Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) Review

The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (also known as the R7000) is Netgear’s flagship router. Boasting a total data rate of 1.9Gbps, the Nighthawk is aimed at those who want to get the absolute best out of their Internet connection and home network. Whether it’s online gaming or HD streaming, Netgear claim that the Nighthawk has the capability to multitask, with little to no performance degradation. We got our hands on one and put the Nighthawk to the test…

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Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Features

 

The Netgear Nighthawk has a list of key features, including a 1GHz dual core processor and intelligent Beamforming+. We run through them one by one and then round off with a conclusion.

6 Features of the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

 

1GHz Dual Core Processor
With a 1GHz Dual Core CPU, the Nighthawk will process all your data traffic without buffer or interrupt. Play games knowing that your router won’t cause any spikes in response times, giving you the edge over your opponents. The Nighthawk AC1900 will also be ready for any intensive internal traffic flows, whether wireless or wired.
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Lightning Fast Speeds
Total combined data rates of 1.9Gbps when using both wireless bands (1.3Gbps on Wireless AC & 600Mbps on Wireless N). You won’t have any worries about bottlenecks when it comes to data transfers or streaming your favorite HD movies.

Beamforming+
The Netgear Nighthawk uses Beamforming to intelligently focus wireless signals in the direction of each of your devices. When wireless signal is directed towards your clients, coverage distance is increased, signal strength is boosted, and the dead spots around the home are reduced.

Gaming Champion
The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is a contender for the best gaming router available today. With a dual core CPU, super-fast 802.11ac wireless, and advanced Quality of Service – the R7000 keeps you one step ahead of the competition.

QoS
Quality of Service is more important now than ever. When other users on your network are downloading files or watching videos your bandwidth is hogged. It means an increase in latency, and potentially jitter – both bad for your online gaming experience. It also means that your bandwidth is being compromised, whether you’re casually browsing, downloading movies or streaming.
With QoS you can protect your traffic – exactly how you want to.

USB 3.0 port (and a USB 2.0)
There are two USB ports on the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900. One of them is USB 3.0. Use this port if you want to access files from a central USB location using a USB drive. Then use the USB 2.0 port for a printer.

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Other Features of the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Parental Control
Protect your kids from accessing unscrupulous websites. With in-built Parental Control, you can keep your kids browsing safely.

Guest Network
Have a separate network for your guests. Let them access the Internet without them having access to your internal network.

3 External Antennas
Adjustable antennas to ensure general coverage is directed in the areas that best suit your home.

WPS (Push ’N’ Connect)
It’s never been easier to connect your wireless devices to your network. With the push of a button, you can securely add nodes to your network.

 

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Technical Specs

  • Dual Band (Simultaneous)
  • 5GHz (1.3Gbps) / 2.4GHz (600Mbps)
  • Beamforming
  • 1GHz Dual Core CPU
  • 256MB RAM
  • QoS
  • USB 3.0
  • WPA2-PSK
  • DoS Attack Prevention

More Technical Specs here

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Conclusion

 

Good

  • Awesome Performance
  • Superb Coverage
  • Super-cool looks

 

Not so Good

  • Only Just Edged On Performance By The RT-AC68U

 

First off, let’s discuss the looks – “B2 Stealth Bomber” anyone? We think it looks very similar to the US jet. Very menacing, yet in an understated way. By far the coolest looking router Netgear have launched. It’s looks have clearly been targeted at heavy Internet users who want no-nonsense connection for their games and streaming. Just make sure you have enough space for it, as it’s not the smallest router by any means!

Setup is very easy. We prefer to use the web GUI for setups (maybe we’re just old skool? lol), although the Genie app can be used if preferred.

Coverage is excellent, even reaching 300 feet with stable connections. The Netgear Nighthawk, with intelligent Beamforming and high gains, manages to cover dead spots where most other wireless routers fail. Only the new Asus router is comparable.

The Nighthawk also uses Broadcom’s latest chipset (BCM4709), and it’s TurboQAM technology. When used in combination with the awesome dual core 1GHz CPU and 256GB of DDR2 RAM, the ‘B2 Bomber’ packs a very powerful punch. We threw multiple tasks simultaneously at the Nighthawk, to test the dual core processor. This included a file transfer between two laptops, a transfer to the USB drive and multiple Internet browsing sessions. Aside from an obvious effect on file transfer speeds due to the limitations of wireless technology, we were pleased with the results. The Netgear certainly held it’s own.
We carried out another test with file transfers and then attempted to play Battlefield 3 online. Of course, we had Quality of Service policies applied. Again, the Nighthawk passed the test. Battlefield 3 was enjoyed ‘lag-free’.

The all-important wireless transfer speed tests showed excellent results. We hit 370Mbps using .11ac – not quite as fast as the recently tested Asus RT-AC68U, but certainly much faster than any other home router out there at the moment. Wireless N was also relatively fast, on both 5 & 2.4GHz bands.

We plugged in a USB 3.0 drive to test so that we could test streaming to Google TV. Streaming worked perfectly over Wireless AC during our tests. We also tested with a TiVo box – again no problems, as long as the format is a format recognized by your TiVo. The Nighthawk supports both NTFS & FAT32 drive formats.

The antennas are all detachable, giving the option to attach higher gain, or directional antennas if desired.

We have to say that overall, the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is a phenomenal router, and a worthy contender in the elite class of home router. It’s powerful, stable, and has fantastic wireless coverage with some great features. It should definitely be in your final comparison list.

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Alternatives To The Netgear Nighthawk

 

Asus RT-AC68U AC1900 Review Netgear R6300 AC1750 Apple AirPort Exreme Base Station Linksys EA6900

Customer Reviews for the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

 

Customers at Amazon have given the Netgear Nighthawk (R7000) router a high rating – Read more here…

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4 Comments

  1. laidbacktokyo says:

    howdy,

    thanks for reviewng… although your concluson on Asus AC-68U as absoute fastest one vs Netgear R7000 seems to be questionable… when z absolute value of a wirelss speed measured is naturally important but not that much as throughput of both above routers, as well as other features/parameters…

    pls take a look here: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32239-ac1900-first-look-netgear-r7000-a-asus-rt-ac68u

    btw, if you already digged deep into these routers, so could you pls answer of what is a difference between models with different name endings:

    1. Asus AC-68U vs Asus AC-68R;

    2. Netgear R7000-100NAS vs Netgear R7000-100PAS.

    appreciate.

    kind regards,

    • Tyler says:

      I know this is a little late, but there is no significant different.
      1. for the Asus, the U signifies it is for online sales and the R for retail
      2. for the Netgear, the NAS is for the North America region, while PAS is for Europe

  2. Pat says:

    Big missing point in this review. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) is not IPv6 ready at 100%. The device managing the router (((( MUST )))) be IPv4 (IPv6 disable).
    In 2013, a router not 100% IPv6 ready is not acceptable.
    Confirmed after hours of chat with Netgear tech support.

  3. Martin says:

    Love the Nighthawk. Had it for a few weeks – it’s fast and reliable.

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