Destined to catch the eye of those of us trying to get out of using the slow cable modem routers that come with our home Internet plans, Netgear announced its latest cable modem router, the Nighthawk AC1900 (C7000). The C7000 joins the current lineup of Netgear's home networking products that includes the N300 (C3000), N600 (C3700), and AC1750 (C6300) cable modem routers.
The Nighthawk C7000 is built around two combined processors: a 1 GHz processor used for wired and wireless networking, and a second 600 MHz processor that uses DOCSIS 3.0 to provide the company's touted fast cable connection. With a total processing speed of 1.6 GHz, the Nighthawk C7000 is the fastest cable modem/router combination in the market, per Netgear.
On the providers' side, the Nighthawk C7000's cable connection can run up to 960 Mbps thanks to the its 24 data channels used for the downstream network traffic, giving way to better bandwidth for 4K/HiDef TVs and all the other Internet-connected devices and services homes have today. Of course, this could be overkill if your provider does have the bandwidth.
At press time, Comcast/Xfinity's fastest home package is 250 Mbps, while TimeWarner's is 300 Mbps, but as cable networking speeds get faster, the gap between cable's current top speeds and gigabit should get narrower.
Out of the gate, Comcast will be adding the Nighthawk C7000 to its approved vendor list, with Time Warner following not too far behind. As for cost cutting, with rental fees for cable modems and routers costing between $8-$13 dollars a month, buying your own approved device could pay for itself at around 21 months at most (not including sales tax).
The C7000's Wi-Fi is rated up to theoretical speeds of 1.9 Gbps. Like other AC1900 routers, the 3x3 C7000 is a dual channel device that provides 600 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz range and 1300 Mbps in the 5 GHz range.
The quality of the wireless signal to and from the Wi-Fi router benefits from Netgear's Beamforming+ technology. Activities like watching Netflix, playing online games or simply browsing around the Internet are improved even when the mobile device is being moved around. According to Netgear, the router's enhanced Beamforming+ technology simply locks in on the moving device and provides a stronger, more reliable Wi-Fi connection and experience.
Additional features on the C7000 include:
- Four 10/100/1000 gigabit Ethernet ports
- One USB 2.0 port that uses Netgear's ReadyShare solution for printer and hard drive sharing
- 128 MB Flash and 256 MB RAM
- Netgear Genie app available on App Store and Google Play for network management on the go
- Network security – Guest Access, Wi-Fi Protected Access, SPI and NAT firewall protection, DoS attack prevention, Parental Controls and WPS
Available through major retailers in late June; MSRP for the Netgear Nighthawk C7000 starts at $279 USD.
Corrections: Fixed the specs regarding the router's processors and Wi-Fi speed.