NETGEAR WNDR4700

Introduction

External design and hardware

Firmware upgrade and additional utilities

Web-interface

Command line

Testing

Conclusion

Introduction

A story of the trip of NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router from the vendor's office to our test lab is really complicate and long, but still we are really glad to provide our readers with a detailed review and testing of this somewhat unusual networking device. Its singularity is about a special hard disc bay located in its case; moreover, it's not used for common small 2.5" notebook discs but only for a fully-featured 3.5" SATA data carrier.

External design and hardware

In terms of the external design, WNDR4700 looks like the majority of wireless SOHO devices: a black plastic case with LEDs located on the glossy front panel and network ports on its rear side. However, it still looks a bit bigger. The device has dimensions of 256х206х85 mm. To work properly WNDR4700 needs an external power unit (included in the box) with the following characteristics: 12V and 5A. We already saw a similar case in R6300 model.

On the bottom side of the stand there are rubber legs and a sticker with brief information about the device.

There is a bay used for installation of the HDD located behind one of the device punched side panels.

On the other side panel there are three buttons used to switch the wireless network on and off, facilitate the procedure of wireless client connection, and back up the user data. Also, there are a USB 3.0 port and slot used for connection of SD cards.

Network interfaces are located on the bottom part of the rear panel; there are four LAN GE ports, one WAN GE port, USB 3.0 port, sunken Reset button, ON/OFF button, and power socket.

Electronic stuffing of WNDR4700 is one main green textolite card and several small support cards that function as antennae. Unfortunately, the only module accessible for inspection was the Hynix H27U1G8F2BTR flash memory module with the size of 128 Mbytes and IDT 89HPES4T4 microchip. All other chips are covered with screens.

That is where we bring the review of the hardware platform of NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component.

Firmware upgrade and additional utilities

Firmware upgrade is carried out in Firmware Upgrade sub-group, Administration group of the web-interface. Firmware upgrade may be carried out both in a manual and semi-automatic mode. In order to perform the latter one needs to be connected to the WAN.

Upon upgrading the firmware in the manual mode one needs to specify the file with the applicable firmware downloaded beforehand and click on Upload button.

The whole upgrade procedure takes about three minutes (not considering the file downloading time).

As of when this article was being written, there was only one utility available for usage by WNDR4700 users: ReadySharePrinter that facilitates the procedure of connection of a remote printer.

Now let's have a look at the device web-interface.

Web-interface

Since our test lab already hosted quite a few networking devices by NETGEAR— WNDR3800, R6300, WNDR4500, and WNR1000v2—our readers already had a possibility to get acquainted with the majority of capabilities featured in web-interfaces of routers produced by this vendor. That's why we will not review all capabilities of WNDR4700, but only turn our attention to the most interesting features.

In order to access the device web-interface one should enter 192.168.1.1 address and type in the logon information upon authentication; which is admin/password by default. Upon successful authentication the administrator will find him/herself on the home page of the web-interface available in 22 languages.

The web-interface is available in two modes: basic and advanced. Using the basic mode the users can review the device status and manage connection to the Internet provider, change wireless network operation parameters as well as those of connected users and devices, and apply the parental control feature.

By switching for the advanced mode the administrator will be able to use two wizards that make it possible to perform the initial adjustment of the device. Apart from that, the advanced mode gives the user wider functionality in terms of managing NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router. For example, using Setup group one can change parameters associated with tweaking the local network and Internet port.

Storage group offers the user an opportunity to define the access right for other users, format the internal HDD, and manage a built-in media server.

In Administration group the user can review status of the router and its ports, log information, and data about connected devices as well as change the password and upgrade the firmware.

Advanced Setup group contains features used for the most flexible adjustment of the device.

That's where we draw a brief review of the web-interface capabilities of WNDR4700 to a close.

Command line

Access to the web-interface of WNDR4700 wireless router can be gained via a method that is conventional for the majority of wireless SOHO devices by NETGEAR: using telnetable utility. In this case one won't need to specify login and password.

