So, you’re looking for a router but the only things you’re sure about is that you want a Netgear router and aren’t looking to break the bank.
With the names being so similar it can be hard to distinguish the real differences between routers, especially if you don’t know your AC from your N or what 1750 and 1900 mean.
We’ve put together a small table to show the similarities and differences between the three routers.
Handy comparison table – R6400 Vs R6700 Vs R7000
|Router||Speed/Range||# of USB ports||Processor|
|#1. Netgear R7000|
Our Best Pick
|AC1900 (600 + 1300)||1x USB2.0, 1x USB3.0||1GHz dual-core|
|#2. Netgear R6700|
|AC1750 (450 + 1300)||1x USB 3.0||1GHz dual-core|
|#3. Netgear R6400|
|AC1750 (450 + 1300)||1x USB2.0, 1x USB3.0||800MHz dual-core|
You’ll notice that there are a great many similarities among the three, with only three major differences among them: the R6400’s processor, the R6700’s USB ports, and the R7000’s speed/range.
We’ll discuss these further below. But first, we’ll provide some idea of what is the same among them.
Dual-band 802.11ac – What does it mean?
One of the first things to know about each of these three routers is that they’re each dual-band 802.11ac routers.
This means that they simultaneously broadcast two wireless networks; one at the 2.4GHz frequency and one at the 5GHz frequency.
Your devices may see either network or both networks depending on the devices’ capabilities.
The 5GHz frequency uses the ‘ac’ standard for wireless which transmits data faster but typically covers a slightly smaller area.
The 2.4GHz frequency uses the older ‘n’ standard for wireless which transmits data slower than ‘ac’ but typically over a wider area.
Beamforming is technology that is designed to improve the stability and performance of your wireless technology.
It can help reduce the number of wireless “dead spots” in your home using focused radio signals.
Netgear’s Beamforming+ technology uses software to further optimize these improvements, particularly on the 5GHz frequency.
Number of Ethernet ports
Each of these routers has five Gigabit Ethernet ports: 1 WAN and 4 LAN. The LAN ports are if you want or need to directly connect your device to the router. The WAN port is typically not used in home networking.
Also built-in to each of these routers is the ability to create a guest network for added security.
This allows your guests to be able to access the Internet in your home without having to go through the added hassle of entering your wifi password.
When they leave, simply turn the guest network off to ensure no unauthorized access.
This feature is becoming more and more important as the number of devices we have connected to the Internet increases.
Netgear’s routers have the capability of optimizing your home’s bandwidth depending on content.
Want to binge-watch your favorite HD shows from Netflix or Hulu while downloading massive files on your computer?
These routers can optimize the network traffic to ensure your streaming is smooth at the cost of slightly slowing down that massive download.
When you’re done streaming, it’ll shift that extra bandwidth over to the download.
So far, we’ve only discussed the similarities among the three products. Now we’ll shift into the three major technical differences between them and discuss how they’re likely to affect your Internet use.
The unique aspect of the Netgear R6400 when compared to its brethren is its processor. The R6400 has an 800MHz dual-core processor as compared to the 1GHz dual-core processor the other two possess.
If you’re asking yourself what does that mean, simply put on average it processes information slower than the R6700 or R7000.
In the time it takes each core of the R6700 or R7000 to process one billion bits of information, each core of the R6400 processes eight-hundred million bits.
Considering that there are two cores we’re now talking processing up to 1.6 billion bits in the time the others process up to 2 billion bits.
This basically means that all of those neat Beamforming+ and streaming optimization features don’t go quite as fast as they do on the others.
R6700’s USB port
The noticeable difference with the R6700 is the lack of a single USB2.0 port that the others possess. If you don’t attach multiple USB devices like network-attached storage or a printer without wireless capabilities, you won’t notice a difference.
This difference is probably not a deal-breaker for most people.
R7000’s speed and range
The last major technical difference between the three comes down to speed and range. Both the R6400 and R6700 are listed as AC1750 whereas the R7000 is listed as AC1900.
The numbers listed after the AC represents the maximum theoretical bandwidth. So the AC1900 theoretically has more available bandwidth than AC1750.
It’s not quite that simple however as the 1750 and 1900 are slightly misleading. In actuality, the more important numbers are the (450+1300) and the (600+1300). These are the numbers for each respective frequency.
Both the R6400 and R6700 are AC1750 (450+1300), which means that the 2.4GHz frequency has the potential to transmit at 450 Mbps and the 5GHz frequency has the potential to transmit at 1300 Mbps.
The R7000 (600+1300) has the potential to transmit at 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz frequency.
In essence, the R7000 is only faster than the other two on the slower 2.4GHz frequency. If all of your devices operate on the 5GHz frequency you wouldn’t notice a difference.
Also note, these are ‘theoretical’ maximum bandwidth. So, they may operate at those top speeds under optimal conditions, but not necessarily in your home.
Prices on routers fluctuate rapidly enough from day-to-day and between retailers that listing prices would be ridiculous.
Suffice to say each of these routers is fairly reasonably priced for a mid-tier router.
In our experience, the R6400 and R6700 tend to be fairly similar in price to one another, with only a few dollars difference between the two.
The R7000 tends to be the most expensive of the lot but only marginally so.
Compare the NetGear R6400 vs R7000 and you might find more of a gap in the prices.
So now that you’ve seen what the similarities and differences between these three routers, you’re probably asking which of them should you buy?
The cop-out answer is to say that it all depends on what your specific needs are. If you need thus and such feature buy product X, otherwise buy product Y.
We’re not going to do that however. You came to us for information and an informed opinion. So here it is:
Our recommendation: Netgear R7000
Of the three possibilities we’re going to recommend the Netgear R7000. The main reason is the increased bandwidth on the 2.4GHz frequency.
There are a lot of older devices still out there that solely operate on the 2.4GHz frequency.
Having that little bit of extra bandwidth can be quite nice when sharing between a lot of devices.
Also, there are a number of other devices that run on the 2.4GHz frequency such as phones, Bluetooth devices, and even microwave ovens.
That’s a lot of potential interference, so that extra bandwidth may help out.
Additionally the R7000 doesn’t have either of the minor drawbacks of the R6400 or R6700.
You get a better processor and both USB ports in addition to the faster 2.4GHz band. Sure, it’ll cost a little bit more but not that much more.
Do yourself a favor and spend the few extra dollars now and buy the router that will be a little nicer for a little longer. In the long run you’ll be a little happier with your purchase.
We hope you’ve found this post informative but not overbearing. We appreciate your patronage and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for reading.