Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi Router (R7000) Review

Black NETGEAR R7000 AC1900 on white background

The Netgear R7000 has brought in a new range for home Wi-Fi users. This Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router from Netgear has quite a lot to offer. It is the company’s best router to date for home users.

Powered by a dual-core processor running at 1GHz, the R7000 also comes with its own unique features. This router is arguably one of the fastest in the market.

Netgear has extended multiple features, which were previously unavailable for their home routers. Tagged as a premium dual-band 802.11ac router line-up, the product will be completely worth the investment.

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Key features

  • Wi-Fi range of 1,800 sq. ft.
  • 1 Gigahertz Dual-Core Processor
  • Total of four ports
  • Upto 1,900Mbps (600Mbps + 1,300Mbps) Wi-Fi speed with the 802.11ac
  • Enhanced Beamforming + feature
  • Smart Connect and Netgear Armor Anti-Virus protection
  • Supports up to 30 devices
  • It comes with a circle app for parental control

Unboxing the packaging

The Nighthawk offers packaging that is firm and impressive. This router has a trapezoid design with flared sides.

Along with the router package, you will get three more items in the box. This includes the power adapter, a gigabit Ethernet cable, and three detachable antennas.

The box itself has printed specifications and features of the router. As you open the packaging, you’ll also find a CD and an installation information guide. Along with these, there’s the warranty card. Rest assured, you’ll have an easy installation experience.

Make sure all the items we’ve mentioned above are present in the box. You can contact the store or e-commerce platform in case of missing items or faulty pieces.

What does the R7000 router actually do?

This Nighthawk router allows you to control the home network even from far away. There is the availability of multiple connection options, including Wi-Fi coverage and Ethernet.

Be it connecting the USB disk to the network or allowing remote access to data; you can do a lot. This router supports Broadcom TurboQAM to reach the Wi-Fi speed of up to 600Mbps and has a built-in Open VPN server.

There is an option to accommodate third-party firmware like DD-WRT. Its enhanced Quality-of-Service (QoS) will ensure visibly shorter buffer time, making it perfect even for heavy-duty throughput tasks.

Specifications and Design

Backside of black NETGEAR R7000 AC1900 on white background

This is a relatively large router. The R7000 measures 1.97″ x 11.22″ x 7.26″ (HWD). Its three antennas may further expand the size. Make sure you have a large enough countertop or a desk to occupy its bulky size. It is made big to ensure your router has maximum stability.

There’s an option to secure the router on the wall if you’re tight on space. For that, you will need to screw the mount to a wall, and you’re ready to go.

This Netgear router weighs around 1.6 pounds. The case is more towards a matte finish and made of a sturdy plastic material. Despite its bulky size, you’ll surely be impressed by its design.

The router has a wide base and rubber feet to add to its sturdy, balanced self. The three detachable antennas go with its back panel. On the same panel lie the power button, a reset button, four Gigabit LAN ports, and a Gigabit WAN port.

Indication of network activity status and the internet or wireless connection is reflected on the LEDs on the top part. This is also where the USB device connection is located.

R7000 has two USB ports; at the front, there’s a USB 3.0, and the back has a USB 2.0 port. Both these ports support printers as well. Along with the USB storage, this router has 256MB RAM and 128MB flash memory.

Setting Up The Netgear R7000

Setting up this router is a child’s play. Most newer router models are equipped with easy installation instructions and an App for further guidance. So worry, not the setup.

You will find the steps of installation and the guide in the package. These instructions are easy to follow and equally precise. When you follow the mentioned procedure, towards the end, you’ll need to launch a Web browser to finish the configuration. This is the Netgear Genie browser. It will show the passphrase and the pre-configured wireless SSID.  And there you are, successfully connected to the internet.

Easy enough, the pre-set Wi-Fi network username and password is printed at the bottom of the router itself. With this method, you can directly plug in the router to its electricity source and connect to start using it right away.

It is easy to find any necessary details about your router’s sign-in information. The initial installation process makes sure to take you through the Netgear Genie browser or App. Changing the configuration is done through either the router’s default IP address or the company’s above-mentioned app.

It is to be noted that the App is just made for convenience and lack details on in-depth customization. So, other than changing the passwords and configuration, we recommend using their browser interface instead.

The browser itself shall also lead you to other suggested help links and management apps. This includes the ReadyVault app, which is quite useful for the backup solution part of the router. We also suggest printing out necessary sign-in information for future reference through the browser option.

The setup process is well thought out and extremely user friendly. We assure you that you would not face any problems while installing.

