Netgear N750 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router WNDR4300 Review




The Netgear N750 wireless dual band router, model WNDR4300, checks out to be reliable, virtually reboot free, rarely drops connections, comes with secure configured Wi-Fi by default, and delivers buffering-free video and audio streaming throughout average sized homes, flats, and apartments.



Its Genie web interface supplies browser access to the exhaustive set of configuration options, and since its state-of-the-art wireless security is enabled right out of the box, you need not worry over creating an unsecure wireless connection with it.  Hackers will find it difficult to “crack” the WPA2 AES security protocols herein.  Released in 2014, the WNDR4300 utilized the highly efficient components of the day, and so, runs with low to moderate warmth.  Both the external power supply and the router itself run lukewarm.  The wireless signal here is quite strong, in spite of the internal antennas.

Picture of the front of the Netgear N750 WNDR4300 Wi-Fi Router.
Netgear N750 WNDR4300 Wi-Fi Router, Front View

We bought the WNDR4300 on eBay for use as a spare wireless router.  While it’s definitely less sophisticated than our Asus AC2488, it functions with plenty of reserve bandwidth to provide decent throughput; enough for adequate streaming performance on multiple connected devices.

Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

Physical Features

Wi-Fi ON / OFF button.  If you wish to temporarily disable wireless operations, you can quickly do so by pressing this front-panel button.  Then, you can turn Wifi back on without having to wait the entire boot-up period of time.  Turning Wifi off, essentially converts this router into a 4-port gigabit switch, as Ethernet cable connected devices continue communicating through this device with its wireless functionality disables.

WPS activation button.  To enter Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) mode, press this front panel button.  Easily located for frequent wireless device authorizations.

Numerous front panel status LEDs.  These include Power, Internet, 2.4 Ghz, 5 Ghz., LAN ports 1 through 4 activity, USB, Wi-fi off, and WPS availability lamps.  These LEDs change colors and blink, indicating the various statuses that this router can assume during startup and normal operation. See the Users Manual for a complete description of these displays.

Minimum compliment of front panel buttons.  These include just two; the Wi-fi on / off and WPS activation buttons, discussed above.



All connections made on the back panel.  Rear panel ports, pictured below, include the USB, LAN ports 1 through 4 (black), the WAN port (yellow), and the power adapter port.

Power button on rear.  The location of the power ON OFF button on the back, helps ensure against inadvertent pressing and accidental shut down of your network.

Hefty switching power adapter.  The included 12-volt 2.5 amp 30 watt power supply does not sag, even during high-rate, long duration data bursts.

No fans.  There’s no cooling fan inside to draw in performance robbing dust.  The heat-generating components seem to be vented effectively without a blower.

Security Features

For a complete list of security functions, please see the User’s Guide, linked to on the product support page given below.

Secure Wi-Fi right out of the box.  The WNDR4300 comes pre configured with password protected and encrypted Wi-Fi networks for both 2.4 and 5 Ghz. bands.  One network per band.  Each network has its own SSID and password.  They do not share them cross band.  WPA and WPA2 security schemes supported.  The default wireless password is unique to your specific router, and is quite hard to break for hackers.  So many users may wish to not change the pass phrase, so that the password printed on the bottom of the router remains accurate.



Security event email notification.  This router can email a specified email address with messages and alerts, telling of various configurable security events it experiences, as well as its logs.

Basic firewall functionality.  The built-in firewall supports port filtering, service blocking, blocking by schedule, and keyword in HTTP blocking.

Resists common malicious attacks.  DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are automatically thwarted.

DMZ support.  Can be configured to bypass firewall protection, and allow direct Internet access to a specific DMZ (demilitarized zone) server computer on your network.

USB security available.  You can specify which USB devices will be able to share their content on this router.  This feature is disabled by default, so that all appropriate storage devices will share.



MAC address restriction.  The WNDR4300 can fence out devices attempting to access it, via their MAC addresses.  This is disabled by default.

Wireless Features

Access point mode.  Can be configured as a wireless router (the default configuration), or a wireless access point.  The router function provides network address translation (NAT) between your local network and the wide area network (WAN) as well as a WAP, DHCP, and firewall, working altogether as one device.  Access point mode turns off the NAT, DHCP, and firewall functionality, and provides you a good quality dedicated WAP when you already have these services running elsewhere on your local network.

