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Pros: Wave 2 Mu-Mimo
4x4 Quad Stream router
160mhz mode (5.0Ghz)
2600mbps ac router (1733mbps on 5.0ghz and 800mbps on 2.4ghz)
2 x USB 3.0 and 1 X ESATA ports.
1.7ghz Dual Core CPU, 128mb flash memory and 512mb DRAM
4 x high gain external antennas
Netgear Genie software for Windows, Android and iOS
DNLA, Guest Network, VPN, Parental Controls
4 x gigabit ports
LED on/off switch
Easy to navigate gui with Ookla speedtest built in
Excellent range and throughput on both 5.0ghz and 2.4ghz
Cons: 1 year warranty only
No 160mhz mode clients available yet
Router Gui slow to respond and update
QOS not enabled by default
Was not able to run in 5.0ghz ac mode only
No wall mounting option
Other Thoughts (Needed additional space).....
Netgear have brought to market the finest router I have had the pleasure of owning, the R7800 Nighthawk X4S. This is a 4 x 4 AC 2600 router that uses a Qualcomm QCA 9984 chipset with a maximum theoretical throughput of 1733mbps on 5.0ghz and 800mbps on 2.4ghz. The stand out features of this router, in my opinion, are Wave 2 Mu-Mimo, that is supported out of the box, Dynamic QOS, and 160mhz bandwidth mode on 5.0ghz (although there are no 160mhz mode clients available to buy currently).
Traditional non-Mu-Mimo routers transmit and receive data from one device/client at a time, while other devices in the network need to wait in line. This process will impact network performance due to wait times and bandwidth sharing.
Mu-Mimo allows the router to send and receive data packets simultaneously to three Mu-Mimo enabled clients without the need for each to wait its turn. This improves network speeds and reduces wait times by as much as three times in comparison to non-Mu-Mimo routers.
Be aware that Mu-Mimo improves 5.0ghz downlink only by letting three Mu-Mimo enabled clients share the same airtime. Two or more Mu-Mimo enabled devices are needed in order to maximize the benefits of a Mu-Mimo enabled router. A traditional 3 stream router may ideally support up to 910mbps of total bandwidth but single stream clients will only be able to access a third of that. And this bandwidth will need to be shared between clients as each client needs to wait for its turn to access the router. Ultimately each device will have a maximum of 120mbps out of the original 910mbps! A Mu-Mimo 4 stream router can send and receive data from three Mu-Mimo devices simultaneously, so each device can now receive 3 times the data in the same time span!
Dynamic QOS is amazing and worth the price of entry on its own. Previously QOS was difficult to setup and often just linked to a specific application in the router gui like Netflix, Skype or Pandora and applied across the entire network, rather than to a specific pc or networked device. QOS was also static and did not reflect real use scenarios where device and application needs change constantly. Netgear’s Dynamic QOS is unique and automatically allocates bandwidth based on application and device type. It is easily enabled in the QOS tab in the router GUI where an Ookla speedtest can also be run. Netgear’s QOS handles priority both at device level and application level and can be set manually or automatically. Devices can be renamed and a bandwidth breakdown can be seen either by device or application. Dynamic QOS is provided with an automatically updatable database of streaming services and hundreds of applications are supported out of the box. Dynamic QOS can tell when applications are active and will change bandwidth requirements to meet real time needs and then reallocate bandwidth elsewhere when it determines that these applications have become idle. Genius.
Getting the router up and running was pretty easy. The cable modem was powered down and my current router was swapped out with this Netgear N7800. The modem was powered on and after a few minutes the router was powered on too. Going back to one of my wired pc’s to complete the setup using a browser was straight forward and simple. I usually set up my 2.4ghz network on Channel 1 with bandwidth mode at 20/40mhz (up to 347mbps) along with WPA2-AES encryption. The 5.0ghz network is set at channel 153 with 80mhz mode to fully enable AC (up to 1733mbps). The router was easy to adjust and supports AP and bridge modes although it was a little slow when saving changes. I was given the option to install Netgear Genie during setup after bringing up a browser, which I declined, as I prefer to adjust the settings manually. Netgear Genie is available for Windows, Android and iOS.