Overall Performance

The R7000 certainly earns a place as one of the fastest 802.11ac routers. It gives top speed for a home router. Even from a distance, R7000 managed to sustain great throughput. It offers a good range of coverage.

The credit for its good range coverage goes to its feature of beamforming. Netgear has incorporated something called Beamforming + (plus). Now, Beamforming is the name of a wireless technology that is used to direct a wireless signal from the router to the user of wireless technology. This method improves the signal strength and throughput. Beamforming + is just an enhanced version of this technology.

Using Netgear’s 11ac USB adapter works the best if you want to achieve optimum range. Although it is not the fastest 802.11ac throughput, it is sustained.

At the 5GHz band, this Nighthawk averaged the speed of 174Mbps from a distance of 15 feet. From the same distance, it could only bring some 69Mbps average for the 2.4GHz signal. This stands a little disappointing. Some of the bests in the market can go up the range of 80 to 90 Mbps easily with the 2.4GHz band.

R7000’s potential speed is also restricted because of the lack of compatible 3×3 built-in wireless 802.11ac adapters. The USB adapters in the devices actually reduce the rate of throughput to some extent. This is because the USB speed is limited.

That being said, the R7000 model still does an amazing job for the 5GHz band. If this is what you need on a daily basis, then go for it. Heavy-duty tasks require a strong throughput, and this is the best we recommend.

Features and functionalities

Netgear has a patented Turbo QAM technology, which is also used in this router. To incorporate the Broadcom BCM4708A chipset, the AC1900 code is used. This leads to its enhanced throughput, going up to 600Mbps!

A standard 802.11ac can deliver the extended speed of 1,900Mbps (that is 1,300Mbps + 600Mbps). Netgear has incorporated dual-core processors. And an astonishing as well as rare delivery of 1GHz through the 800MHz ARM Cortex A9.

The Beamforming technology boosts the signal strength towards the connected device’s direction. This benefits the user greatly rather than the normal radius pattern of the signal.

There are VPN and guest network support. It is a sufficiently good router with reliable performance. Automatic setup wrong the feature of a tiered password structure makes the networking experience easy and secure.

The built and design of the R7000 is very durable. Enough to survive multiple media to high drops. Purchase of different iterations is possible. This router has a one year warranty. If any problem occurs, you can reach out to the 24/7 customer support centers of Netgear.

Additional Features

1. QoS (Quality-of-Service)

The enhanced QoS is a highlighted feature of the R7000 router. QoS helps enhance video optimization and reduces buffering time. There are pre-set rules to set the traffic from widely used services on a QoS. But all these pre-configured settings can also be edited.

QoS might seem like a complex idea with the above description, but Netgear does a good job of covering most of a home Wi-Fi user’s needs.

You’ll have to check some settings in the interface to enable the QoS. Turning on the WMM (Wi-Fi MultiMedia) for either the 5 or 2.4GHz signals (or even both) is required.  This way, the network settings give priority to multimedia data for streams. The reduction of buffer time is visibly noticeable with the QoS on with this particular router. It does a commendable job at that.

2. Nighthawk has received awards

This R7000 router used to be the flagship product of Netgear! It has earned itself a name of its own in the range of the 802.11ac router. Critic’s acclaimed and editors choice, it has received them all. You get the awesome VPN and NAS capabilities along with a good speed and range. It also has a cool name – the Nighthawk.

Who should buy the Netgear R7000?

Black NETGEAR R7000 AC1900 on white background

You can bring home a new level of network experience with the Netgear R7000. Its Broadcom BCM4709 Wi-Fi chip helps provide a smooth Wi-Fi experience to both the old and new Wi-Fi users. True to its name, it is a smart router. The extra features and sturdy, strong quality makes the price worth it.

If your work involves some heavy-duty logistics, then spending a few more bills on the Netgear R7000 router is a better option. We must say, for premium home networking devices, it even stands in the affordable category.

This Wi-Fi router is also capable of a NAS server. If you need support for Time Machine backups, then it is one of the bests in the market. Speed and advanced capabilities define the R7000.

The bulky size of this router will be space consuming. If you have a smaller space, then reconsider your choices. For more easy-going simple networking, which does not need the fastest speed or throughput, there are options available in the market. In that case, the R7000 is not for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Final Verdict

With a bunch of amazing features and an excellent range at the 5GHz band, it is a robust router to bet on. Even though this model is a little old now, we still identify the R7000 as one of the best routers from Netgear.

If you are looking for an 802.11ac router, then this is our choice. Although a bit cons here and there, it is a very solid model for its price to date.

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