Warning: Cannot use a scalar value as an array in /httpdocs/libraries/src/Document/Renderer/Html/ScriptsRenderer.php on line 69
NitroWare.net - Netgear introduces fully open-source Wireless-N Gigabit Router | Cebit Australia 2009
Warning: Cannot use a scalar value as an array in /httpdocs/libraries/src/Document/Document.php on line 514

Warning: Cannot use a scalar value as an array in /httpdocs/libraries/src/Document/Document.php on line 518

Netgear goes back to its roots

Often at trade shows, upcoming or unique products are sometimes displayed inconspicuously or demonstrated to press behind closed doors.  At this years Cebit Australia, Netgear’s stand prominently focused on their Pro-safe networking products aimed at business and enterprise and their ReadyNAS Network Attached Storage devices.  Consumer oriented broadband networking devices were only a minor feature, however NitroWare.net learnt of a new Wireless-N offering from Netgear that should be of interest to the enthusiast, hobbyist, IT professional and open source/developer Communities.

New for 2009 is the WNR3500L Wireless-N Gigabit router, like its sibling the 3500 it is packaged in what we like to call Netgear’s  ‘monolith’ upright casing in black.  Other than the casing and the core features such as gigabit Ethernet ports, 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi  and standard firmware features, this is where the similarity ends.  Whereas the WNR3500 uses a chipset from Marvel semiconductor and has 8 internal antennas, the 3500L uses a chipset from Broadcom and has 3 internal ‘metamaterial’ antennas, a unique way to design antennas that allows for the wireless signals to be ‘bent’ allowing for more efficient designs of the wireless devices and variable antenna gain and therefore a stronger wireless signal.  A USB 2.0 port has also been added for use with storage devices or connectivity.

The reason for the change is the significant piece of information here.  By using the Broadcom sourced chipset the router is made compatible with the vast number of open source third party firmware [the router’s operating system] and the internet communities that have sprung up to modify and support such other popular open source internet access devices such as the Linksys WRT54G, Netgear DG834 series and the ASUS WL-520g.  These particular models while built using open source code which their vendors are obliged to offer only officially supported firmware builds and any third party implementations are not supported or covered by warranty.


Netgear WNR3500L Wireless-N Gigabit RouterNetgear’s approach changes the game and mirrors their product offerings of a few years back when they were known for creating unique and innovative networking products. Last year Netgear introduced an open source compatible version of their popular WGR614 Wireless-G router the WGR614L and created a community portal to encourage discussion and development of open source firmware alternatives for this model.  While the idea of creating hardware that is tailored specifically to be compatible with open source firmware such as OpenWRT, DD-WRT or Tomato was not new -  Linksys did this with their WRT54GL, the concept of a portal site and some vendor support of community projects was new.  The WRT3500L [L for linux] expands on this idea by offering at least from what we have seen the first high performance Linux/Broadcom  based  router with gigabit network ports on the market.

For those technically minded, WRT3500L Technical Specifications

  • Broadcom BCM 4718 System on a chip running at 533MHz, MIPS Architecture CPU
  • 1 Gigabit WAN port, 4 Gigabit LAN ports, with Power saving feature for LAN ports,
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • 802.11n Draft 2.0 Wireless at 2.4GHz
  • Power switch,  Energy Star certified Power Supply
  • 2 years warranty
  • Price and Availability are to be advised


Our Initial Impression of the final WNR3500L specification:  For a premium device that is intended to be ‘tinkered’ with by hobbyists, developers or network gurus, Netgear could have gone step further by adding support for 5GHz Wi-Fi and/or connectors for external antenna.

For the average user, selecting an open source router will not bring any additional benefits other than being able to access future upgrades to the device thanks to the efforts of the open source community.  While enhanced functionality and bug-fixes can be a good thing, third party releases from online communities can be more trouble than they are worth at times especially to novice or non technical people, who are best served by installing the latest official firmware/software release from their device’s manufacturer.  The chance and occurrence of instability, bugs, security holes or broken features due to the rapid development and release cycles commonly associated with open source online communities can be a risk for a user who just wants their device to work without needing to fiddle with it.

Many users may already own a piece of networking hardware or computing device that already runs a Linux operating system or open source software without even knowing or realising.  That is the purpose and goal of embedded such an operating system and software in a computing or communication device, that it it should work seamless and effortlessly and that what is inside the ‘black box’ allows the vendor to quickly and easily develop a feature rich and easy to use device at a lower development, production and sale cost.  Hobbyists and enthusiasts will always have a different view and want to tinker, modify or reverse engineer a device and especially with networking devices, networking professionals will always find an aspect of a cheaper consumer oriented device to criticise.  A device ready from the manufacturer that supports popular distributions such as DD-WRT and Tomato without modification easily caters for these segments of users


Also for 2009, is a ADSL2+ Gateway router with Dual Band Wireless N, model DGND3300. Most of the ADSL2+ Wireless-N Gateway on the market only support the 2.4GHz Wireless band and not the 5GHz wireless band due to lack space in the unit, cost and marketing.  Vendors figure if a user needs 5GHz Wireless Network they will add an appropriate unit to their network which is a fair assumption but there are users who look for or require an all in one solution to their networking needs

Unfortunately like other ADSL2+ Wireless-N Gateways the DGND3300 only supports 100Mbit Ethernet local area networking it however does have 8 internal antenna.

Netgear DGND3300 ADSL2+ Gateway with Dual band Wireless-N

To combat the simultaneous dual band Wireless-N router halo products from Linksys and D-Link (WRT-610N and DIR-825 respectively), Netgear have their own offering for 2009 the WNDR3700 enclosed in a new style of cabinet for Netgear, albeit more elegant than that of their competitors.