I use a few software applications to test my network speed, Totusofts Lan Speed (laptop/pc) and Wifi Speed Test (cellphone). These work by uploading and downloading 100mb files from one networked pc or cellphone to another either by Ethernet, wifi, or a combination of both. I also use a Netflix test clip to display real time resolution and bitrate in order to test Dynamic QOS by prioritizing the Netflix application on one PC and enabling and disabling Dynamic QOS in the router. Currently Netflix can only be played at 1080 in Microsoft Edge browser.
Overall Review: My office laptop sits 45ft away from the router location and the wifi signal needs to pass through 3 walls. The laptop is an Acer Aspire and has a Mu-Mimo enabled Atheros AC wifi chipset that is good for 300mbps on 2.4ghz and 867mbps on 5.0ghz. I also own a Nexus 6P and a Nexus 5X both of which are Mu-Mimo enabled. This gives me the chance to test throughput with Mu-Mimo enabled and disabled (laptop wifi client, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P were all connected to the 5.0ghz band to test Mu Mimo).
Before testing the Netgear R7800 Router I ran a few tests with my TP Link Archer C2600 router using the same parameters outlined above.
2.4ghz speeds recorded were 77.50mbps up and 65.37mbps down with -60db signal strength.
5.0ghz speeds recorded with Mu-Mimo were 123.08mbps up and 144.96mbps down with -77db signal strength.
5.0ghz speeds recorded with Mu-Mimo disabled in router were 116.05mbps up and 119.49mbps down with -77db signal strength.
After swapping the router to the Netgear R7800 I re-tested.
2.4ghz speeds recorded were 75.83mbps up and 76.25mbps down with -60db signal strength.
5.0ghz speeds recorded with Mu-Mimo were 127.68mbps up and 151.34mbps down with -75db signal strength.
5.0ghz speeds recorded with Mu-Mimo disabled in router were 119.70mbps up and 121.05mbps down with -75db signal strength.
Testing Dynamic QOS was quite easy, I connected to Netflix on one of my networked PC’s and looped the test clip, recording maximum bitrate and resolution with Dynamic QOS enabled and disabled, while streaming Youtube videos and Pandora on other networked PC’s (Netflix was given priority in the router GUI).
Without Dynamic QOS enabled; max bitrate 1050kbps and max resolution 640x480
With Dynamic QOS enabled and Netflix priority given to test PC; max bitrate 1050kbps and max resolution 960x720
I quickly tested file storage using a 64gb USB 3.0 Flash drive that I connected to one of the USB 3.0 ports on the router. I mounted it as a network drive and tested speed with Intel NAS Performance Toolkit. Read speeds measured an excellent 68mbps and write speeds measured 42mbps. I streamed a HD movie from the attached flash drive and noticed no stutters or hitches during playback.
While this router is not cheap, it is categorically the fastest router that I have tested and used to date. It has a terrific range and throughput and completely covers my 2600 sqft office space. My Mu-Mimo testing was limited, but it appears that Mu-Mimo is working out of the box. Dynamic QOS is a game changer (IMO), providing terrific functionality and allowing anyone to easily prioritize traffic across their network.
Router sales rely heavily on ‘marketing’ to take advantage of gullible buyers who want to believe that the new generation of router will solve all of their network issues, providing the ultimate range and throughput and functionality. This is the first router that almost delivers on its promises (no 160mhz clients) and has finally pushed me to permanently swapping out my Asus AC1750 router. There are some caveats to be aware of here, it is extremely unlikely that anyone will be able to take advantage of the 1733mbps available on the 5.0ghz band and the 800mbps available on the 2.4ghz band, even my Mu-Mimo enabled laptop chipset can only take advantage of a maximum of 300mbps on 2.4 and 867mbps on 5.0ghz. Few devices have Mu-Mimo and no clients can currently take advantage of 160mhz bandwidth mode. Dynamic QDS works and everyone can take advantage of this router functionality, it just needs to be enabled in the router first. If you have a large house/office, have Mu-Mimo clients, or a lot of network traffic then I recommend this router without reservation, if you have a small house/apartment and less than 4 connected devices or just want to surf the internet and send and receive email then AC 1200 (300mbps on 2.4ghz and 867mbps on 5.0ghz) will suffice, after all, your internet speed is based on the level of service that you subscribe to via your ISP, and even a speedy 65mbps down and 25mbps up can be handled by a cheaper router.
Bottom line, for me this router provides the best range and signal strength of any router I have used/tested to date and the best throughput (with or without Mu-Mimo). It comes with some future proofing, if you believe that 160mhz bandwidth mode will be the next best thing for routers. My only complaint is the relatively paltry 12 month warranty period. For a router of this price I would expect 24 months at the very least.
