NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk Review

NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk Review

NETGEAR is an American company that’s specialized in network related devices. They have an incredible range of products for both consumers and professionals. And lately they have also been targeting gamers and streamers. Such as the NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk router that I’m going to review here. It’s a smart multimedia router that’s advertised as ideal for gaming! So let’s see if that’s actually the case as well.

Technical Specification

  • Dimension (without antennas): 28.5×18.3×6.2 cm / 11.2×7.2×2.4″
  • Network standards: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Wi-Fi bands: 2.4 & 5.0 GHz
  • Signal rate: 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz + 450 Mbps at 2.4 GHz
  • Ethernet ports: 1x Gigabit WAN, 4x Gigabit LAN
  • USB 3.0 port
  • 3x external antennas
  • Wireless encryption: 128 bit
  • Security features: WPA, WPA2
  • Works with Google Assistant
  • Compatible OS: MacOS, Windows, Linux
  • Setup interface: Browser, Phone app

In The Box

  • NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk
  • 3 antennas
  • Ethernet cable
  • Power cable
  • Quick install guide

Design

NETGEAR has many different sub categories of routers and the Nighthawk is their premier version. And I can already tell that just by looking at the R6700 as well. It’s an incredibly sleek and modern looking router that’s fully made out black plastic. It has this futuristic design that just fits this color. Especially the stealth aircraft looking shape.

NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk

And it has to look good as the R6700 isn’t the smallest router. It has an overall dimension of 28.5×18.3×6.2 cm / 11.2×7.2×2.4″, which does not include the 3 antennas. The 3 antennas are detachable so the router doesn’t come in a huge box. They do increase the overall height when you screw them on though. So it’s best to keep it somewhere on a desk or a stand. There are 4 rubber pads underneath it as well.

NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk Design

The front-top surface area has all of the 12 LED status indicators. There is also a single USB 3.0 port at the front panel. This can be used to either connect a printer or an external hard drive for example. This will make the USB drive available for all computers that are connected to the network.

NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk Ports

Rest of the ports and buttons are all the backside. That includes the power input, Ethernet cable (WAN) port and 4 LAN ports. All of them are rated for up to 1000 Mbps. Which means that this router is capable of transferring data at up to 1000 Mbps. That’s as long as you have a fast enough internet of course. Which means having a 1 Gpbs fiber optic connection to reach the cap. And this interface is also used by the high-end routers as well, so this is pretty much the standard at the moment.

Setting It Up

Setting up the router is incredibly easy and hardly takes any time. All you have to do is download and install the NETGEAR Nighthawk App onto your phone, connect the Ethernet cable (from your modem) to the router and connect. The app guides you through the entire process and it takes no more than 5 minutes.

Performance

The NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk is powered by a powerful 1 GHz dual core processor and 128 MB flash plus 256 MB of RAM. And its Wi-Fi performance is rated as AC1750. Which means that it has a maximum combined bandwidth of up to 1750 Mbps. Which translates to 450 Mbps for 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps for 5 GHz network bands. Once that’s done, you can continue using the app to monitor and configure the router. There’s even a built-in speedtest section so that you can check the internet speed.

So in terms of performance, the R6700 is a very good mid-range router. It can reliably cover up to 1500 square ft / 139 square meters of area and handle up to 25 devices simultaneously. Which should be more than enough for even medium sized homes. NETGEAR does advertise this as a router for very large homes but I’d recommend it more for medium sized homes (and of course smaller). Simply because you can be more confident that it will fully cover all of the rooms.

You can also use this router to reliably play games and watch Netflix. Or even live stream your games. The R6700 Nighthawk can handle it all without any problems. And the Beamforming+ feature makes sure that the Wi-Fi connection stays stable even when you are further away from the router. And that’s obviously amplified by the 3 external antennas. Put all of that together and you get one of the best under $100 routers for gaming and watching movies.

Features

Like all Nighthawk routers, the R6700 is also packed with different features. I already mentioned Beamforming+ but there’s also Airtime Fairness, which prevents network lag when there are slower devices connected. There is also Advanced QoS, which automatically recognizes and prioritizes video streaming and gaming. So you won’t need to worry about sudden lag while raiding dungeons in WoW.

They haven’t forgotten smart home features either. You can control the router and the home network by using voice commands through Google Assistant. And you won’t need to worry about security as it supports the usual WPA and WPA2 security standards. I do wish that it supported WPA3 as well since it’s a newer and improved version. But WPA2 is still good enough. You can also create a separate access for guests as well. And if you want to really secure your Wi-Fi, then there’s an option to sign up to NETGEAR Armor. It’s pretty much an antivirus for your router that protects all of the devices connected to the network. Unfortunately it requires a yearly subscription.

Conclusion

Overall it’s a fantastic mid-range router. Especially now that it costs less than $100. Not only does it have a beautiful design and removable antennas but it also performs exactly as advertised. Plus it can handle up to 25 devices simultaneously so chances are you will have more than enough room for future smart home devices as well. And the Nighthawk App makes the NETGEAR R6700 incredibly easy to manage.