Although not quite as well-specced as the above beasts, the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 is still easily powerful enough to handle the demands of processing VPN data. Sabai OS is open source custom firmware developed by Sabai Technology.
In his full Sabai Technology Review, our reviewer was impressed by Sabai OS, and with the level of support provided by the company. For a full review of the NETGEAR R7000 Nighthawk (running Tomato).
We’ve tested powerful routers before, such as the AC66U, but none comes close to the beast that is the Nighthawk. During our Netgear R7000 review, we found that this router can and will do anything and everything you want it to. We received ours from FlashRouters. Therefore, we could run Tomato and DD-WRT firmware on it, which makes it that much better.
The main reason this router has so much power is due to it’s dual-core 1Ghz processor, which you can overclock to 1.4Ghz – this is more than some phones and computers (but it will void your warranty)! The advantage of this is that not only will you get faster transfer speeds, but also better VPN speeds, more on this later. With dual-frequency support and powerful external antennas, even its WiFi capabilities will impress you and cover your whole home, or office even.
R7000 Out of the box, with no antennas attached
Internet speeds are of course limited by your broadband availability and package, but with this router you can shuffle files around your home or office LAN ridiculously fast. If you are lucky enough to have ‘super broadband’ access, then that will also benefit from the R7000’s super-fast connectivity.
The Netgear R7000 also comes with a USB2.0 port and a USB3.0 port. With these not only can you share printers but also use the router as a high-speed NAS (Network Attached Storage).
Despite its performance, the R7000 isn’t very aesthetically pleasing. While it’s not essential if you hide it away, we think the design of Asus routers or the Netgear R8000 are one of their selling points.
Getting the best coverage and network speeds do depend on some variables and vary from person to person and location so you will have to play around with not only your antenna settings but your network configuration. The default settings are however adequate for the average person. The router also has holes in the bottom of it, so that you can mount it vertically to the wall.
We received our router from FlashRouters, whose review you can read here. Initially, it came installed with Tomato but you can also get it with DD-WRT. The router came with an easy to follow setup guide, and we were up and running in settings.
Their guide also included information on setting up your VPN connection and their extremely high-quality support service even helped us optimize our speeds.
Because the R7000 is a dual-frequency router, you can essentially run two different networks, for different uses. It is also possible to set up a guest network, for any visitors that you have. While this is great if you are using this in your office, we recommend disabling it in residential areas, especially if you plan to leave it without a password.
Out of the box performance
We have a 30/3Mbps connection by default, and our router is connected directly to our modem. Unsurprisingly using Ethernet, 2.4GHz and 5GHz we were able to utilize all the of the speed provided to us by ISP.
Here at BestVPN the VPN client performance we can get. The best factor of using a custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT is that these are optimized for VPN transfer speeds, and as we have shown before, this can count a lot.
Both firmware’s have their pros and cons, with relation to VPN; Tomato does provide better speeds, but it is slightly harder to set up. Just like with the stock firmware, you can configure both PPTP and OpenVPN connections. Should you choose to, you can also run the router as a VPN server instead of as a VPN Client.
We tested the performance of the router, and it was great. It was so great in fact that we were able to get our modem speed through Wifi and Ethernet even when running the VPN client. We carried out some research and found that with an overclocked router you will be able to achieve up to 42Mbps download speeds.
Netgear R7000 Review Conclusion
The Netgear R7000 is the best router we have tested so far. The addition of Tomato firmware meant that we were able to make this router even better, and you could also do the same. Further to this, with the help of FlashRouters we were able to optimize our connection and system settings even more. By the end of our Netgear R7000 review, we had a router that fully worth of its name as the Nighthawk – fast, silent and agile. We’d also recommend visit the best Netgear Open Source Community for more feedback, help and tips.