your flash is complete and you can now proceed to the 30/30/30 or triple 30 reset.

4. Hold the reset button under the router for 30 seconds and do not release it, while still holding the reset button unplug the router and leave it unplugged for 30 more seconds. Still holding the reset button, plug the router back in and wait yet another 30 seconds. Unplug the router again and release the reset button, plug it back in and wait at least 2 minutes, this is critical as the router is building NVRAM settings.

5. Repeat step 4 one final time.

6. Power cycle the router, unplug it for 30 seconds and plug it back in, or use the switch. Installation is now complete.


To upgrade to a newer build of DD-WRT, use the web interface and selecting the "wndr3700-webflash.bin" file instead. Do not select "restore defaults" or you will have a semi bricked device. You should not have to restore to defaults just from upgrading builds, to restore to defaults instead use the far superior triple 30 reset.


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 your new DD-WRT WNDR3700.


Known Issues

Since DD-WRT is still in beta there is some issues with the WNDR3700, having followed the proper safe procedure above, you should have minimal or no issues. If luck is not on your side then take a look at the current known most critical issues and fixes for them if there is any.



Issue 1

There has been some reports of very weak ath0/ath1 (both radios 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 is still under investigation but it is probably faulty hardware related, one can only speculate the cause but it could be TX power related. 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, those with dying radios are probably faulty from day 1.


Fix: None short of exchanging the router for another one.



Issue 2

Some report MAC addresses changing to FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF, this can be 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 (updated)

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=453998#453998 (original)

Router Specifications

CPU: AR7161 680 MHz

RAM: 64 MB

Flash: 8 MB

Switch: Realtek RTL8366SR

Radio (2.4 GHz): AR9223

Radio (5 GHz): AR9220

Antenna Type: Internal

# Of Antennas: 8

Antenna Gain (2.4 GHz): 2.8dBi

Antenna Gain (5 GHz): 3.9dBi

Max TX Power (2.4 GHz): 22dBm w/HT40, 26dBm w/HT20, 27dBm w/HT20 + G-Only

Max TX Power (5 GHz): 24dBm

Antenna Chains (TX/RX): 1+2/1+2


FAQ

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

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


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 most likely a faulty hardware issue.


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

A: Maybe, maybe not. Probably not because Netgear already paid for special support *for us*, this is why WNDR3700 has extra features such as RP-PPPOE server and per user/subnet/MAC QoS speed control as these are special build features.


Q: My wireless performance dropped after installing DD-WRT?

A: Refer to the Atheros wireless settings wiki page, you are probably using defaults or incorrect settings.


Q: What is the default username and password for DD-WRT?

A: Username is "root" and password is "admin".


Q: Are my wireless LEDs supposed to be flashing constantly? Stock firmware didn't do this.

A: Yes they are, that is another intentional change to DD-WRT. The slow steady flashing means the radios are on with no activity, when there is data being transferred they will rapidly flash like stock firmware.


Q: With stock firmware I was able to setup a guest AP or virtual AP, can I do this as well with DD-WRT?

A: Absolutely, and much much more!


Useful Information

  • Refer to this wiki article for a guide to wireless settings for Atheros.
  • Refer to this thread containing various info regarding WNDR3700.
  • Refer to this thread about the possibility of different revisions of the WNDR3700, weak wireless problem could be tied to revision.