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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance

The R7800 is not yet Wi-Fi Certified. NETGEAR generally eventually gets products Wi-Fi Certified; it just doesn't hold them back without it. Default basic wireless settings are shown in the next screenshot.

R7800 Wireless defaults

R7800 Wireless defaults

Default advanced wireless settings are in the next screenshot. WPS is enabled by default on both bands. MU-MIMO and "implicit" beamforming are, too. Enable HT 160 is the control to enable 160 MHz bandwidth mode. NETGEAR says they chose to disable it by default, to not risk compatibility problems at this time. As I've said before, you're not missing anything with this default; there are no 160 MHz devices available yet.

R7800 Advanced Wireless defaults

R7800 Advanced Wireless defaults

For throughput testing, the router was first reset to factory defaults. Channel 6 and 20 MHz bandwidth mode (Up to 347 Mbps) were set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 and 80 MHz mode (Up to 1733 Mbps) set for 5 GHz. The test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

The router's antennas were centered on the test chamber turntable with all antennas vertical as shown in the photo below. The 0° position for the router had the front facing the chamber antennas.

NETGEAR R7800 in test chamber

NETGEAR R7800 in test chamber

The charts below, filtered to show only AC2600 class routers, show the R7800's average 2.4 GHz performance is quite good, particularly on uplink.

NETGEAR R7800 2.4 GHz Average throughput comparison

NETGEAR R7800 2.4 GHz Average throughput comparison

The same charts for 5 GHz show the R7800's weak spot seems to be uplink.

NETGEAR R7800 5 GHz Average throughput comparison

NETGEAR R7800 5 GHz Average throughput comparison

For the throughput vs. attenuation profile plots, I chose the TP-LINK Archer C2600 for the as-good-or-better ranked product and the TRENDnet TEW-827DRU as the lower-ranked comparator.

The 2.4 GHz downlink profile shows the TRENDnet left in the dust by the NETGEAR and TP-LINK for almost the entire test run. The plots don't converge until the 54 dB attenuation test.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The TP-LINK and TRENDnet swap places for the 2.4 GHz uplink test, with the TRENDnet and R7800 tracking closely throughout the entire test run.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Products always seem to track more closely in 5 GHz tests and the group is no exception. The 5 GHz downlink profile shows the R7800 tracking above the TP-LINK for most of the test run, but just barely. The TP-LINK's big drop between the 12 and 15 dB tests didn't help its ranking.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

For 5 GHz uplink, all four products track very closely from 18 dB on. The R7800's maximum (0 dB attenuation) throughput edges past the TRENDnet's by only 13 Mbps.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

As we've found many times, the difference in ranking for AC routers tends to be more due to 2.4 GHz performance than 5 GHz. This group once again reinforces that point.

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