Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 review
If A-List awards were handed out on looks alone, the amusingly named Netgear Nighthawk would have things sewn up before we’d even taken it out of the box. Its flat, angled sides, shark-like nose and tail fin-shaped antennae make it look like something out of a James Bond film.
Despite its outlandish looks and name, the Nighthawk has a humdrum job to do, which is to provide wireless access to your home network and internet connection. This task it carries off with considerable aplomb.
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 review: core features
There’s no built-in ADSL modem, just a Gigabit WAN port, so ADSL users may need to factor in an extra £15 or so for an external modem, but on every other count, the aggressive-looking Nighthawk is as fast as they come. It supports dual-band concurrent 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks and has four Gigabit ports at the rear, as well as a single Gigabit port for the internet connection.
Along the front edge of this router is a USB 3 port for shared storage, and there’s another USB 2 port on the rear should you wish to plug in another drive or share a printer across your local network.
Netgear’s marketing describes the Nighthawk as a 3×3 MIMO stream AC1900 router, the fastest available. This is effectively a totting up of the maximum link speeds on both 802.11ac and 802.11n networks. You won’t see Windows report a 1,900Mbits/sec connection: over 802.11ac, its maximum is 1,300Mbits/sec, and over 802.11n it will connect at up to 600Mbits/sec. As with other 600Mbits/sec 802.11n routers, you’ll only see the top speed when connecting with a TurboQAM-enabled adapter.
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 review: wireless performance
Whether you’re connecting with a TurboQAM-enabled adapter or not, though, this is one seriously quick router. Over 802.11ac from our 3×3 stream PCI Express card, it registered an average of 68MB/sec; not the fastest we’ve seen, but quick enough to make large backup jobs and file transfers over wireless a distinct possibility.
Where this router really shines, however, is in its consistency and speed at long range. Moving to a distance of 30m from the router, with a wooden wall in the way, we saw 802.11ac speed fall by only 34% to 45MB/sec. Its 3×3 stream 802.11n performance in the 30m test is outstanding, with a score of 13.4MB/sec.
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|WPA Enterprise support||yes|
|Dimensions||285 x 68 x 205mm (WDH)|