Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Looking for faster in-home wi-fi performance? Consider the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000)

I'm a work from home employee and my wife, kids and myself have a wealth of wi-fi devices from phones, tablets, PC's, Chromebooks, media players and more.  My wi-fi router is a critical component of my home network and I recently upgraded to the Netgear Nighhawk AC1900 WiFi Router (R7000) with support for 802.11ac.

I've been using a Netgear N600 router since 2010 but it was starting to drop connections which forced me to manually reconnect devices.  In addition, with more 802.11ac compatible devices available, like the iPhone 6, it made sense to upgrade to take advantage of the increased performance.  However, as a cheapskate, I was concerned about the cost.

The advantage of  802.11ac is increased throughput but with slightly less range as it uses the 5GHz band.  802.11ac advertises gigabit speed but a network is only as fast as its weakest link and in my case it's the 50 Mbps Internet connection provided by my local cable company, Charter Communications. I rely on both wi-fi and gigabit Ethernet wiring throughout my home.   More details on my home network can be found here.

Based on low price, $129 after rebate (regular price is $199), prior positive experience with Netgear products, and positive reviews online,  I decided to purchase the Netgear R7000 from Staples online.  While the router is a bit large, it was easy to install and I'm seeing increased throughput of ~20-30% vs my older router.  Range seems to be improved as well as there was one area in particular in my house which had poor connectivity with my old router and has improved dramatically with the new one.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that the new router has improved external antennae and my old router was 4 years old.

Among the many features of the Netgear R7000 is the ability to connect two USB drives (one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0) and use Apple Time Machine to backup Macs.

If you're interested in what other gadgets I have in my home, I use Engadget to keep track of them (formerly GDGT)

8 comments:

fossl said...

What is the db output of the new wireless router?

I am looking at the Airport extreme, but its expensive.

Chris Pepin said...

Agreed. Apple Airport is expensive, isn't as fast and lacks key features of the Netgear. CNET review: http://www.cnet.com/products/netgear-nighthawk-ac1900-smart-wi-fi-router-r7000/2/

dschaffer said...

I've got a lower end Netgear router, G54, fairly new, and I've not been impressed. Need to restart the devices and/or the router fairly regularly. Is this a case of you get what you pay for?

Chris Pepin said...

I've had good luck with Netgear products (fingers crossed) but I usually purchase mid-grade or better

NancyRichard said...

Find accessories here for setting up your network, optimising your Internet and WLAN and connecting your TV to the Internet. 2.4ghz vs 5ghz wifi

GingerBee said...
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GingerBee said...
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GingerBee said...

Thank you for this great article. I think you can find more information about this router in this review http://www.routerstop.com/netgear-r7000-wireless-router-review/ I've found in the morning.