Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Wireless Router Review

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Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Setting New Standards


Today we look at Netgear’s flagship dual-band router, the Nighthawk R7000. Legit Reviews has been evaluating Wireless-AC devices for a number of years and has put off upgrading from what we think is currently the best overall router, the Netgear R6300. While not the absolute fastest, nor the most customizable, the Netgear R6300 has been a rock-solid device that has never let us down with wireless drops or general reliability. While we absolutely love the R6300, the Nighthawk R7000 looks to make a huge step forward in performance and thus out interest in evaluating the device today.

R7000_BoxTwo of the biggest changes that Netgear has implemented with the Nighthawk R7000 is the move to AC1900 from AC1750, and the inclusion of external antennas to the main body of the router.  For those who are unfamiliar with the wireless industry’s marketing, the “AC1900”, or “AC1750”, “N900”, “N750”, etc, describes the absolute maximum speeds that the wireless device can achieve.  When talking about Dual-Band Wireless Routers like the Nighthawk we see that its speed is designated by AC1900 where “AC” is the ‘best’ band – in this case 802.11ac or Wireless-AC. The “1900” is the speed designation where the Nighthawk can achieve 600 + 1300 Mbps.

R7000_Back-3There are some other significant upgrades that the Nighthawk has over the older R6300 such as the use of an updated processor and more RAM (1GHz Dual-Core Broadcom BCM4709A CPU) and 256 MB RAM with 128 MB of Flash memory.  This upgrade gives the Netgear Nighthawk one of the fastest CPUs found in any consumer wireless networking device.  It is clearly a step up from the R6300’s single-core 800MHz CPU (or 600MHz CPU for V1).

R7000_Front-2One thing that we noticed was that the price point of the Nighthawk was very competitive.  The MSRP of the R7000 is $199, but you can typically find Netgear’s flagship for sell for a little less which is than other manufacturer’s flagship routers.  A quick check on Amazon showed that we can grab this router for around $195 shipped.  To us this was a bit unusual for a flagship device – we have typically seen the top-of-the-line routers selling at their MSRP and only devices with less features selling at a bargain cost.

R7000 Specifications:

  • WiFi Technology
    • 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit
  • WiFi Performance
    • AC1900 WiFi (600 + 1300 Mbps)
  • WiFi Range
    • Very large homes
  • WiFi Band
    • Simultaneous dual band 2.4 & 5GHz
  • Beamforming
    • Beamforming+ — For improved range and performance
  • Number of Ethernet Ports
    • Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps—(1 WAN & 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Number of USB Ports
    • Two (2) USB ports—one (1) USB 3.0 & one (1) USB 2.0 port
  • Key Features
    • AC1900 WiFi—600+1300 Mbps† speeds
    • 1GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Advanced features for lag-free gaming
    • Prioritized bandwidth for streaming videos or music
    • 100% faster for mobile devices
    • Beamforming+ — For improved range and performance
    • High powered amplifiers & antennas to extend your WiFi coverage
    • Upstream & downstream QoS for best gaming & video streaming experience
    • Free automatic backup software for Windows PC & Time Machine compatible for Macs
    • Customized free URL to set up personal FTP server
  • Security
    • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2—PSK) and WEP
    • VPN support—secure remote access
    • Guest network access—separate & secure
    • WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2—PSK)
    • Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT)
    • Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention
  • Processor
    • 1GHz dual-core
  • Memory
    • 128 MB flash and 256 MB RAM
  • Physical Specifications
    • Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 in (285 x 184.5 x 50 mm)
    • Weight: 1.65 lbs (750 g)
  • Package Contents
    • Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router
    • Three (3) detachable antennas
    • Ethernet cable
    • Quick install guide
    • Power adapter
  • Standards
    • Two (2) USB ports—one (1) USB 3.0 & one (1) USB 2.0 port
    • IEEE® 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz + 256 QAM support
    • IEEE® 802.11 a/n/ac 5.0GHz
    • Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps—(1 WAN & 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • System Requirements
    • Microsoft® Windows 7, 8, 8.1, Vista®, XP®, 2000, Mac OS®, UNIX®, or Linux®
    • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 5.0, Firefox® 2.0, Safari® 1.4, or Google Chrome™ 11.0 browsers or higher
  • 24/7 Technical Support
    • 24/7 basic technical support provided for 90 days from purchase date, when purchased from a NETGEAR authorized reseller*
  • Warranty
    • NETGEAR 1-year limited, Warranty valid only when purchased from a NETGEAR authorized reseller.

Besides having an impressive list of features, we are expecting Netgear to maintain or improve on is graphics user interface (GUI).  On the next page, we take a look at setting up the router for use in a typical home network environment.

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  • Michael

    I bought this router 2 weeks ago and I’m very satisfied. Great speed, and I like that there’s an on/off button for the wireless signal, so you man turn it off manually too. I like to keep the radiation levels low at all times.
    I experimented a lot with the signal and radiation levels, and found that the router has great coverage and speed even without the antennas. speed+coverage+low radiation= just the right product for me. Thanks

  • AuckNZ

    Have had this router for about 6 months now. Easy to set up, Excellent signal. It has never failed me. Runs 24/7 without a problem. It sounds like others have had some issues here, but I cant recommend the Nighthawk highly enough. Easy to use interface (either browser based or Genie).