Core features of this unit are its upright design and casing, simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wireless-N networking, automatic quality of service and traffic prioritisation, Gigabit LAN and USB 2.0 connectivity and 8 internal ‘metamaterial’ antennas.  The automatic QoS feature leads us to predict Netgear is using the UBICOM chipset as in the Linksys and D-Link products.

Netgear WNDR3700 Dual Band Wireless-N Router

Further information on the DGND3300 and WNDR3700 is available at netgear.com while more details for the WRT3500L are pending.

2018-09-21 | NVIDIA QUADRO RTX 6000 In action - Photoshop, Porsche RTX, Kubernetes, CLARA and Metropolis

2018-09-20 | NVIDIA RTX Live Demo - Ray Traced Porsche on Turing GPU

2018-09-21 | EPSON goes bright with laser projection and 4K

2018-09-15 | 8 NVIDIA TESLA V100 VOLTA GPU server from HP

2017-12-31 | Future of Networking with Extreme Networks - Eric Broockman CTO Interview

2018-02-16 | NVIDIA’S VOLTA is real, it works and it is finally here.

2018-02-07 | motorola harbourside chat and interview | moto x4, g5s plus, 360 camera & gamepad

2018-02-07 | Inwin X-Frame product tour and interview

2018-02-07 | ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe UX490 Ultrabook

2017-11-20 | VICHYPER - Australian Hyperloop Interview and Tour

2017-11-17 | Eugene Kaspersky & Kaspersky Lab Press Conference Sydney 2017

2017-11-17 | Eugene Kaspersky Keynote Sydney 2017

2017-05-21 | AMD RYZEN - Australian launch and Q&A Session | BIOS Update Detailed

2016-11-21 | Motorola Mobility VP Engineering Interview | Moto Z and Moto Mods Developer Kit for Makers & Modders

2016-11-30 | EPSON Tech Interview | 2016 Business and Professional Projectors

2016-11-30 | EPSON Tech Interview | 2016 Home Theatre Projectors 6000, 8000 & 9000 Series

2016-11-22 | EPSON HDR Home Theatre Projector Demo | EPSON TW9300W

2016-11-21 | HDR video Demo - AMD Radeon 'Polaris' RX480 with LG OLED TV

2016-11-30 | Intel Game Chamber 2016 Tour and Interviews | VR, Games, PC Mods, Overclocking and FUN

2016-11-30 | Intel Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E @ 5.62 GHz Live Overclock | Intel Game Chamber 2016

2016-08-29 | LG puts OLED in all the things - Integrate/CEDIA AUS 2016 Booth Tour

2016-08-12 | What is Software Defined Networking with Doug Murray, CEO Big Switch Networks.

2016-06-17 | NVIDIA DGX-1 launches in Australia - NVIDIA ANZ Interviewed

2016-05-01 | Build a kickass Dolby ATMOS Home Theatre - The Pros show us how

2016-04-01 | The Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 Story

2016-03-23 | Seagate 8TB Family, 10TB Helium & Mobile HDD 2016 Hard Disk Update

2016-03-21 | Panasonic Toughbook 20 : Fully Rugged detachable Laptop launch - Water, Drop & Weight Tested

2016-03-23 | ASUS ROG Gaming House Tour - Sydney, Australia

2016-03-01 | ASUS ROG GX700 Liquid Cooled Notebook Preview & Interview

2016-03-23 | League of Legends Legacy eSports Team Interview

2015-12-09 | Microsoft Store SYDNEY - Grand Opening Press Conference

2015-11-11 | HP 6th Gen Core Intel Skylake PC & Jet Intelligence Printing Launch - Melbourne Experience Centre

2015-11-11 | HP Experience Centre Melbourne Tour -Part 2

2015-11-11 | HP Experience Centre Melbourne Tour -Part 1

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - Flower Power Wireless Plant Monitor

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - ZiK 2.0 Headphones

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - AR. Drone, MiniDrones, Bebop Drone

2015-08-23 | MOTO G 3rd Gen IPX7 Water Proofing Demo & Moto X Style/Play/G Q&A

2015-08-21 | Motorola Mobility Interviewed - 3rd Gen Moto G, Moto X Play, Moto X Style

2015-08-20 | NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 950 Launch Ep.1 | Gamestream Co-Op - A New way to share games

2015-08-20 | NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 950 Launch Ep.2 | MOBA/DOTA 2 Latency and Smoothness

2015-08-08 | Intel SKYLAKE i5-6600K LN2 overclock at 6.33 GHz with ASUS Z170 ROG Hero

2015-08-07 | Intel Skylake i7-6700K @ 4.8 GHz & DDR4 @ 3.5GHz on ASUS Z170 Deluxe Overclocking Guide

2015-08-05 | ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard for Intel Skylake 6th Gen Core CPU Overview

2015-08-05 | Review - ASUS Installation Tool for Intel SKYLAKE 6th Gen Core CPU

2015-08-02 | HP Pavilion and Envy 2015 Consumer Notebook First Look

2015-07-25 | HP Envy Phoenix 2015 Overclockable Gaming Tower First Look

2015-07-22 | Ashes Of The Singularity - DirectX 12 Hands-On Demo with AMD FURY X

2015-07-14 | Media Q&A with AMD and Richard Huddy - AMD Fury X ‘Fiji’ Graphics comes to Australia

2015-07-14 | MSI Interview - AMD Radeon R9 300 Gaming, Armour and Lightning GPUs