Should I buy the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk?
With both style and superb performance the obvious answer is yes, but nevertheless it is conditional.
At £189.99 we’d give it the edge over the identically priced Asus RT-AC68U as it delivers faster speeds in eight out of our eleven speed measurements. That said, the two it does lose are significant: speed at 15m behind two solid walls at both 802.11ac and 802.11n 2.4GHz. For those focused on range the AC-68U could be the better bet.
Things get even closer with the Linksys EA6900 where the R7000 comes out on top six to five in the speed tests. Still the EA6900 has the edge at range with 802.11ac and 802.11n 2.4GHz speeds and where the R7000 does prevail the scores are close. More to the point the AC1900 models are so fast and relatively evenly matched so other factors come into play and this, for us, is where the EA6900 still holds the crown.
Key are the simpler setup of the EA6900 and its optional Cloud platform for remote access. Linksys has also priced the EA6900 at £169.99 and – given the R7000’s lengthy delay launching in the UK – it can now be found for under £140 in many online stores.
Countering this is the R7000’s outstanding USB performance, which batters both its rivals and if you connect USB storage to your router then this is a deal maker. We still give the EA6900 the edge for its more rounded package, but the battle for top spot could barely be closer.
The Netgear R7000 Nighthawk has the fastest peak throughput of any router we’ve ever tested and its USB performance blows even its AC1900 rivals away. However its key rivals, the Linksys EA6900 and Asus RT-AC68U, have the R7000’s number at range in two out of three tests. Overall, we’d have Linksys edge Netgear into second place.
Next, read more about 802.11ac vs 802.11n
Score in detail
Build Quality 9