=== IMPORTANT ============================
Use 'passwd' to set your login password
this will disable telnet and enable SSH
------------------------------------------
BusyBox v1.4.2 (2013-01-25 11:20:51 EST) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
[WNDR4700]#

In spite of the information located on the banner displayed upon connection, SSH daemon won't get launched by entering passwd command.

BusyBox 1.4.2 library is installed in Linux 2.6.32.11.

[WNDR4700]# busybox
BusyBox v1.4.2 (2013-01-25 11:20:51 EST) multi-call binary
Copyright (C) 1998-2006 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, and others.
Licensed under GPLv2. See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: [function] [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable. Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as!
Currently defined functions:
[, [[, addgroup, adduser, arping, ash, awk, awx, basename,
bunzip2, bzcat, cat, chgrp, chmod, chown, chroot, clear,
cp, crond, crontab, cut, date, dd, delgroup, deluser,
df, diff, dirname, dmesg, du, echo, egrep, env, expr,
false, fgrep, find, free, fsck, fuser, getopt, getty,
grep, gunzip, gzip, halt, hdparm, head, hexdump, hostid,
hostname, hwclock, id, ifconfig, init, insmod, ipkg, kill,
killall, killall5, klogd, length, less, ln, lock, logger,
logread, ls, lsmod, md, md5sum, mesg, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod,
mktemp, mm, mount, mv, nc, netmsg, netstat, nice, nslookup,
passwd, pidof, ping, ping6, pivot_root, poweroff, printf,
ps, pwd, rdate, reboot, reset, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route,
sed, seq, sh, sleep, sort, start-stop-daemon, strings,
su, switch_root, sync, sysctl, syslogd, tail, tar, tee,
telnet, telnetd, test, tftp, time, top, touch, tr, traceroute,
true, umount, uname, uniq, uptime, usleep, vconfig, vi,
watchdog, wc, wget, which, xargs, yes, zcat, zcip
[WNDR4700]# uname -a
Linux WNDR4700 2.6.32.11-wndr4700 #2 Mon Jan 28 03:19:37 EST 2013 ppc unknown
[WNDR4700]# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.32.11-wndr4700 (torby.tong@dni-l-sw01) (gcc version 4.5.1 (GCC) ) #2 Mon Jan 28 03:19:37 EST 2013

Let's see what processes are currently running using ps command.

