I wish I bit the bullet and got this router earlier! It has given me a strong wifif signal throughout my home, and speeds are significantly improved. I had previously been using repeaters, with limited success (apple products struggled to switch between the multiple access points.)
I have a virgin superhub 2 in a 5 bed house on 3 levels (including loft). With the superhub, the wifi signal would not reach one bedroom at all, and 2 other rooms were very patchy (wifi would be very slow or disconnect from mobile device.)
Setup was reasonably straightforward;
- I followed virgin's online instructions to switch the superhub into modem mode, then turned it off.
- Connected up the nighthawk router, left it turned off
- Turned on the superhub, then the router a couple of minutes later
- Used the netgear router webpage on my PC to complete the setup and rename the SSIDs
- All up and running in approx. 15 min
I tested speeds before and after for comparison purposes, hopefully this is useful if you're considering purchasing. These results are from the ookla speedtest app on a samsung S5 and iphone 6, connecting to the 5G network. Worth noting that on my ipad 2 (which does not have wireless AC), the speeds are not as greatly improved, although it still benefits from better coverage through the house.
- LIVING ROOM (where router is located): Before ~80MB/s, After 102MB/s
- BED 1 Iphone 6 (very bad coverage before): Before ~0.5-3MB/s and connection would drop, after 106MB/s!
- LOFT, before 35-40MB/s, after 86MB/s
on 19 April 2015
I'd lately been experiencing wireless disconnection issues with my BT Homehub 3 (on a BT Infinity 2 package); either I couldn't get on the Internet at all, or it would kick me off after five minutes or so. No amount of tinkering with the router's settings would fix this. I changed everything, from using alternate channels to assigning manual IP addresses - only a tethered Ethernet cable worked. As it affected only some devices, I tested them out on friends' wi-fi and they worked as expected. With no BT line faults in my area, I determined the router was therefore at fault.
I'd had Netgear routers before and liked their ease of use and solid build. However, I wasn't quite prepared for the size of this beast. The R7000 has up to twelve LEDs on the front and its overall design looks like the offspring of a Klingon cruiser and Stealth bomber. My Infinity connection means I still need the BT Openreach box with its Gigabit Ethernet cable, but within the Netgear's online settings, there is the facility to disable many of the LEDs leaving just the power indicator lit. (I haven't done this as I find it an excellent means of low-key lighting in my hallway at night.)
Set-up took no more than a few minutes. Although at first I couldn't see how to attach and rotate additional aerials with the first one 'in the way', I found that they each pivot on both axes. If anyone else is changing routers with a BT connection, the username is 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and the password is 'bt'. I used the Netgear Genie wizard, which has everything logically laid out on the screen, but obviously the first thing I did - once up and running - was to change the default administrator's password. Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connections are listed in the network scan (if you make them visible) but the 5 GHz option didn't appear for a few devices, notably my two smart TVs, so I guess it depends upon the technology within each product. The router also has a QoS (Quality of Service) setting, which gives priority to downstream or upstream, depending on whether you respectively stream video content or do online gaming for the most part.
I'm very happy with the reliability and speed delivered by the R7000; it's now been 24 hours since set-up and the connection has been rock solid. There is no overnight power save option as there was with the Homehub, but I can live with that.
on 16 March 2015
Works like a dream for me. It replaced a virginmedia hub (which is really crap for the wireless), and immeasurably improved the experience in our house - it's much much faster, more reliable, and setup was a breeze.It does need a cable modem (using the virginmedia hub as cable modem). Have been using it for a week now, and improvements are really remarkable.
Most of the devices we have do accept 5ghz connections - the reach of the 5ghz network in our house is not quite as wide as the 2.4ghz, but more or less ok, and on the new router, the 2.4 ghz network reaches into the nooks and crannies, and can be used there when needed. Haven't tried it yet in the garden, but hope it'll even work there.
Overall all devices (2 newer laptops, 3 ipads, 1 iphone 6, one Samsung Galaxy 5) that use 5ghz are much much faster than before. I have a few devices running on 2.4ghz (a squeezebox, my daughter's laptop and motorola moto g) which are have more reliable connections now, and not quite as much improvement on the speed, but still remarkable...
on 17 December 2014
This is a preliminary report. I expect to be updating it over the next few days/weeks.
I ordered the Netgear R7000 on Monday, it arrived on Wednesday. Very fast service, came earlier than projected.
It is a very impressive piece of hardware. These antennas look very aggressive (scary?). I like the soft white lights indicating the different functions when the router is on; it is a nice departure from the "loud" red/yellow/blue lights routers usually come with.
As discussed in other reviews, the router comes with two different USB slots, one in the front, a second one in the back. This is handy, depending on the number of external devices one needs to connect.
As soon as I logged in from my laptop (by entering 192.168.1.1 on my browser), I was notified that there is a new firmware version. I agreed to update, it downloaded and rebooted, and I was up and running within 2 minutes again. Very smooth, did not give me any troubles whatsoever. Hats off to the technical team.
I bought this router to replace Virgin Media's router ("hub"). Put it simply, the Netgear router blows the VM hub out of the water.
