Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Wireless Router Review


Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Setting New Standards


Today we look at Netgears 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 industrys 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 R6300s 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 Netgears flagship for sell for a little less which is than other manufacturers 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 portsone (1) USB 3.0 & one (1) USB 2.0 port
  • Key Features
    • AC1900 WiFi600+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/WPA2PSK) and WEP
    • VPN supportsecure remote access
    • Guest network accessseparate & secure
    • WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2PSK)
    • 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 portsone (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.