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You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews AC1900 First Look: NETGEAR R7000 & ASUS RT-AC68U - Wireless Performance

AC1900 First Look: NETGEAR R7000 & ASUS RT-AC68U - Wireless Performance

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Wireless Performance

This product has been retested. See this article for the results.

As noted at the top of this review, I tested wireless performance using our standard wireless test process, which can test only up to AC1750 class routers. The R7000 is not Wi-Fi Certified, but the RT-AC68U is for 802.11a,b,g,n and ac.

Each router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. 20 MHz bandwidth mode was set for 2.4 GHz and 80 MHz mode was set for 5 GHz. The test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

The router were positioned 8" from the chamber antennas in the 0° and 180° test positions. Because of the width of both products and the tight quarters in the test chamber, the closest antenna in the 90° and 270° positions was more like 6 to 7 inches from the chamber antennas. The 0° position for both routers had the front facing the chamber antennas.

The R7000's Benchmark Summary below shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. Its 96 Mbps Average 2.4 GHz downlink places it one spot below the ASUS RT-N66U in that benchmark chart, while its 90 Mbps average uplink moves it a bit lower to the #4 spot below the N66U, ASUS RT-AC66U and TP-LINK Archer C7.

NETGEAR R7000 Benchmark Summary

NETGEAR R7000 Benchmark Summary

Average 5 GHz results are a different story, with the R7000 taking top places in both downlink and uplink charts with results of 248 Mbps and 232 Mbps, respectively. It also topped the 5 GHz UpDown benchmark chart with a new high of 649 Mbps—40 Mbps higher than the second-place D-Link DIR-868L.

The RT-AC68U's Benchmark Summary below shows its 80 Mbps Average 2.4 GHz downlink. This slots it at #8, far below the 99 Mbps of the RT-N66U that occupies the top position. When you look at the uplink rank, however, you have to scroll down pretty far to see the 43 Mbps uplink average. This is sure to throw some cold water on some prospective buyers...at least for awhile.

ASUS RT-AC68U Benchmark Summary

ASUS RT-AC68U Benchmark Summary

Average 5 GHz results get the AC68U back in the game with 243 Mbps downlink average, which puts it right below the R7000's 248 Mbps. 5 GHz average uplink also has the two routers sitting right next to each other in that chart, albeit with the AC68U a bit lower at 221 Mbps vs. the R7000's 232 Mbps. A second buzzkill for ASUS fanboys is the 5 GHz UpDown benchmark. The AC68U came in far below the R7000 with only 432 Mbps of total throughput vs. the R7000's 649 Mbps.

But the real fun comes when looking at the throuhput vs. attenuation plots, which provide a much better view of relative performance. I included each product's AC1750 class sibling in the charts, i.e. NETGEAR's R6300 and ASUS' RT-AC66U.

The 2.4 GHz downlink profile shows similar performance with low attenuation (higher signal levels). It looks like ASUS still has some tweaking to do with link rate selection in the strong-to-medium signal range since both the AC66U and AC68U have significant throughput dips in that part of the curves.

There is a clear difference between the products using the BCM4360 as the 2.4 GHz radio once attenuation passes 30 dB or so. Both the RT-AC66U and R6300 begin to fall off sooner, which puts them 30 Mbps or so below both the AC68U and R7000 after 51 dB of attenuation. Note that the two AC1750 class and AC1900 class products track together pretty closely as attenuation increases above 50 dB.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 2.4 GHz uplink plot shows three of the four products tracking remarkably closely up to 30 dB of attenuation. The RT-AC68U clearly has a problem with this benchmark, which I assume ASUS will be able to straighten out via a firmware update. So I'll probably be taking the AC68U through another tour in the test chamber for the full review.

This time, it's the older RT-AC66U that tracks with the newer R7000 as signal levels drop.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation



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User reviews

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Average user rating from: 8 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

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Overall: 
 
4.1 Features :
 
4.6 Performance :
 
3.9 Reliability :
 
3.9
 
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Asus AC68R rocks

Overall rating: 
 
3.7
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by svi
June 18, 2014
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With the 68R and new mac pro, the link speeds show 1300 and the throughput tops at 480mbps, that's nearly half a gig on wireless , impressive ! Enough said .

 

Perfect. No.1 Router

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by felizestis
February 16, 2014
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Perfect and Perfect.
When I was using ac66u. It gave me disappointment.
But, ac68u.. It was almost perfect.

Lan to Wan performance is 890Mbps (using ixchariot, 3.0.0.4.374.39 merlin)
Wireless performance is faster than R7000.