    I use it on a home network, streaming videos, radio, NAS, 2 x PC’s, laptop, phones and ipads, plus backup drives.

    Bottom line – Excellent product. It just works.

  • kmcghghy

    I’ve been
    reading reviews now after I tell Netgear that I’m going to write a crappy
    review on every review forum I can find because of my issues and it appears now
    that I’m reading them, that this is a known issue that they just refuse to fix. I’ve been an IT System Administrator for over
    20 years and I would not buy another Netgear product again after dealing with
    their support which doesn’t admit there is a known problem.

    I had the
    Netgear WNDR3400 and never had any trouble with it. I bought the Nighthawk R7000 and for $200 and
    my experience with other Netgear hardware I thought this unit would be great.

    I have had
    nothing but trouble with it. The
    Nighthawk r7000 is constantly going down. I upgrade firmware and it craps out
    and I have to redo the configuration. I get up in the morning and no wireless,
    I have to reboot it. Sometimes it goes
    down 2-3 times a day. The other day I got up and again no wireless, I rebooted
    and that didn’t fix it. I go into the configuration and it says the wireless is
    turned off. First time I had this issue
    and you have to hold the wireless button on the front for about 10 seconds to
    turn it back on.

    This is
    ridicules that this unit has so many issues. Of course it’s now out of the 90
    warranty and Netgear says as long as the correct lights are on it not a
    hardware issue so pay us to troubleshoot or fix it yourself. When the device is a lemon, you can’t fix



    • enterprise7

      Most reviews that I read, the IT gurus always have problems with the software/hardware at hand while the common user, the product works like a charm

      • kmcghghy

        That’s because you use right out of the box and hope it works on all your needs. Gurus tweet it to work as needed. After my replacement it started having issues again so this time I just trashed I and went and bought an ASUS.

        • enterprise7

          I just purchased the netgear Nighthawk ac5300; you are correct, right out of the box, so far, so good! Good luck with your ASUS!

        • VaultDweller73

          I cant run MS Live Meeting on the Asus RT-AC66U even with factory reset and no firewall. Direct connect to the ISP provided box and it would work but through the router it would not. Had to buy a Netgear just for that pos software to work. I work at home. How’s that for a ridiculous reason to have to buy a Netgear Router? Every other tech piece I own that can be Asus is Asus though.

    • Tommy

      I’m an IT person too Kat. I make a living installing wireless networks in small and medium sized businesses and also in residential homes (some quite large!). This is one of my go-to routers because it is so reliable and has such a long range. Quite a few useful features in it too!

      However, It sounds like the particular unit you had was broken and should’ve been immediately returned. If any of the 30 or 40 R7000 Netgear units I have installed in the past couple years did this (none have) I would’ve returned it. Not sure why you kept beating your head against the wall with a failing unit (until the warranty expired!).

      FYI: Almost all electronic devices have issues like you experienced from time to time. Failures are brand/model agnostic. Whether you talk about Dell, HP, Netgear, TP-Link, Toshiba, Cisco Linksys, Asus, Belkin, D-Link, Samsung, iPhone, LG, Motorola, Ford, Chevy, or whatever. Electronic things simply break. Failures are independent of brand/model and are due to things like power surges, lightning, bad internal electronic components (capacitors, etc.).

      My advice is not to beat your head against the wall with a bad unit for days on end. —> Tommy’s Rule is this: If a firmware upgrade and a ‘hard reset’ doesn’t fix it … it’s going back for replacement.

      • Kat

        I didn’t ‘beat my head against the wall” on this. As I said other users also have issues. Read the reviews. Best Buy, Amazon etc. It did actually go back to Netgear twice.
        Another issue with today’s routers which shouldn’t be an issue with Smart homes is that most routers only handle 32 connections.
        The issue is that it’s only a dual router which only handles a certain number of usable simultaneous connections.
        I had to buy a tri-band router with smart connect which will let me connect up to 96 wireless devices including 54 life bulbs, 8 cameras, 5 arlo’s etc.
        Not many routers will let you connect this many usable simultaneous connections at once. There was only 2 at Fry’s and that’s a complete network store.
        Bottom line network products need to catch up with supply and demand in today’s Smart home environment.

      • alcon04

        Hey Tommy I think Kat is right about the R7000

        some routers are good some are just bad.

        its hard to find a reliable router – if yours works lucky you
        mine worked good for about a year and 1/2 now out of warranty
        WiFi keeps disconnecting – however I have 2 more Wireless routers as access point – So I switch to either one immediately . (So nobody at home complains)

  • Tyson Tree

    I noticed under the specs-} Security section of the review it states it has WEP capable encryption; this is not true. Does not support WEP.

  • FeRaL

    Is this router wall mountable?

    • Digtial Puppy


      From Pg. 2: “You do have the ability to mount the router vertically on the
      wall, but Netgear doesn’t provide any sort of desk stand for vertical
      placing on your desk.”