I tend to work on my laptop in my office, which is separated by 1-1.5 walls from viewing the router directly. In the old (Virgin Media hub) setup, I was using a 2.4 GHz signal (probably interfering with my wireless phone) and my download speeds would go up to 40 Mbs or so.
With the new router, I noticed that the signal strength increased very moderately: from -58 dB to -56 dB or so. Going from 2.4 GHz to 5.0 GHz did not seem to make a big difference here, with the exception that the 5.0 GHz is much more stable (I will occasionally observe drops in the 2.4 GHz signal strength - not sure what causes them).
However, my internet speed has significantly increased, e.g. my download speed increased by a factor one-and-a-half when using 2.4 GHz (40-45 Mbs to 65 Mbs) to about a factor of three when using 5.0 GHz (40-45 Mbs to 145 Mbs). So, I am obviously very happy with the new speeds.
This is a dual-band router, namely one can enable both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz options simultaneously.
I should be able to comment on the connectivity with a smart TV (netflix, etc) in the next few days.
There are several other things that I have not tested yet, but I am looking forward to putting my hands on:
- Setting up a home network and plugging in an external USB drive to be able to use as server
- Plugging an old printer and be able to access it wirelessly from any device connected to my home network
- Support for iTunes Server, Time Machine
- Parental controls, guest networks, etc
This is a very preliminary report, albeit an enthusiastic one. Speeds have increased dramatically. Range & connectivity seem robust, especially for the 5.0 GHz channel. Looking forward to trying several more goodies (home network, wireless access to printer, etc)
An all-black enclosure with straight edges and sharp corners, the styling is a major departure from the off-white, rounded edge products that typified Netgear's range for many years. This router requires an input via Ethernet and therefore needs to be connected to a modem to establish a connection or may be connected to a cable network. Alternatively, it may also be used in conjunction with a distribution network, possibly connected to one of Netgear's PowerLine adapters or similar, to provide wireless facilities in locations where your existing WiFi router does not provide adequate signals. For example, it may be out of range, on a different level, or the building's construction may hinder signal reception in some areas. It is for the last situation that this router was ordered.
The router does not offer the super-high speed that some current models can provide (close to or beyond Gigabit speeds) but its 300 Megabit speeds should be sufficient for occasional streaming and the usual day-to-day business of email, Skype, online purchases and routine downloads etc. It provides the usual 4 outlet ports to connect with devices and may be extended further by adding a Network switch with a further 4 ports or more. It has two external and adjustable aerials which will allow setting for several distribution options which a router with inbuilt aerials is unlikely to provide - a 45-degree angle will provide signals in a more cylindrical pattern than if completely vertical or horizontal and potentially be able to provide a signal outwards and upwards and possibly downwards too.
The router's installation is simple and requires no CD or obligatory downloads. It supports AirPrint and several other services for use with Android or Apple phones and tablets via its optional NetGenie app. All the standard features of parental controls, WPS-assisted set-up, and QoS streaming support are included. Once connected per the very easy-to-follow instructions, which were essentially superfluous, and allowed a few seconds to self set-up I was able to connect to it almost immediately via WiFi. Signal strength from one room to another through two solid steel-reinforced walls was steady at 3-4 bars, which is really quite good when no signal was immediately previously received from a more powerful router located on a lower floor.
At an unbelievably low price, it will probably meet most user's requirements if they wish to extend a current network.
I tried this out as an alternative to our router (now 3-4 years old) and I'm impressed by the ease of use. Everything is defaulted to what you'd need in 90% of cases and so in most respects it "just works" as a wired router and 1GB LAN hub. The management is good and easy to use and the user documentation is great. The wireless is the problem. Our existing wireless router fills our house with wi-fi goodness - anywhere - even outside. Using this router, you have a one room range maybe..... Tried different turning it around so on, but still the same. Odd. So, good, but watch out for the range.
on 18 January 2015
This was bought to replace a TP-Archer C7 AC1750 which had proved anything but reliable.
By contrast, the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk was quick to set up. The instructions were clear and it was configured with appropriate WiFi channels for use in the UK.
The signal strength is excellent. Having needed three range boosters to cover our property when using the Archer C7, we now only need one.
The promised gigabit speeds are consistently delivered.
The security options are easily configurable, with separate settings for 2.4Hz and 5GHz, and for main and guest networks on each.
In 10 months of use, there have not been any router crashes, freezes, failures to pair/connect.
The optional, free iOS app for controlling the router is similarly easy to use and set up.
Without a doubt, this is best router I have ever used.
on 2 January 2015
I bought this to replace my BTHome Hub 4 which was not providing very good wireless coverage. As hoped, the Nighthawk is extremely well made and is providing superb wireless coverage - I managed to stream a Youtube video seamlessly at the end of the garden and on my wireless AC-enabled tablet I get aspeedtest download speed of over 60Mbps! The Nighthawk has also performed flawlessly since I installed it - in particular I have not suffered from any unexpected reboots nor experienced problems which required a reboot to correct. At first I was not a great fan of the somewhat "dumbed down" Netgear user interface, but in fact, I have found that the Advanced tab offers access to everything I need in practice. I would also recommend the free Netgear Genie app which is very useful and makes accessing the router from a mobile device much simpler.
on 15 February 2015
I bought one of these at the start of the year to replace my BT Hub as I was getting a bit frustrated with a lack of range, dysfunctional port forwarding and an issue with mobile devices not always connecting to Wi-Fi.
