Netgear Nighthawk R7000

A Star Wars-like wifi router for unlimited bandwidth

Image: Hugh Threlfall

I know the phrase “first-world problems” is overused these days, and I overused it myself lately when a resident daughter was moaning bitterly about the parts of our house where the wifi signal is non-existent. But then internet black holes are very annoying.

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So I decided to attack the problem and try the most powerful router I could find. I alighted on this Netgear one partly because of its scary name, its Star Wars shape and its trio of butch-looking antennae. But also because the Nighthawk is designed for gamers, whose demands for bandwidth are limitless, so it seemed likely that for our more modest needs, it might do the job.

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Installing routers always gives me the chills; a decade ago, it took hours on the phone to technical services to fire one up, and networking remains a dark art. But, rather than get a qualified geek in, I did it myself – and amazingly, it was a breeze. There was even a setup option to raise the download speed by lowering the upload speed, all clearly explained. And, boy, has it improved things. All that macho styling appears to be more than marketing and previously unreachable parts of the house are now on full stream.

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