Netgear R7000N Nighthawk: A later opinion..

So I’ve had the R7000N for about a month now. It’s a pretty good router, but it has some problems. Sadly, they’re the same problems I dealt with constantly on routers prior to my Airport.

The biggest one is 2.4Ghz Reliability. The 5Ghz band is rock solid. The wired ethernet is rock solid. The 2.4Ghz band comes and goes on a regular basis, for no good reason I can find. At first glance you think “Well just use the 2.4Ghz", but it’s not so simple. Ring doorbell, Kuna light, Nucleus Tablets, Echo Dot, wifi-enabled clock/weather station… All of those are 2.4Ghz only.

Apparently this is not a new problem, there are long threads on their support forums for it. I tried a few of the usual things to no avail, but eventually stumbled upon the following combination of things:
  • Upgrade to the new Firmware ( V1.3.1.44_10.1.23 )
  • Disable automatic channel select, just set channel 11
  • Reduce the speed from 600Mbps to 289Mbps
  • Check “Disable Port Scan and DoS Protection"
This combination seems to have fixed it. That last one was a bit disappointing (It means my router is now wide open to port scanning), but it works.

I remember running into similar problem all the time, where the 2.4Ghz would die .. I usually attributed it to overheating or traffic, as it would usually happen when I would sustain a lot of bandwidth for a while. Either BitTorrent of a particularly active torrent (hence a bunch of traffic), or streaming Netflix or Youtube for a long time.

I post this here in hopes that it helps someone else. I’m disappointed that a new $200 router in the year 2018 suffers from the same problems plaguing cheapo routers in 2005, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

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