[WNDR4700]# ps
PID Uid VmSize Stat Command
1 root 2496 S init
2 root SW [kthreadd]
3 root SW [ksoftirqd/0]
4 root SW [events/0]
5 root SW [khelper]
8 root SW [async/mgr]
152 root SW [sync_supers]
154 root SW [bdi-default]
155 root SW [kblockd/0]
160 root SW [ata/0]
161 root SW [ata_aux]
162 root SW [ksuspend_usbd]
167 root SW [khubd]
171 root SW [kmmcd]
229 root SW [kswapd0]
230 root SW [aio/0]
231 root SW [crypto/0]
806 root SW [scsi_tgtd/0]
812 root SW [scsi_eh_0]
817 root SW [mtdblockd]
902 root SW [scsi_eh_1]
903 root SW [usb-storage]
1005 root 2112 S klogd
1009 root 1792 S /bin/datalib
1078 root 2496 S /bin/sh /usr/sbin/set_fan_vol
1365 root 1856 S udhcpd /tmp/udhcpd.conf
1368 root 1664 S /usr/sbin/net-scan
1396 root 1728 S /usr/sbin/lld2d br0
1562 root 2304 S crond -c /tmp/etc/crontabs -T GMT-4
1600 root 1984 S /usr/sbin/miniupnpd
1630 root 2240 S syslogd -m 0 -T GMT-4 -c 511
1659 root 1664 S /usr/sbin/ntpclient
1664 root 2304 S crond -c /tmp/etc/crontabs -T GMT-4
1692 root 2176 S /usr/sbin/dnsmasq -r /tmp/resolv.conf --wan-interface
1740 root 2560 S /bin/sh /usr/sbin/luns_scan.sh
1835 root 1600 S potd
1837 root 1152 S potval
1859 root SW [flush-31:0]
1916 root 2496 S /bin/sh /usr/sbin/send_wol 311
1920 root 4544 S N /usr/sbin/afpd -F /etc/netatalk/afpd.conf -P /var/run
1923 root 1792 S hotplug2 --persistent --coldplug
1956 root 3200 S avahi-daemon: running [WNDR4700.local]
2272 root 1344 S udhcpc -b -i eth0.1 -h WNDR4700 -r 0.0.0.0
4832 root 1984 S hostapd -B /tmp/secath0 /tmp/secath1 -e /etc/wpa2/ent
4888 root 1856 S /sbin/traffic_meter
4907 root SW [ telnetDBGD ]
4908 root SW [ acktelnetDBGD ]
4910 root SW [checkSBusTimeou]
4918 root SW [NU UDP]
4923 root SW [NU TCP]
4936 root 2496 S /bin/sh /sbin/check_HDD_capacity
4957 root 2368 S /usr/sbin/uhttpd -h /www -r WNDR4700 -x /cgi-bin -t 6
4959 root 1152 S inetd
4990 root 2560 S /bin/ash --login
6596 root 2048 S /usr/sbin/utelnetd -d -i br0
23794 root 2688 S /bin/ash --login
24352 root 2112 S sleep 311
24894 root 2112 S sleep 67
25324 root 2112 S sleep 31
25450 root 2112 S sleep 1
25451 root 2624 R ps

Let's find out what kind of content /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin catalogues have.

[WNDR4700]# ls /bin
addgroup dmesg ls rm
adduser echo md rmdir
ash egrep mkdir sed
busybox false mknod sh
cat fgrep mktemp sleep
chgrp getopt mm su
chmod gpg-error-config mount sync
chown grep mv tar
config gunzip netmsg touch
cp gzip netstat true
datalib hostname nice umount
date ipcalc.sh pidof uname
dd kill ping usleep
delgroup ln ping6 vi
deluser lock ps zcat
df login pwd
[WNDR4700]# ls /sbin
80211stats led.sh
app_mount ledcontrol
artmtd log_fan_rpm_fault
athstats logread
athstatsclr lsmod
backup mount_root
cfdisk mtd
cfg net-util
cgiMain pivot_root
check_HDD_capacity pktlogconf
cmd_autoreset pktlogdump
cmd_ddns poweroff
cmd_ebtables printhosts
cmd_traffic_meter printnss
cmddlna qos.sh
cmdftp radartool
cmdigmp reboot
cmdroute reg
cmdsched rmmod
cmdsched_wlan_status route
cmdupnp rs_send
detect_factory run-ramfs
detwanv6 start-stop-daemon
dni_apup storage_test
dni_qos switch_root
dumpregs sysctl
fdisk syslogd
firstboot sysupgrade
fsck tfm_led
generate_traffic_meter_conf traffic_meter
getty uci
halt udevtrigger
hdparm udhcpc
hotplug-call udhcpd
hotplug2 umount_unapproved
hotplug2.mount update-wifi
hotplug2.testbusy usb_disk_event
hotplug2.umount vconfig
hwclock wan_debug
ifconfig watchdog
ifdown wifi
ifup wlan
igmpproxy wlan_old
init wlanconfig
insmod wps_pbc
ip_mac wpsled
ipconflict zcip
klogd
[WNDR4700]# ls /usr/bin
[ cut fuser logger smbpasswd tr
[[ detcable head md5sum sort traceroute
arping diff hexdump mesg strings uniq
awk dirname hostid mkfifo tail uptime
awx du id nc tee wc
basename env ipkg nslookup telnet wget
bunzip2 expr killall passwd test which
bzcat find killall5 printf tftp xargs
clear flushRoute length reset time yes
crontab free less seq top
[WNDR4700]# ls /usr/sbin
afpd ip ppp-nas
afppasswd ip6tables pppd
avahi-autoipd ip6tables-restore proftpd
avahi-daemon ip6tables-save px5g
avahi-dnsconfd ipp radvd
brctl iptables radvdump
chat iwconfig rdate
check_smart_error.sh iwgetid remote_smb_conf
chroot iwlist restart_ap_udhcpc
cmd_cron iwpriv ripd
cnid_dbd iwspy ripngd
cnid_metad lld2d select_partition
crond luns_scan.sh send_wol
detach_afp_shares minidlna set_fan_vol
detectSATA miniupnpd sfdisk
detwan mke2fs smartctl
dev-scan mkfs.ext2 smartd
dhcp6c mkfs.ext3 smbd
dhcp6ctl mkfs.ext4 ssmtp
dhcp6s mkfs.xfs stamac
dns-hijack net-cgi telnetd
dnsmasq net-disk telnetenable
dsyslog net-dump tune2fs
e2fsck net-scan uhttpd
ebtables net-wall update_afp
ez-ipupdate nmbd update_smb
format_sata noip2 update_user
hostapd ntpclient usb_cfg
hostapd_cli ntpst utelnetd
i2cdetect parted vmstat
i2cdump partprobe vol_id
i2cget phddns wget_netgear
i2cset potd wol
inetd potval zebra

