Pros
Fastest peak throughput yet
Slick design
Front mounted USB port
Class leading USB network performance
Cons
Loses out at range to AC1900 rivals
Asus & Linksys rivals offer easier setup
Premium pricing
Key Specifications
Review Price: £189.99
802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz & 5GHz WiFi
4x Gigabit Ethernet
1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
Beamforming
WPS, WPA/WPA2 security
VPN & FTP Server
What’s the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk?
That is Netgear’s long awaited ‘AC1900 Wi-Fi’ rival to current top dogs the Linksys EA6900 and Asus RT-AC68U. We say “long awaited” because this sassily named router actually launched as well as its rivals in america, but we’ve waited five months for this to appear in the united kingdom. So having had the largest of build ups may be the R7000 worth the wait?

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Netgear R7000 Nighthawk – Design
Having been named like no other Netgear router it really is somewhat apt the R7000 Nighthawk appears like no other Netgear router either. Without sounding cruel, that is a very important thing. Whereas Netgear’s routers are famously sensible and functional, the R7000 has some essential swagger and bravado.

It’s sleek, angular lines and matt black finish make it appear to be something a Cylon might pilot and its own three thick external antennas add an aspect of aggression that conveys Netgear means business. That’s carried to the construction with a durable and surprisingly heavyweight (750g) construction that at 285 x 184 x 50mm also produces the widest router we’ve seen.

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Despite scores of activity lights (power, Internet, 2.4GHz WiFi, 5GHz WiFi, WPS and 2x USB and 4x Ethernet ports) Netgear also keeps things classy with white activity lights.

There’s a practical aspect to this style aswell with Netgear choosing to front mount a USB 3.0 port for the simple addition of USB storage. This is a useful feature for most, though in the event that you permanently keep two devices linked over USB the actual fact it leaves just one single at the back can make maintaining your cables tidy more challenging. Regardless, Netgear has nailed the look.

Netgear R7000 Nighthawk – Features
The R7000 isn’t short on features either. The clear talking point may be the ‘AC1900’ branding which – just like the EA6900 and RT-AC68U – means it really is fitted with the Broadcom BCM4708A chipset. The big news concerning this chipset could it be brings ‘Turbo QAM’ – a proprietary technology that boosts 802.11n 2.4GHz speeds from a previous theoretical maximum of 450Mbps to 600Mbps. When combined with 1300Mbps theoretical maximum of 802.11ac you get the 1900Mbps figure only this trio of routers can claim.

Netgear isn’t ready to just match its rivals on theory though. More practically it increases the bar on the dual core 800MHz ARM Cortex A9 processors clocking its pair at 1GHz, so that it is the first router to break this milestone. Meanwhile it packs the same 128MB of native flash memory and 256MB of RAM.

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Crucially the R7000 also includes Beamforming, which permits the router to discover where linked devices are and boost signal within their direction instead of throwing it out equally everywhere. Furthermore there’s WPA/WPA2 security, these WPS, VPN and guest network support, QoS and a good customised free URL for all those wanting to setup an individual FTP server.

However the R7000 doesn’t tick every box. It’s four Gigabit Ethernet ports are joined by simply one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, instead of a couple of USB 3.0 ports as on the EA6900. It cannot are a bridge just like the RT-AC68U and it doesn’t pack any remote Cloud access like Linksys’ latest routers and, to a smaller extent, Asus and D-Link.

In a nutshell the R7000 was constructed with a straightforward purpose: to be the fas