I am impressed; RIP AC 1750.
Pros: I have had the Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Router for about three weeks now and have no complaints. It has been rock solid.
It is very well made, Wireless strength is very good. Antennas are very durable unlike a lot of other routers with similar designs i have seen recently.
It has a Esata port which has a maximum Read Speed of 112MB/s. and 60MB/s Write.
It has two usb 3.0 ports which have a maximum Read Speed of 90MB/s. and 60MB/s Write.
This is great because you can use either the usb3.0 or Esata ports to create a cheap and effective home NAS by plugging an external hard drive into them.
Unlike other Routers i have reviewed recently which have usb 3.0 ports, these operate very quickly, allowing you to stream multiple full HD movies at the same time without issue.
The Led's lights are bright, but there is a switch on the back which lets you disable all of them except for one.
The router weighs 1lb, 11oz. and is very large, it's almost the size of a nintendo 64.
It does have the tabs on the bottom so it can be mounted on a wall.
Cons: no cons.
Overall Review: The power adapter is rated to handle 45.5 Watts of power which is a lot more than what this router consumes. Ample headroom is always good.
This router only draws about 8 watts by itself under normal conditions. plugging in additional devices like hard drives increases the power consumption between 2-5 watts each.
This router is well made. i can verify it's made with quality components and they did not skimp on the construction inside or out.
the entire top half contains a steel heatsink which runs nearly the entire length of the router and contacts the board using thermal pads. the parts which receive cooling are the wireless receiver/transmitter and microprocessor. The router has ventilation on every side except for the top, this creates a chamber inside for cool air to pass through between the heatsink at the top and the circuit board. its best to place this router somewhere where it will get some airflow. Being inside any kind of enclosure or shelf will probably cause it to overheat.
This router contains 3 electrolytic Nichicon capacitors each rated to 105c. This is great as many routers skimp on quality parts and put 85c rated capacitors. capacitors age over time which eventually leads to electronic failure. having high quality Nichicons means this router may last a long time.
Overall i am satisfied with the build quality and performance of this router.
Superb setup instructions! Very straightforward. I was up and running in a few minutes.
The Netgear genie is extremely well laid out. Very straightforward and easy to access all of the major controls. Best of all, Netgear has both a "BASIC" and "ADVANCED" configuration, so both novices and experts will be happy. The Basic Home provides you a streamlined GUI that gives you all the relevant information (Internet status, wireless login info, attached devices, etc.) This is the best router configuration tool Ihave ever seen, among dozens of routers.
Default channel for 5GHz band is 153. There is no automatic mode for 5GHz. I checked Vistumbler and found the only other 5GHz router around me was also a Netgear router on the same band. You might want to use a similar application to make sure your signal does not overlap and interfere with another router. Based on the ADVANCED Home configuration, it looks like "up to 1733Mbps" is equivalent to 80 MHz channel bandwidth, so the signal will channel bond 4 nearby bands in total. Changes to the wireless channel took around a minute - a bit agonizing.
If you are looking to police your kids surfing habits, Netgear has taken parental controls to the next level. They have a mobile app to allow you to dynamically change the settings on the router. Pretty cool.
QoS is disabled by default. You may want to enable this as this may improve throughput of multiple devices connected at the same time. Netgear's dynamic option is nicely hooked into a performance optimization database that can automatically update.
The R7800 also has an option called "ReadySHARE" that allows you to remotely access a USB drive connected to the router. Handy if you want to keep your intranet secure by only uploading specific content to the USB drive, without opening a port through your firewall.
NETGEAR downloader allows you to download files directly from the internet directly to a USB hard disk. This is an additional layer of security that would also keeps your intranet secure.
Lastly, there is a "Guest Network" option to allow visitors to access your internet, without giving the network key.
Downloadable firmware updates make firmware updating a snap. It only took about 3 minutes to upgrade.
I used Acrylic Wi-Fi and Vistumbler to view other wireless networks around me and change the channel to avoid interfering ones.