Now let's turn to /proc catalogue to view its contents and find out the system uptime, its average utilisation, information on the CPU installed, and the amount of RAM.

[WNDR4700]# ls
1 229 NetUSB loadavg
1005 230 ath_pktlog locks
1009 231 athdebug mcast
1078 23794 athnodefixedrate mcast_set
1365 29947 athrtscts meminfo
1368 3 athversion misc
1396 32126 buddyinfo modules
152 32303 bus mounts
154 32568 cmdline mtd
155 32569 cpuinfo net
1562 4 crypto ocminfo
160 4832 detect_phy pagetypeinfo
1600 4888 device-tree partitions
161 4907 devices scsi
162 4908 diskstats self
1630 4910 dma simple_config
1659 4918 dni_qos_if slabinfo
1664 4923 driver softirqs
167 4936 execdomains stat
1692 4957 filesystems swaps
171 4959 fs switch_phy
1740 4990 igmpsnoop sys
1835 5 interrupts sysrq-trigger
1837 6596 iomem sysvipc
1859 8 ioports timer_list
1916 806 irq tty
1920 812 kallsyms uptime
1923 817 kcore version
1956 902 key-users vmallocinfo
2 903 kmsg vmstat
2272 MFS lan_prio zoneinfo
[WNDR4700]# cat uptime
3328.36 3177.42
[WNDR4700]# cat loadavg
0.04 0.05 0.01 1/61 1891
[WNDR4700]# cat cpuinfo
processor : 0
cpu : APM82181
clock : 1000.000010MHz
revision : 28.131 (pvr 12c4 1c83)
bogomips : 2000.00
timebase : 1000000010
platform : PowerPC 44x Platform
model : amcc,wdnr4700
Memory : 256 MB
[WNDR4700]# cat meminfo
MemTotal: 256128 kB
MemFree: 157440 kB
Buffers: 5312 kB
Cached: 37120 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 46464 kB
Inactive: 16320 kB
Active(anon): 26816 kB
Inactive(anon): 0 kB
Active(file): 19648 kB
Inactive(file): 16320 kB
Unevictable: 0 kB
Mlocked: 0 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 64 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 20800 kB
Mapped: 5824 kB
Shmem: 6464 kB
Slab: 18240 kB
SReclaimable: 1920 kB
SUnreclaim: 16320 kB
KernelStack: 488 kB
PageTables: 6528 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 256128 kB
Committed_AS: 77120 kB
VmallocTotal: 729088 kB
VmallocUsed: 78592 kB
VmallocChunk: 599936 kB
[WNDR4700]# uptime
00:55:53 up 55 min, load average: 0.08, 0.06, 0.01

That is where we bring review of the device command line to a conclusion and pass directly on to testing it.

