NETGEAR Announces R7000 – Nighthawk AC1900 Wireless Router

Continuing the recent push towards summing Wi-Fi bands to classify wireless routers NETGEAR announced today their newest AC1900 (1300Mbps 5GHz AC + 600Mbps 2.4GHz N) Wi-Fi all-in-one the R7000 “Nighthawk”. This three stream router/access point/repeater/media bridge is based on the Broadcom 4709 Communication Processor; which is interesting for a few reasons – academically a shift away from MIPS to ARM (ARM9 in this case), but also because of the interesting applications putting a dual-core 1GHz ARM SoC in a home appliance that also offers USB 3.0 and NETGEAR’s ReadySHARE VAULT backup utility (very similar to Windows Home Server’s backup capabilities).

I had a chance to chat with NETGEAR about their newest $199 SRP home networking appliance recently – click through to see all of the interesting features it provides now, and will offer in the next firmware release as well as the full PR.

NETGEAR R7000 Nighthawk

Like all AC1900 devices the number is a best-case, and requires some assumptions around the other devices used on the network – most importantly in the 2.4GHz space, where the “600Mbps” requires another Broadcom TurboQAM device on the other end. The NETGEAR R7000 offers many of the features we have come to expect from a high-end device like quality of service (QoS), AirPlay, VPN (via OpenVPN), dynamic DNS, FTP, guest networks, SPI+NAT firewall, and access to the source code for FOSS projects like DD-WRT. QoS is a bit unique in that it works on both up and down streams via profiles that NETGEAR defines to identify traffic types. The profiles are separate from the firmware so they can be downloaded out-of-band, or if you like to DIY it should be possible to create your own.

I wasn’t able to get any belly shots of the NETGEAR R7000, but they were able to confirm that it can be wall mounted. Unfortunately that’s where the flexibility ends though since it will not include a stand for vertical mounting.

USB 2.0 has long been a mainstay of high-end routers, and now we’re seeing that shift to also include USB 3.0 enabling faster, more NAS like, access to the contents on the disk. NETGEAR is claiming pretty decent levels of disk I/O (61MBps read/34MBps write) so it should be suitable for most streaming and backup applications. Also, because the R7000 is fully USB 3.0 compliant it is possible to power the disk off the port if convenience is more important than throughput. Coupled with NETGEAR ReadySHARE VAULT and Time Machine backup for Macs the Nighthawk has the makings of a capable and easy to setup home backup/NAS solution.

Unfortunately some of the new features will not be available immediately – the firmware delivering them is promised by end of October. So they have been broken out below:

  • Smart Connect: This feature allows the R700 to select the best frequency for dual band Wi-Fi devices and requires using the same SSID for both bands. I really like this feature since it should remove the need for me to manage the AP manually (5GHz prioritize speed, 2.4GHz prioritize range).
  • Airtime Fairness: Another interesting feature which keeps the Wi-Fi network from dropping to the lowest common denominator when a slower device connects to the AP (e.g. 5GHz N v. 5GHz AC).
  • Implicit Beamforming: Just like explicit beamforming { } except it doesn’t require the client device to support beamforming.

All told it looks like a very interesting device, especially because the SRP is about $20 less than the recently announced ASUS RT-AC68U which doesn’t offer the backup capability. I have asked for a couple review units so we can thoroughly test the bridging and all of the other features.


Next Gen Gigabit 802.11ac performance combines world’s fastest WiFi and greatest range to optimize the gaming, streaming and mobile experience. 

SAN JOSE, California — October 1, 2013 — NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQGM: NTGR) (, a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, has launched its newest dual-band 802.11ac wireless router, Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000) Soaring above the competition to provide the best performance with the world’s fastest Gigabit WiFi speed, Nighthawk combines a powerful 1GHz dual core processor with a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port and NETGEAR Beamforming+ to boost speed, reliability and range for unmatched connectivity in the home.

Nighthawk’s blazing-fast combined WiFi connection speeds up to AC1900 WiFi (600 +1300 Mbps*) make it ideal for bandwidth-hungry activities such as online gaming, video streaming, and for supporting the increasing number of mobile WiFi devices in the home. High-power WiFi amplifiers and three external antennas provide outstanding coverage around the home, inside and out — even in the garage and back yard. Wireless HD streaming can be enjoyed at its best thanks to Nighthawk features such as downstream Quality of Service, Beamforming+ and built-in iTunes® server compatibility.

Gaming enthusiasts will thrill to the way Nighthawk’s AC1900 WiFi, 1Ghz dual core processor and advanced upstream Quality of Service are optimized for online gaming with exceptionally low-lag game play, making milliseconds count. Nighthawk automatically gives bandwidth priority to Xbox®, for a frustration-free gaming experience.

“NETGEAR designed Nighthawk to be the best WiFi router in the world today, bar none. Our goal was to make the best router for data-intensive activities such as online gaming and video streaming,” said Sandeep Harpalani, NETGEAR director of product marketing for Core Networking. “We’ve listened to the demands of high bandwidth users and packed Nighthawk with features to surpass their expectations for speed, range, sharing, reliability, ease of use and security — the must-haves for enabling an increasingly connected digital lifestyle. Simply put, Nighthawk is for anyone who wants the best.”