I compared my results from transferring a 1GB file over the network to a PC hard-wired to the router 5-feet away (USB 2.0, WPA2-PSK w/AES TKIP encryption):
Netgear R7800 Nighthawk X4S (V188.8.131.52):
Using an 802.11n adapter @ 2.4GHz (Premiertek PL-18N - 300Mbps max) - 113s @ 72Mbps (w/o QoS)
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 866Mbps max) - 43s @ 186Mbps (with QoS)
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz to transfer to TWO devices simutaneously (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 866Mbps max) - 47s @ 174Mbps (with QoS)
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz to transfer to TWO devices simutaneously (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 866Mbps max) - 62s @ 132Mbps (w/o QoS)
Using an 802.11n adapter @ 2.4GHz (Premiertek PL-18N - 300Mbps max) - 121s @ 66Mbps
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 2.4GHz (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 450Mbps max) - 95s @ 84Mbps
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 866Mbps max) - 43s @ 186Mbps
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz to transfer to TWO devices simutaneously (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 866Mbps max) - 45s @ 182Mbps
TP-Link Archer C2600:
Using an 802.11n adapter @ 2.4GHz (Premiertek PL-18N - 300Mbps max) - 76s @ 105Mbps
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz (Buffalo AirStation WI-U2-866D - 866Mbps max) - 316s @ 25Mbps
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz (TP-LINK T4U - 866Mbps max) - 41s @ 195Mbps
Using an 802.11ac adapter @ 5GHz to transfer to TWO devices simutaneously (TP-LINK T4U - 866Mbps max) - 92s @ 87Mbps
The best I have ever used! I walked approximately 150 feet from the router and still had a very fast 3 bars on my LG GS4 with data disabled. The best that comes close to this was an Almond+ (100ft), but it did not touch the speeds of this router.
This router includes 4 removable RPSMA antennas, however they have probably been optimized for the MU-MIMO of the router. All LEDs, except the power LED can be disabled.
Large. Size of a 10" iPad. Takes up a lot of desk space.
Warranty is 1 year, which is a bit short.
Overall Review: Extremely fast 1.7GHz dual Core 1.7GHz Qualcomm IPQ8065 CPU - possibly the fastest available. This router is tied for second behind the Nighthawk X8 for fastest individual band transfer rates on the 5GHz band (1733MBps). Page loads are super snappy, range is the best I have ever seen and speed on the 5GHz band is right around the top. It is also tough to complain about the 4 x MU-MIMO with beamforming to support multiple devices simultaneously, 4 x Gigabit ports, 2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x eSATA port. You really need a better client adapter to get the full benefits of this router. Make sure to enable QoS to get the full benefits of this router. Considering the features, ease of setup, compatibility, speed and range of this router, I have to give this 5 eggs.
Pros: The NETGEAR R7800Has a ton of features like VPN, DoS protection and a bunch of other features that can be useful.
The router offers gigabit over the 5Ghz network. The Router is also fast enough with the bottleneck in my testing to be my ISP.
This Router has 4 large antennas and take up a decent footprint The Router also features 2 USB 3.0 Ports allowing for storage or printing devices to be hooked to the network, it also has an eSATA port again to allow for adding storage to the network. The Mobile app is a great way to interface with the router as well.
The wireless on this router it stellar great speeds feels like my computer is hooked direct to router with cat6.
Cons: The Interface is not sleek, and in fact feels like a UI from a couple years ago. There is no customization for the DoS protection its either on or off. Some menus are also hard to find for instance instead of port forwarding being under internet setup or security its under status/administration. I removed one egg for the outdated UI.
Overall Review: I recommend this router to any homeowner that need plug and play functionality and high speed wifi.
May even be good for small businesses.
Pros: Two USB3.0 Ports and an eSATA.
Excellent Range and signal strength.
Great wireless speeds.
Speeds on the connected storage devices was very good.
It is a good looking router.
The finish doesn't attract finger prints.
It has the option to turn off the LEDs! Thank you, thank you, thank you! The blue LEDs on my old router keep me up at night! More routers should have this option. And it is just a simple switch on the back of the router too! Love it!
It runs DD-WRT, but you have to download a compatible DD-WRT build from the beta's section. The router isn't "officially" supported by DD-WRT, yet. But the beta build worked just fine for me and was perfectly stable. The only thing that doesn't work is the wifi LEDs.
Cons: The stock firmware was a little unpredictable at first. Wifi signal wasn't the best, it was actually worse than my old ASUS RT-AC66U. But after a firmware update, the Netgear started working like a charm.
I'm not a fan of the stock web interface. And I definitely don't like how hard it was to get to the point of just configuring the router manually. Having to go through the Genie thing was annoying. But I don't like most stock firmwares, which is why I almost always use DD-WRT instead.