Repeater (WDS) mode.  This router can be configured as a wireless repeater, and so, can function as a Wi-Fi network range extender in a WDS (wireless distribution system).

Dual Bands.  2.4 and 5 Ghz. 802.11 AC provided, and it can broadcast on both at the same time (each network has its own SSID).  Users can connect to both networks simultaneously.

Many wireless standards supported.  IEEE 802.11 b/g/n on 2.4 Ghz.  IEEE 802.11 a/n on 5 Ghz.

Medium signal coverage range.  Both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. networks have enough range / reach to function well throughout small to medium homes.



WPS Support.  Also known as Push ‘N’ Connect, allows quick establishment of access for WPS-enabled devices to your Wi-Fi network, without need of host network SSID details or enter network passwords.

Guest networks.  Features two guest networks that allows people to access other devices on your network as well as the Internet.  Access to local network devices can be switched on or off.  Configurable guest SIDs are provided for the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. bands (one for each), and they are disabled by default.

Performance Features

Good streaming performance.  Our streaming audio and video devices work markedly better, including DVRs, tablets, smart TVs, and iPhones.

IPv6 Support.  Can function in an IPv6 network environment. You’ll be ready when the Internet migrates to IPv6; even though this has been, and will likely continue being, a very slow migration.

Decently Fast Data rates.  Up to 600 Mbps throughput on 5 Ghz., and simultaneous 600 Mbps on 2.4 Ghz.  Speedier than many of the tri-band 3X3 access points.

WMM QoS support.  Quality of Service packet prioritization can be enabled for specific local devices, applications, and / or Ethernet port numbers.  Also, Internet QoS is provided, allowing specific applications and Ethernet port numbers to receive user specified prioritization.



DLNA Support.  Allows searching and playing your media (music and movie files) on DLNA enabled smart televisions and game consoles.

Genie Web Interface.  Features Netgear’s Genie setup and configuration interface, which makes a breeze, setting up the basic wired and wireless networks as well as configuring the built in network sharing of any attached USB storage devices (ReadyShare).  With Genie, you can monitor router status, access the router’s configuration pages from either a wired or wireless device, upgrade the firmware, change wireless network names and passwords, and configure over a hundred network specific parameters.  A mobile Genie app is also available.  However, for basic network setup, no need to access Genie at all.

Automatic detection of available firmware upgrades.  The system notifies you when you log into its Genie interface, if a later revision of the router’s firmware is available for download.  You can then instruct the router to go ahead and download and install the latest firmware, without having to first download the firmware file to a PC that’s connected to the router, and then upload that file to the router.  However, an Upgrade option is still available if you want to install a different version of the firmware than the latest one.

Parental controls.  Supports blocking of specific web sites, to prevent children from viewing adult content sites.  You can also apply categorical filtering.  The levels include High, Moderate, Low, Minimal, and None. Scheduled filtering as well as keyword match filtering can also be configured.

USB port.  Contains one USB A connector on the back panel, for attaching a USB hard drive or thumb drive, which can then be shared by other devices on the same network, or via FTP or HTTP, on the Internet.



File sharing on the Internet.  With a USB storage device attached, the WNDR4300 can act as an FTP server allowing users on the Internet to access files on that device.  Windows file sharing is also supported on the local network.

ReadyDLNA media server support.  This router can act as a media server, and supports media streaming from an attached USB storage device to network attached devices that conform to the DLNA/UPnP AV  specification.

USB printer support.  Makes any attached printer accessible to other Mac and Windows computers on your network.  However, requires a utility program be installed and running on each computer from which you’d like to print to the USB printer plugged into the router’s USB port.

Broad device compatibility.  Works with Windows, Android (Nexus, Samsung, Amazon Kindle), and iOS (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) mobile devices.

Easy initial setup.  For basic wireless setup, you can simply unpack the router, attach your WAN, LAN, and power cables, and turn the router on.  For WANs requiring no user Id and passwords, the router connects immediately.  Also, the built-in wireless access point immediately establishes a secure Wifi network on both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. bands.  The SIDs and passwords are printed on the bottom of the router.



Gigabit network ports throughout.  The five back panel Ethernet ports, including the WAN port, are all capable of gigabit data speeds, making this router capable of handling high-bandwidth Internet services throughout both its wired and wireless networks.  The ports also auto-detect the speed of connected to them and can slow down to either 100 Mbps or 10 Mbps as required, without throttling back the rest of the system.

