I received the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2300 R700P Router for free as part of a review and test program.
Setup: Initial setup of this router was simple. I connected the power and booted up the modem and then the ethernet cable to my existing cable modem. The router prominently displayed a suggestion to use the Netgear Up app to easily configure the router. I downloaded the app; however, found it overly simplified and not particularly useful. For someone with little to no networking experience, it may prove beneficial; however, I did not find it useful. After powering on the router, I logged into the admin portal and configured it to meet my specificiations. Netgear has a consistent interface for all of their modems and routers which made the configuration easy, user-friendly, and familiar. Configuring my NAS, network printer, wireless networks, and LANs took approximately 15 minutes.
Rating- A for ease of set-up / configuration
C for the Netgear Up app
Features: I have used several 4+ routers in the past few years and used to believe that a router was a router for the average home user. As long as it provided consistent and reliable service, I figured I was maxing out my expectations. The Nighthawk R7000P beat my expectations and actually performs better than the more expensive routers I have used in the past. This model has a few features that set it apart from the competition. The overall footprint of the device is quite large, and I would prefer it to be smaller, but it is added gain in WIFI signal is worth the size. Considering most consumer internet speeds are less than 500 MBps, and the Nighthawk R7000P is capable of much faster speeds, the router is more than the average consumer requires, but will future proof you as internet speeds continue to increase. The R7000P’s dual bands are a huge plus. I live in an apartment complex with many WIFI signals so channel interference can be an issue. The use of the 5ghz network, and ability to manually change channels, resolves this issue for me and provide the most consistent speeds possible. The external antenna also improved the reliability and consistency of my signal across my apartment. Overall the device beats my expectations for a consumer router.
Rating- A due to the large footprint
Performance: I was recently forced to downgrade to 25 MBps from Comcast as Comcast was raising rates in my area. I consistently received speeds of 25+ MBps download and 5+ MBps upload, based upon speedtest.net reports across all of my devices. These tests were performed during high bandwidth usage times (between 5-9 PM), as well as, lower demand times, such as the weekend and weekdays. I have had no instances of dropped connection from either the wireless router. This router has had more consistent and reliable connection to my devices. Data transfer speeds between my NAS and computers has improved in comparison to my previous router. Wired connections have experienced 0 drops in the month I have been utilizing the router. I would like to see additional ethernet ports; however, more than 4 is rare on a consumer router.
Expectations: The R7000P far exceeded my expectations. It provides reliable, and fast, internet speeds and was simple to setup and utilize. It is truly a set it and forget it device, which is what I am looking for in a cable router. It also has many settings for more experienced home network users who wish to better regulate their LAN/WAN networks.
Price-Value: At the current price of ~$180, the R7000P represents a compelling value proposition, depending on ones needs. This device is certainly not the cheapest option; however, you get a quality product for your money. If you’re looking for a high quality, device, than the R7000P is for you; however, if you’re looking for the best price, there are likely lower cost options which will meet your needs. If the cost was lower, I would have rated the R7000P five stars.
Recommendation: I would definitely recommend the R7000P to friends and family. The router is a quality product that should remain compatible, relevant, and last for years to come. This has been the best performance I’ve encountered from a router that I have owned in the past 5 years.