Overall Review: I really can't take off any points with this router. The stock firmware isn't perfect, but does the job well. This router will be my main router for a long time to come!
Pros: They didn't spare the Pixy Dust on this one when it comes to MiMo or signal strength. Probably the most powerful router I have tested for NewEgg, and I have tested a few.....
DD-WRT compatible, and it is even a very usable form of it.
Stock firmware is great, and functional (always keep it up to date)
USB 3.0 AND eSATA ports, and they work very well
Cons: A little pricey, but you get what you pay for.
not wall mountable (pet peeve of mine)
Overall Review: I would recommend this router for Gamers and power users a like, and I don't give that recommendation often, not a purchase you would regret.
I used this with 3 hard rives (one usb, one eSATA, and one eSATA SSD) and I was getting VERY good performance across all 3.
Used this with 2 printers, one very old, and one very cheep, and it ran both of then perfectly.
Pros: New routers are coming out with all sorts of new technology which can confuse some so here are the basics
-Mu-mimo (simultaneously transmits data to all devices at once instead of the traditional 1 at a time)
-Dynamic QoS (prioritizes packets based on demand the end result is less noticeable lag)
-Beamforming with 4 high powered antenna's + quad stream wifi (for more reliable connections)
-Maximum possible throughput of 2600mb/s is insanely fast
-160mhz mode (for devices that support this, it theoretically doubles bandwith and increases the range of wifi, though not many things support this as of now)
-1.7ghz dual core processor is enough to handle all of the functions of the router plus the built in DDoS protection
-Easy to use mobile app + web setup
-2 USB 3.0 ports + esata for when you absolutely need the fastest speed while transferring files over the network
-Readyshare app allows you to backup data from your computer to a connected storage device
Cons: The white lights are bright. They can be a personal nightlight and even when you turn the led lights off one still remains and it's still brighter than i would like, it doesn't help that the lights shine through the grille in the front.
Web setup is a bit unresponsive at times but is laid out about as well as you can want.
Overall Review: Dynamic QoS isn't enabled by default but it's not hard to find and check the box. This feature alone is worth the price tag on this router. Being able to download games/movies/music while gaming and streaming netflix to my TV and tablets and all the mobile devices connected to the router all without lagging the network is absolutely insane. While not entirely different from my old router, i've noticed an overall distinct speed increase on my day to day use with this thing. Would absolutely reccomend to anyone/friends who want a no compromise router that will last some time.
Never had a dropped connection yet, everything has been reliable and stable. Can't wait for 160mhz compatible device to be used/more common among devices.
Esata and usb 3.0's for storage was another cool feature. I can hook up a big external drive and use it as a nas and the usb ports for thumb drives for sharing data across the network easily and fast.
Other than the LED's, the styling is on point but one thing you should note is this thing is HUGE. Biggest router i've ever owned. Don't get me wrong, i'm not complaining but it takes up the entire shelf i put my routers on.
Overall i'm very pleased with this router. It's well thought out and has a list of great features at a pleasing price point.
Pros: - 2x USB3.0 Ports
- 1x eSATA Port
- Read / Write Speeds to connected storage devices is fast
- Strong signal
- Working MU-MIMO
Cons: - Price. It's a little pricey
Overall Review: The R7800 is one of the better routers I've used recently. Overall wireless performance is great (compared to an AC2600 TP-Link router I had previously). Examples of the better wifi performance:
- Location A is at a corner of a room on the first floor. This is the farthest location in my home from the router (third floor, opposite corner of house) that has a wifi connected device (a Windows 10 laptop with an Intel 8260 wifi card).
With the TP-Link, on 2.4GHz I had a signal strength of 45% w/ average downlink throughput of 68Mbps and uplink of 83Mbps. Same device, but with the R7800, signal strength is at 64% w/ average downlink throughput of 77Mbps and uplink of 102Mbps.
With the TP-Link, on 5GHz I had a signal strength of 23% w/ average downlink throughput of 233Mbps and uplink of 243Mbps. With the R7800 signal strength was 44% w/ average downlink throughput of 301Mbps and uplink of 291Mbps.
The speed difference b/w the two was noticeable when uploading / downloading files via FTP and with torrent clients. Streaming 1080 and some 4k content did look noticeable smoother as well through the R7800.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this router to anyone looking for a mid to high end router.