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How to setup a Netgear r700 Nighthawk router - A Complete Guide

What is the Netgear r700 Nighthawk?

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 its 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.

Internet speeds are of course limited by your broadband availability and package, but with this 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).

How to set up the Netgear r700 nighthawk

We received our router from FlashRouters, you can see our Flashrouters review 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.

Firmware for the Netgear Nighthawk router

Here at ProPrivacy 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.


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 we were able to optimize our connection and system settings even more. By the end of our Netgear R7000 review, we had a router fully worthy of its name as the Nighthawk - fast, silent and agile. We'd also recommend the best Netgear Open Source Community for more feedback, help and tips.

Written by: Peter Selmeczy

Peter is a full-time tech enthusiast and gadget geek. When not working, you'll find him playing with Lego or tinkering away on an RPi.

1 Comment

on November 27, 2018
Hi Peter, what speed were you able to get with this router? Best regards, Marcin

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