Nighthawk includes a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port which is up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0.  Content on a storage device attached to the USB 3.0 port can be accessed and transferred quickly across the network, making it ideal for streaming video to DLNA enabled screens around the home.  Content can also be kept safe with NETGEAR ReadySHARE Vault™, free software for automatic backup to a USB hard drive connected to Nighthawk.  Mac users will be pleased to know that Time Machine is also supported.

Fastest WiFi Supports Advanced Features

NETGEAR Beamforming+ is a smart, signal-focusing technology that boosts the speed, range and reliability of WiFi connections by locking onto a wireless device on the network and pinpointing WiFi signals directly at the device. With Beamforming+, Nighthawk focusses its WiFi signals on phones, tablets and laptops throughout the home to deliver the best experience for fast downloads, clearer voice over internet calls, uninterrupted HD video, and lag-free gaming.  WiFi devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S®4, HTC One®, MacBook Air, and other 802.11ac devices will deliver particularly outstanding performance with Nighthawk.

Along with the other industry-leading next-generation dual band 802.11ac wireless products from NETGEAR, (, Nighthawk is also compatible with legacy 802.11a/b/g/n standards to provide optimum performance and compatibility with all WiFi devices.

NETGEAR has packed several advanced capabilities into Nighthawk:

  • Dual Core 1Ghz processor to boost wireless, wired and WAN-to-LAN performance
  • High-powered amplifiers with 3 external antennas to extend WiFi coverage
  • Advanced QoS automatically recognizes and prioritizes streaming and gaming applications
  • ReadySHARE Vault, a free software application for automatic Windows-based PC backup to a USB hard drive connected to Nighthawk
  • Compatibility with Apple Time Machine® for automatic Mac® backup to a USB hard drive connected to Nighthawk
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port that’s up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0
  • VPN support that ensures secure access to your home network
  • Customized free URL to create an FTP server
  • Open source firmware for download from, the premier online community for NETGEAR’s family of open source and open platform routers.
  • Five Gigabit Ethernet ports (one WAN and four LAN) if you want fast wired connections

Nighthawk naturally includes the many features you already enjoy on other NETGEAR routers:

  • NETGEAR genie® app for easy network monitoring and management
  • NETGEAR MyMedia™ to find and stream  photos, video or music files anywhere on the network
  • Free Live Parental Controls
  • ReadySHARE USB access, ReadySHARE printer, and AirPrint™ support
  • Guest networks and NETGEAR EZ Mobile Connect for scanning a QR code to connect your guests’ mobile devices
  • WPA/WPA2 highest level of wireless security
  • No CD required for easy set up with smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks

Pricing and Availability

Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000) is available now via major retailers and online at an MSRP in the U.S. of $199.99.

More Information

Go to for more information on Nighthawk, and to for the full range of NETGEAR 802.11ac WiFi networking products such as routers, adapters and gateways.

About NETGEAR, Inc.

NETGEAR (NASDAQGM: NTGR) is a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers. For consumers, the company makes high performance, dependable and easy to use home networking, storage and digital media products to connect people with the Internet and their content and devices. For businesses, NETGEAR provides networking, storage and security solutions without the cost and complexity of big IT. The company also supplies top service providers with retail-proven, mobile broadband solutions for their customers on the go. NETGEAR products are built on a variety of proven technologies such as wireless, Ethernet and Powerline, with a focus on reliability and ease-of-use. NETGEAR products are sold in approximately 45,000 retail locations around the globe, and through approximately 40,000 value-added resellers. The company’s headquarters are in San Jose, Calif., with additional offices in over 25 countries. NETGEAR is an ENERGY STAR® partner. More information is available at or by calling (408) 907-8000. Connect with NETGEAR at and

©2013 NETGEAR, Inc. NETGEAR, the NETGEAR logo, NETGEAR genie, MyMedia, ReadySHARE and ReadySHARE Vault are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NETGEAR, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Other brand names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective holder( s ). Information is subject to change without notice. All rights reserved.

* Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE standard 802.11 specifications. AC1900 equals 600 Mbps @2.4GHz with 256 QAM support + 1300 Mbps @5Ghz 11ac. 802.11ac 1300 Mbps is approximately 3x faster than 802.11n 450 Mbps. 2.4GHz Performance Mode requires 256 QAM support on WiFi client. Up to 1300 Mbps wireless speeds achieved when connecting to other 802.11ac 1300 Mbps devices. Actual data throughput and wireless coverage will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, and network overhead, lower actual data throughput rate and wireless coverage. NETGEAR makes no express or implied representations or warranties about this product’s compatibility with any future standards.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for NETGEAR, Inc.: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Specifically, statements concerning NETGEAR’s business and the expected performance characteristics, specifications, reliability, market acceptance, market growth, specific uses, user feedback and market position of NETGEAR’s products and technology are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the following: the actual price, performance and ease of use of NETGEAR’s products may not meet the price, performance and ease of use requirements of customers; product performance may be adversely affected by real world operating conditions; failure of products may under certain circumstances cause permanent loss of end user data; new viruses or Internet threats may develop that challenge the effectiveness of security features in NETGEAR’s products; the ability of NETGEAR to market and sell its products and technology; the impact and pricing of competing products; and the introduction of alternative technological solutions. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect NETGEAR and its business are detailed in the Company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. NETGEAR undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.