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Wireless Reviews

Features

The R7000P supports NETGEAR's standard genie feature set and user interface. As far as I could tell, all the usual features were there, including OpenVPN and ReadyShare. The Advanced Wireless screen shows Airtime Fairness (short explainer) is supported and enabled by default, along with implicit beamforming and MU-MIMO.

R7000P Advanced wireless

R7000P Advanced wireless

Both AP and Wireless Bridge modes are supported. The latter doesn't rely on WDS; the R7000P will form a wireless bridge with any router. VLANs can be set up by group or tag. The composite image below shows the settings for both; in actual operation you choose one mode or the other.

R7000P VLAN options

R7000P VLAN options

Storage Performance

The Router Charts contain benchmarks for FAT32 and NTFS volume formats with USB 2.0 and 3.0 connections (as applicable). But since we know USB 2.0 is slower and FAT32 has volume and file size limitations, we focus on comparing NTFS format with USB 3.0 connection performance.

Since the Charts show only one Test Method at a time, we can only easily compare the R7000P and R7000. Since it's been awhile, I retested the R7000 storage performance to see if the processor change made a difference. The R7000P came in slightly behind the retested R7000 for write with 31 MB/s vs. 35 MB/s, but significantly ahead for read with 83 MB/s vs. 63 MB/s. The R7000's performance didn't change much from the original USB 3.0 / NTFS measurements of 37 MB/s for write and 58 MB/s for read.

The chart below of Revision 9 test method products shows the R7000P makes the top 10 for read, but not for write. These results can be fairly compared because the storage test method remains the same between Revision 9 and 10.

Storage Performance comparison - USB 3.0 & NTFSs

Storage Performance comparison - USB 3.0 & NTFS

Routing Performance

The R7000P is the first router tested with our new Revision 10 process. The new process focuses on performance and includes tests for Bufferbloat and reduced throughput due primarily to Cut Through Forwarding being automatically disabled when particular routing features are enabled. If you haven't already, I suggest you read through the process description or even open it in another tab or window for reference while you read the commentary to follow.

So that we have something to compare to, the original R7000 was upgraded to its latest v1.0.8.34_1.2.15 firmware and retested. The R7000P was running V1.0.0.56_1.0.45 firmware.

Test Description NETGEAR R7000P NETGEAR R7000
WAN - LAN Throughput (Mbps) 941 941
LAN - WAN Throughput (Mbps) 940 935
HTTP Score - WAN to LAN (%) 0.3 3.5
HTTP Score - LAN to WAN (%) 22.5 31.6
Bufferbloat Score- Down Avg. 513 406
Bufferbloat Score- Down Max. 376 219
Bufferbloat Score- Up Avg. 423 120
Bufferbloat Score- Up Max. 322 109
CTF Score (%) 32.6 47.4
Firmware Version V1.0.0.56_1.0.45 v1.0.8.34_1.2.15
Table 2: Routing throughput

The WAN - LAN and LAN - WAN throughput benchmarks are the least meaningful, since most products can hit these numbers due to the common use of Cut Through Forwarding. The HTTP and CTF Scores are now where you want to focus.

Both routers didn't do particularly well in the HTTP Score. The key for the plot is [A] 2 KB, [B] 10 KB, [C] 108 KB and [D] 759 KB file sizes. The data says both routers aren't very efficient when down or uploading small files, but did better with upload than download. Even with large file sizes, the best the R7000 did for download was around 11% of baseline transfer performance. Both routers did better for LAN to WAN / upload with the R7000 again beating the R7000P with around 80% of basline vs. 55%.

HTTP Score comparison

HTTP Score comparison

Both routers did pretty well with Bufferbloat. For reference, 5 ms of delay would equal a score of 200 (1/5 x 1000). Using that as reference, the R7000 upload average bufferbloat was around 8 ms.

Finally, the Cut Through Forwarding tests proved they are worth the time. I was able to check throughput change when enabling QoS (automatic), domain blocking and traffic meter features. Features are enabled one at a time. The R7000 again did better than the R7000P with a worst case throughput of 47% of baseline vs. the P's 33%. For both routers, the biggest throughput hit was from using the domain blocking feature.

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