Almost perfect means..
ac68r has very high power consumption.
idle = 10w~11w
wireless full load = 17w..... :(

 

Not as promising on Wireless, Still wired it works 2x faster!

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Fred
January 15, 2014
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I bought the R7000 instead of an Apple time capsule or ASUS AC68U to max my late 2013 rMBP's 802.11ac wireless performance.
My WiFi connection speed changes between 702 / 878 /1053 / 1170 or 1300, my computer is less than 1.5 meter away from the router. I am disappointed that I don't get a solid 1300 connection. I think when I tried a similar mac with an 802.11ac Time capsule at Apple store it stayed on 1300 always. Beware that the radio of a rMBP can't use the 2.4Ghz at the same time as the 5Ghz 802.11ac. So it will max at 1300 on 5G anyways NO AC1900! for you...

I did the tests below with a 7.5GB ISO file copy:

With Wireless 5G:
NTFS USB 3 HDD > Netgear USB 3 > rMBP : ~14MB/s write , 9:20 minutes
NTFS USB 3 HDD > Netgear USB 3 > rMBP : ~22MB/s read , 5:46 minutes

With ethernet cable:
NTFS USB 3 HDD > Netgear USB 3 > rMBP : ~22MB/s write , ~5 minutes
NTFS USB 3 HDD > Netgear USB 3 > rMBP : ~56MB/s read , ~2:15 minutes

My USB 3 hdd has a performance of ~70MB/s write when connected directly to my rMBP USB

I do feel a difference upgrading from my Netgear wnr2000 which was supposed to give 300 (which never did) over 2.4G. I think this new model does routing much more efficient and faster as I can access my NAS, USB HDD files and the net with less tangible delay. However, this is not what I expected from the wireless performance.

This is probably the fastest router available but still it won't deliver a 1300 connection unidirectional. It supports OpenVPN but not PPTP, and I didn't managed to define users, so I guess one solution is to use openWRT to get more features soon... Maybe better performance too!

Netgear R7000 Firmware Version V1.0.2.194_1.0.15
rMBP 15" 1TB, 16G, 2.6 Q Core i7,

 

Good so far

Overall rating: 
 
4.3
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by HoBoZ
January 12, 2014
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Just bought this router [R7000] to use with my NVG510 U-verse. The setup was really easy with the Netgear setup wizard. The only pain was setting the NVG510 to work in bridge mode which it does not do natively.

So far the router is working just fine. The GUI is a bit slow at times and a little cumbersome at times, but it will get the job done. I am a IT/network admin, so I know my way around net devices. I used the stock firmware on the R7000 for a little while, but found it lacking in some areas that I wanted control with.

I flashed dd-wrt on it and I couldn't be happier with the results. Now I have far more control than I could even hope for. The flashing of dd-wrt is painless and you will be well satisfiled with the results if you need this router to do more than just what the stock firmware will allow you to do.

Pros:
The speed is very good on the 2.4 ghz channel, but the 5ghz channel is somewhat lacking.
The range is a little above average on both channels
The setup is quick and easy with the stock firmware

Cons:
The speed on both channels is a little slow to be a AC1900 router
The size of this router is large and some may have a hard time with space to place.


Over all this is a very good router, even though the price in my opinion is a bit to much.

 

A router with Range.

Overall rating: 
 
4.7
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by EF
January 06, 2014
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I purchased this router in November. I love the range it provides as my prior router, a Netgear N750 WNDR4000, was okay but fell short in consistently providing a strong signal to the opposite side on the second floor of my house. I would get a signal, but it would be diminished by at least 20% from my ISP's listed speeds. With the r7000, I now get the same Speedtest site readings on the second floor of my house as I do from five feet away. I even live in a crowded subdivision with a lot of signal competition.

Reliability has been great, as I have yet to need to reboot the router due to a lock-up. My old router was requiring a reboot at least once a week.

The reason for my lower performance rating is due to the QoS feature, which about two weeks ago went to garbage. I noticed my iPhone was locking up on video and when I used the Speedtest site to assess the speeds I was getting a 187ms Ping and download and upload speeds of under 2Mbps.

I first updated to the latest firmware version (V1.0.2.194_1.0.15) which did nothing to change the issue with my iPhone. Not having an issue with my Windows based laptop, also using wifi, I thought the problem was with my iPhone 5s. So I spent the next week rebooting my phone and reinstalling the OS. After much frustration, I came across someone on the web mentioning an issue with QoS. So I went into the setup for my r7000 and unchecked/ turned off everything in the QoS Setup tab. Sure enough this fixed the issue and everything went back to normal with a 10ms Ping and ISP rated download and upload speeds.

I am now happy with the router again! Netgear just needs to fix the QoS feature.

 
 
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