Save / restore system configuration.  You can save the current router configuration parameters to a file on your computer, and restore it if you subsequently make changes to the router that “break” it.

System logs.  The unit keeps a log of routine and error conditions encountered in its memory, that you can access via its web interface.  Or, it can email you the log info periodically.  Maintains both a general log as well as a wireless system log.

uPnP support.  Allows universal plug and play devices on the network to discover and communicate with each other.

90-day limited warranty.

Picture of the rear view of the Netgear WNDR4300 N750 Wi-Fi Router, showing the USB, Internet Ethernet, and power ports as well as the power switch.
Netgear WNDR4300 N750 Wi-Fi Router, Back View, showing the USB, Internet Ethernet, and power ports as well as the power switch.

Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, Problems and Concerns

No external antennas.  This limits wifi antenna selection options by the user, and may impede the best attainable coverage and performance somewhat.

Requires detachable stand for optimal performance.  The router radiates and receives best from its sides.  So for table-top operation, where connecting devices will operate at roughly the same distance above the floor as the router, use the included stand to vertically orient the router.  The stand may not be required however, when the router is located high above the wireless devices it serves.  In this case, lay the router flat, on its bottom side, and do not attach the stand.



No multi-user MIMO.  The documentation makes no mention of this important feature, in which multiple antennas, transceivers, and ultra-fast internal processors enable this router to support numerous simultaneous users, without stutters, drop-outs, clicks, and freezes.

USB support limited to non driver devices.  You will not be able to access USB storage devices via this router that require additional or special device drivers be installed.  This system only supports basic / standard USB functionality.

Single WAN support only.  So, no load balancing between different WAN networks available on this router.

Non adaptive QoS.  The WMM QoS in this router prioritizes network traffic among connected devices and the Internet according to static rules only.  It does not change priorities based on prevalence of specific types of network traffic it sees.  Some more advanced and higher priced routers however, like the Asus RT-AC87R, do provide this functionality however.

No system recovery option.  Should a firmware upgrade be interrupted or some other cause of firmware corruption occur, no immediate means is provided to restore the router to its previous, working version of the firmware.  Note however that firmware parameters can be restored, if you’ve previously saved a backup of the router’s configuration file.



Long boot up time.  Takes just over two minutes from initial power on, until the unit is fully up-and-running and able to accept Wi-Fi traffic. We expected a much shorter boot time, given the two dual-core processors herein.

No scheduled rebooting option.  Some of the high-end routers allow you to set a time of the day and day of the week, when they would automatically reboot themselves.  This clears any slow-growing memory and handle leaks that might be present in the firmware, and generally improves reliability during the up times.  We found no such option in the RT-AC87R however.

May require rebooting if attached WAN equipment is restarted.  To consistently restore full performance to our network, we’ve found that if we reboot our cable modem, then it’s best to also reboot this Asus router.  Sometimes the RT-AC87R wifi connection after a modem restart is slow and erratic until this equipment is also cold started.  This situation however, will likely improve with subsequent firmware updates to this router.

No mention of hardware based network address translation.  This could mean slower Internet performance; particularly within high data traffic applications like video surveillance, or video movie streaming services.

No wireless AC support.  Not that this router does not provide 802.11ac WiFi speeds.  The fastest wireless protocols available on the WNDR4300 are 802.11an.

Picture of the underside of the Netgear N750 WNDR4300 WiFi Router, showing serial number and default network logon information.
Netgear N750 WNDR4300 WiFi Router, Bottom View, showing serial number and default network logon information.

Our Rating

The Netgear WNDR4300  is a reasonably priced and good-performing wireless router among the many we’ve owned.  Quite pleased with the purchase.  We particularly love the affordability yet high speed and reliability, as well as the extensive Genie web-based administration interface, which gives you highly granular control over hundreds of operational settings, regulating overall behavior and function.  The accomplished IT network professional will truly appreciate this router’s plethora of advanced settings and attributes.  Yet the novice will marvel at how little must be learned in order to get this equipment up and running initially.  Netgear did a good job designing this router, satisfying beginners and experts alike.   So we’d rate this router at 91 out of 100.

Firmware Versions Tested

  • 1.0.1.60
  • 1.0.2.80




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References

Revision History

  • 2016-01-17: Added more appropriate tags.
  • 2015-10-01: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2015-07-28: Originally published.