Testing

The first traditional procedure we usually begin our testing chapter with is measuring the booting time of the device. However, this time we decided to somewhat modify the measurement procedure since upon loading NETGEAR WNDR4700 occasionally replies to ICMP echo requests, but all other services become unavailable (including the web-interface). That's why in this case we measured the time period from plugging the device in the power network to lightning of a LED that shows the operation status of the internal HDD. By this time the device web-interface will have already become available. NETGEAR WNDR4700 boots in 118 seconds, which is a pretty large value for devices of this kind.

The second traditional test was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out from the LAN segment using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) utility. On the whole, there were ten open ports discovered, and they are TCP-23 (telnet), TCP-53 (DNS), UDP-53 (DNS), TCP-80 (HTTP), TCP-443 (HTTP SSL), TCP-548 (afpovertcp), TCP-3333 (dec-notes), TCP-5555 (HTTP), TCP-20005 (unknown), and TCP-33344 (unknown). The most interesting data are presented below.

Prior to carrying out performance tests we can't help to mention the key specifications of the test stand we used.

Component PC Notebook
Motherboard ASUS Maximus V Extreme ASUS M60J
CPU Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6 GHz
RAM DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 32 Gbytes DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 16 Gbytes
NIC

Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter
ASUS EA-N66

Atheros AR8131
OS Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus

One can install fully-featured HDDs with SATA interface into NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router. We haven't run across this feature before and that's why we decided to begin the performance tests from measuring the access speeds to the disc that was successively formatted into four file systems: FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, and EXT3.

Apart from discs with SATA interface, the users can also connect external USB carriers to the device. We decided to test this feature too. We used a 750 Gbyte Transcend StoreJet 25M3 during the testing procedure.

Since primarily WNDR4700 is a wireless router, we decided to find out what data transfer speeds the wired users can get. Data transfer has been carried out between LAN and WAN ports using NAT for 1, 5, and 15 simultaneous TCP-sessions.

The device under review supports operation with both IPv4 and IPv6. Unfortunately, one can only establish connections using the newest IP version in one direction: from the LAN segment towards WAN.

Usage of VPN for those who live in Russia and the CIS is a relevant method of connection to the service provider. Access speeds to the WAN via PPTP are presented on the diagram below. Unfortunately, WNDR4700 only supports tunnels without encryption.

NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router supports operation within two wireless frequency ranges: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. We measured the user data transmission speeds in both of the frequency ranges.

That's where we draw the testing chapter to a close and move on to summing it all up.

Conclusion

We believe that combining features of a wireless router and NAS in NETGEAR WNDR4700 turned out really well since it functions equally well both in terms of providing users with the access to the WAN and to files stored on the internal HDD. Obviously, this device is not a fully-featured NAS, but it will become a suitable solution for use in homes or small offices. Possibility of wireless module operation in 5GHz frequency range makes it possible to offload problematic 2.4 GHz frequencies.

The strength areas of WNDR4700 are presented below.

  • Possibility of installation of a SATA HDD into the device
  • Used traffic meter
  • Ability to select USB devices which are to be granted access to the device
  • Support of IPv6
  • Perfect data transmission speeds via PPTP tunnels
  • Support of two wireless frequency ranges
  • Presence of a USB 3.0 port
  • High access speeds to the data stored on external and internal HDDs

Unfortunately, we cannot help to mention certain drawbacks of the model.

  • Access to the router command line is not secured by a password
  • The fan inside of the case is too small
  • Absence of encryption support for PPTP tunnels
  • Relatively high price

As of when this article was being written, the average price for NETGEAR WNDR4700 in Moscow online shops was 9000 roubles.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Found a typo? Please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.