Netgear R7000 Nighthawk Router Review

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Phil Hinton, Mar 14, 2014.


    1. Phil Hinton

      Phil Hinton
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    2. mickevh

      mickevh
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      Internet speed testers are not much use for assessing local LAN performance - the local links are usually much faster that your ISP link, so until you get out to the fringes of your coverage area where the link rates really fall off, you're effectively only testing your ISP link rather than the local LAN performance.

      A better alternative is to use a pair of local devices (one of them cabled) running something like iPerf or NetIO. I prefer the latter, though iPerf seems to be available for more platforms. To truely test the wi-fi capabilities of this AC compliant router, you'd need to test it using an AC compliant client device - preferably one that supports beamforming which could make a difference to the range (or more likely the rate-at-range) and one that is "three stream" capable (as this router appears to be.)

      The permitted EIRP (radiated wi-fi energy levels) is the same whether you use internal or external antennas - wi-fi output is limited by law and most kit is already at or near the max. so I wouldn't read too much into the idea that external antennas gives you "more power." Where they really help is that you can "aim" the coverage patterns somewhat. In any case, more power from the router is only half the story - the return signals from the client devices to the router need to be equally powerful in order to maintain the link and in ten years of reading "reviews" I've yet to seen anyone test the "signal" emitted from their laptop/iSomething/Phone and give a verdict!

      5GHz not reaching as far as 2.4Ghz is expected - 5GHz doesn't penetrate "stuff" (walls, doors, air,) as well as 2.4GHz. Thus one would expect the "rate-at-range" (how fast at a given distance) to fall off quicker in the 5GHz waveband.

      Unfortunately, it is all rather complicated. :D
       
      Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
    3. Lee Bryan

      Lee Bryan
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      Hi Mickevh

      I agree there are many ways to measure the quality of the router in terms of the local LAN performance, but for 99.9% of the consumer public these results will mean very little, so I opted to test it with more "home user orientated methods". Wi-Fi in your home is a big factor for most home networks and the Wi-Fi capabilities are the key feature points that Netgear have talked about in their press release and even on the box itself so I decided to test the features the manufacturer was focusing on.
       
    4. charles_b

      charles_b
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      I'm not saying anything...the last time there was a discussion about a review on a network device it all got rather heated and the thread was locked after half a dozen replies.... A review posted with the intent of fostering free and open debate is fine but only if there is respect for the responders knowledge and experience in this complex area of computing.
       
    5. meansizzler

      meansizzler
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      Not to get into an argument but was this router provided for review purposes or was it bought by the reviewer and then reviewed?

      As other members have said would be helpful if review which is a bit more technical. Measuring the throughput of wifi connection based on isp bandwidth does not really show how product performs.. i.e reviewer getting 47mbps download from note 3 via wifi, on my dual core 1ghz router I am getting 220mbps via wifi from xperia z1 as I am testing download speed from by NAS no isp.

      some of these test would be helpful

      - Wifi AC speed test, it is an AC router afterall, testing with both 1x1, 2x2, 3x3 spatial stream wifi cards. These should be provided with router so tests could be conducted

      - USB 3.0 Port throughput via wired/wireless
       
    6. mickevh

      mickevh
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      @Lee

      There's much I would commend in your piece. I like the fact that you describe your testing methodology and state your observations, but leave the reader to draw their own conclusions. I think this approach is to be encouraged in "user" reviews.

      The point we're making about using online speed testers is that by using them, you effectively haven't tested the router, you've tested your ISP link. It's kind of like me buying a Ferrari and testing it by popping down to the shops for some milk and paper. I can do that in my Vauxhall Crappee in the same time as my new Ferrari, so I've not really learned anything about the Ferrari apart from the fact that it's no worse that my Vx Crappee. To test the Ferrari, I really need to take it to a race track and give it it's head so we can see what it can do when it's running at maximum capability. Hope that makes sense.

      @All

      I wrote a metaphor describing how wi-fi really works in the following post. I hope, dear reader, you find it illuminating... [HOW TO] Diagnose Wireless Issues | Page 2 | AVForums

      I'm also working on something to illustrate the much mis-understood concept of "speed" (link rate) for networking kit, but thus far I've failed to produce something brief enough to be readable whilst still conveying enough information to be useful. Hang on in there - the answers are coming.
       
    7. lokyc

      lokyc
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      Funny enough, I just picked up a unit this morning myself.

      Aside from the range, is why this router is so pricey and what the technical advances are.

      I had been using the Virgin Media Superhub up till recently when I added a Linn Majik DS streamer. I have been using only a WD TV Live as a DLNA client, streaming content from a NAS. But when the Llinn was added, I started noticing lag when I swapped over to the WD for video. I needed to reboot the NAS and everythig would be fine until i turned on the Linn again.

      I also struggled to find the Linn configuration firmware. It dawned on me the routing function is what's been letting me down. Went to PC world this rmoning an thinking I could just get a dual band router. But was talked into getting the Nighthawk.

      Its the only router on the market with a 1Ghz dual core processor. And its teh processor that's been letting my netwrok down.

      Setting up was easy, and suddenly all my 2 computers, NAs and everything saw each other with no problems. Of course, the WD and Linn issue went away as well.

      Could I have gotten away with the Asus dual core? Possibly. But the Nighthawk is freshly baked and currently the highest specced router I think.
       
    8. blue max

      blue max
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      The only review I'm interested in is the Apple Airport Extreme. But your setup seems to be PC/Android based.
      To be honest, you need a 'group test' to make any meaningful comparisons. Otherwise it works, but do you need it is a rather obvious conclusion.
       
    9. charles_b

      charles_b
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      More power .....
      timalen.jpg
       

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