Although it is a little bit pricey, the performance of this beast really makes it a worthwhile purchase!
My first impression when I opened the box was something around the lines of "oh my god this router is huge... what's inside this thing!?"
After using it for around a month, I can now see why it is so massive. It's got to be jam packed with a good bit of kit for it to be working so well...
Initial Setup & Connectivity:
It took almost no effort to set up the router with my open reach modem, as the smart setup was able to select the settings needed for the BT Infinity connection right off the bat.
After a little bit of tweaking to choose my preferred settings and setting up security, I connected all devices in my house (17 Wi-Fi connections and a further 8 Ethernet connections) which posed absolutely no challenge to the performance of the Nighthawk.
The range on the device is quite brilliant; I initially went from a Home Hub that could barely get a full signal to the rooms upstairs, to the Nighthawk's, which can even be picked up at the end of my street. I reckon with a slight boost in the power on the antennae, the signal could even reach my local village hall which is roughly 30 meters from my house.
The variety and finite details in QoS, Prioritising and the addition of being able to setup a guest network really make this router something perfectly designed for someone who needs advanced micromanagement within their home/small business.
Easily a router that I'd recommend to people looking for something solid and high performing for their BT Infinity connections.
Like a lot of people I don’t tend to swap my router very often, I always think why should I, mine works fine, does the job, can’t be bothered with all the technical bits I’ve got to do, that’s what I normally think.
I have been using a Netgear N150 as my modem and also a TP-Link TL-WDR4900 N900 connected to the Netgear which I have positioned in another room and this gives me excellent Wi-Fi, Thought If I connected the New Netgear it would give me Wi-fi in my work room which is where my modem is.
When I un-boxed it my first impression was Wow!!! If you can get excited about a router the R7000 is the only one that made me go wow..... Looks like a quality piece of gear, much nicer than my old N150 and better looking than the TP-Link.
I run a small business from home which is internet based, I sell audio equipment on line and get frustrated at loading pictures and video’s via wifi, they can be slow and often slow my whole set up down, its impossible to do the images and video’s at the same time, my wifi cough’s and splutters.
Main PC is an Apple Imac, I also run a window PC using windows vista, a laptop using windows 8 and a Acer tablet all working off the same modem and router.
Connecting was very straight forward, took me less than five minutes to get it up and running, the password etc are on a removable film on top of the box, hate it when it’s hidden on the back, my eyes are not great in low light and a router tends to be at the back of things with little light.
So the Netgear R7000 is connected and I’m off, Wifi is extremely good, it was instant connection with my Samsung Galaxy S4, same with my Acer tablet.
Thought I would try and upload a video from my you tube account, using the R7000 and then a comparison using the TP-Link. The difference is simply amazing, the R7000 uploaded the video in a blink of an eye, nothing wrong with the TP-Link but the R7000 was so much quicker.
Best way I was really going to see if the increased speed was my imagination was to swap the TP-Link with the R7000.
The R7000 has plenty of claims and does receive excellent reviews around its lack of drop out.
My wifi using my TP-Link can sometimes drop and watching a film buffing is no fun, I have found frustrating using the Sky Now TV box which is wifi only, hate it when a movie freezes, you can guarantee it will be at an exciting part. Let see if the Netgear R7000 would resolve this.
It is now 48 hours since I wrote the first part of my review as I thought it would be fair to use the R7000 for a while in my everyday environment including watch a film on Now TV.
Hand on heart it is an amazing box, the wifi is in a league of its own, speed is incredible, never had anything work so well and I’ve had lots of modems and routers over time, trying to get good wifi in my 1836 built welsh granite built home, walls are so thick you need an extension on the extension if you are drilling a hole.
I watched a Now TV film last night it didn't buff once, played the whole 2 hour film, the old box I could sometimes go and put the kettle on before it started again.
You are able to give priority to streamed video content which I changed on the box, it is feature packed, some I will probably use and setting will change as my set up changes, my lad has a PS4 which I know he is keen to upload games and content, when the time is right (he is only 10 so not overly keen on him uploading to much) I can change the setting’s so that the game console is given priority uploads hopefully giving him a resulting in a better gaming experience, the R7000 also has parental setting which is a must these days, my lad loves Minecraft and some guy called stampy (something like that) and spends a lot of his free time watching the minecraft videos on youtube which incidentally worked brilliantly with the new wifi set up.
As you may have guessed I am very happy with the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, I love it’s looks, don’t mind the size, the features are as future proof as you're going to get and the most important thing is it does what it says.
I’ve had a lot of cheat Modems and routers all have struggled with wifi the TP-link had been best but the Netgear has beaten it hands down.
I have been very lucky to have been given this box by Netgear to review, I would probably not purchased it because of costs but now having used one that is top of the range I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money If I needed to next time.
Although the box was supplied free I hope my review is honest and is no way biased towards a free product, check out my other reviews where I have been less generous with my comments