Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Review

Are you a serious gamer on a budget? Then nicely, this might be just the best gaming router for you! Designed with gaming and streaming mind, this cutting-edge AC router has a max speed of 1900 Mbps, dual-core processor, 3 high-power antennas, Beamforming and Dynamic QoS traffic management.  While the speed is marked as AC1900 it is highly unlikely for you to achieve anything close to that with any device older than a year-year and a half. By any means, the R7000 is a very fast and capable router, but don’t be fooled by the large numbers claimed by most manufacturers – your experience and “mileage” will vary. By a margin!

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Wireless capabilities

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Router Front View
The AC1900 router is a dual-band device. That means that it has two separate wireless bands – one on 2.4 GHz and on 5GHz. The 2.4 one has a max speed of 600Mbps and the 5GHz has a whopping 1300 Mbps. Combines it reaches 1900Mbps as mentioned above.

Dynamic QoS (Quality of Service) ensures that important tasks are uninterrupted by other users in the household. For example, if you are deep into the next Halo mission online you can set the router to keep that connection prioritized no matter what everyone else connected to the router is doing. You can keep Skype calls alive, Netflix streaming flawlessly with this very useful function.

Netgear R7000 Wireless Performance

The router, as promised, delivers excellent Wi-Fi speed and signal even at large houses and buildings. In our tests, the router managed to hold its ground versus its rivals – the D-Link EXO DIR-869 and the Asus RT-AC66U. On 2.4 GHz it managed to sustain class-leading 170 Mbps while using 802.11n mode. 10 meters away it dropped to about 140Mbps which is still pretty good for 2.4Ghz N performance.

When switched to AC mode the game changes completely. The router managed to hit the promised 600Mbps with ease on 2.4Ghz. Even further – it managed exactly 604Mbps which is a fantastic result for any 2.4Ghz router, especially in the price point of the Nighthawk.

It is a bit different ballgame on 5Ghz. While it is supposed to be the better and faster standard, the R7000 managed to achieve only around 450 Mbps in our close-range tests. We tried with different adapters and setting but 450 pretty much tops it in our tests.

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Router Rear View

Nighthawk AC1900 Wired performance

Let’s start with the USB. The Netgear router has one of the fastest USB ports ever present in a router. OK, maybe not that much but nevertheless speeds are impressive! We managed to get about 31MBps from a USB 3.0 device and about 29MBps from using USB 2.0 hard drive. The results are excellent considering the results from the rest of the competition – mainly the Linksys and ASUS offerings in the price range.

The gigabit LAN performance is not too shabby either. While we fully expect any offering from Netgear to have a fantastic wired performance we were surprised to see the R7000 achieve speeds of over 900Mbps. It got the amazing 949 Mbps which is a tad faster than the 869 of the D-Link DIR869 and the 896 of the Asus RT-AC66U. The WAN to LAN speeds we managed to get were 914Mbps which are still very acceptable.

R7000 User Interface

We agree that the GUI is not the most user-friendly part of the router – it keeps Netgear’s tradition of a clunky and unoptimized interface. It consists of two separate tabs for basic and advanced setting and it is similar to most Netgear devices on the market today.

The most notable features are the VPN server, QoS settings, parental controls and network settings.

The parental controls are there to allow you to block certain websites from being accessed from within the network. You can block internet access to devices connected to the network and restrict them during certain times.

The QoS ensures traffic priority for chosen apps, tasks or devices on the network so you can do important stuff uninterrupted while other users can still access the internet.

The VPN server is based on OpenVPN and it allows you to connect to your router via an encrypted connection while you are away. You can access local devices and network resources without being visible to prying eyes on the outside. You can also browse the net as if you were at home.

Nighthawk R7000 Specifications

Here are the most notable specs of this Netgear router:

  • Dual Band Technology
  • AC1900 WiFi
  • 3 High Powered MIMO antennas
  • 1Ghz Dual Core processor with 256Mb RAM
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports
  • 2 USB ports – one 3.0 and one 2.0

Netgear R7000 Review Verdict

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Router

The Netgear Nighthawk R7000 is a stylish and high performing offering on the market today. An ex-flagship device, the hawk performs admirable, especially considering the price it can be had for today. The dual-core Broadcom processor it features is at the heart of the router’s marvelous performance and it can be tweaked even further by the more adventurous overclockers of us. There are plenty of reports on the net from users reaching over 1.4Ghz with this beast. Rightly so, we placed it on our best dual-band routers of 2017 list. The price is very reasonable for the excellent performance. It has fierce competition from every notable router manufacturer today but we believe that it more than stands its ground and it is a highly capable router even today.

Aaron Brown

Aaron is a networking engineer who started Zilla Best with the sole purpose to provide unbiased buyers guides and tech reviews.

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