Netgear C7800 Review | Nighthawk X4S AC3200
We are now living in an age where high-definition content consumption is just a click of a button. So it is always important that aside from a good service provider, you also need a great performing modem and router for a more stable and reliable internet connection in your home. Fortunately, there are already some products that combined these two functions into one.
The Netgear C7800 can give you just that. Its a Modem Wifi router combo, with features that can rival any 2-in-1 router and cable modem on its price range.
What is DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router?
Before we get to our Netgear C7800 review, it will be extremely important to first understand what a DOCSIS 3.1 modem router is. As mentioned above, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S AC3200 is a 2-in-1 device. It works both as a router, and cable modem at the same time. And as such, it needs to support the latest and greatest communication technology to deliver a more reliable connection for every connected IoT.
The DOCSIS 3.1 technology will give that speed and reliability to the Netgear X4S AC3200. DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It is currently the international standard used to transfer data over cable TV systems.
In older DOCSIS 3.0 router and cable modems, initial download speed can only go as far as 300Mbps, and peaked at 1Gbps at its final version. Upload speed is even lower at only 100Mbps at its initial stage, and peaked at 300Mbps at the final version.
In devices that supports DOCSIS 3.1 technology, the download speed peaks at 8Gbps at its initial, but can go up as high as 10Gbps in the future. Upload speed is initially at 400Mbps to 1Gbps, but can support up to 2.5Gbps in the future. But DOCSIS 3.1 isn’t just about speed. It is also known for its reliability.
The DOCSIS 3.1 features the latest and greatest of digital communication technologies such as LDPC encoding, very high modulation orders, 1GHz and above usable spectrum, and support for QoS and low latency. It is also backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0.
Note that while DOCSIS 3.1 supported routers and cable modems can give you this same exact features, achieving phenomenal bandwidths will also depend on your network providers.
Netgear C7800 Review
|Channel Bonding||32 x 8 DOCSIS 3.0|
2 x 2 DOCSIS 3.1
|Number of Bands||Dual (2.4GHz & 5GHz)|
|Firewall||Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT)|
|Number of Antenna||4 high-performance antennas|
|Speed||Up to 3.2 Gbps|
|USB Ports||2 USB 3.0 Ports|
|Ethernet Ports||4x Gigabit (GigE)|
- Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, OSX/macOS, UNIX, Linux
- Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0, Safari 1.4, Google Chrome 11.0, or above versions
Features of Netgear C7800
The Netgear C7800 is a 2-in-1 device that combines the ultra-high-speed DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, and Nighthawk® X4S Wi-Fi router.
Being a 2-1 device, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S AC3200 will save you extra money by not buying and renting a separate router and cable modem. It works as both, which means lesser cables and no more hassle setup.
1. Wider coverage & High Speed Internet
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S AC3200 can support cable internet plans up to 3.2Gbps, and up to 3200Mbps Wi-Fi speed for 4K streaming, video & movie downloading and multiplayer gaming. Coverage can also be up to 3,000sq. ft., and can connect up to whopping 45 devices. Thanks to DOCSIS 3.1 technology, it can also support up to 10Gbps downstream and up to 1Gbps upstream in the future, making it basically future-proof.
Also Read: Best Router for 4K Streaming
2. Channel Bonding technology
It also features channel bonding. Usually, internet speed slows down during peak hours. The even older DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem, for example, can only handle single downstream, and upstream channels. So during peak hours, your service provider will have to limit the download and upload speed (Increase internet speed in windows 10) to a bare minimum per channel to handle network congestion. Let’s say, your 42Mbps maximum speed will be down to just 3-4Mbps during these peak hours.
3. DOCSIS 3.1 technology
A DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem on the Netgear C7800, on the other hand, can handle 32 downstream, and 8 upstream channels. Since it has multiple downstream and upstream channels, your internet speed will not throttle down to minimum speed even at peak hours because it can bond all the available speed on all these channels to maintain a fast internet connection.
4. AC3200 (1000Mbps @2.4GHz and 2200Mbps @5GHz 11ac)
As the name suggests, Netgear C7800 Nighthawk® X4S AC3200 is an AC3200 device. Now, there is some confusion about this. The AC3200 moniker is actually a maximum bandwidth you get on one wireless band or frequency.
For example, the Netgear C7800 supports 1000Mbps @2.4GHz and 2200Mbps @5GHz 11ac. AC3200 is a sum of 1000Mbps @2.4GHz and 2200Mbps @5Ghz which is 3200Mbps. Basically, the Netgear C7800 is a Wi-Fi router that offers a wireless network using the 802.11ac standard with a total theoretical bandwidth of 3200Mbps.
5. Dual-band Wi-Fi
As mentioned above, the Netgear C7800 is a dual-band Wi-Fi. The first wireless band is 2.4GHz @1000Mbps. It is slower but can have a larger coverage area. The other one is a 5Ghz @2200Mbps. Most modern smartphones now support this band. A 5GHz Wi-Fi is a bit faster than 2.4GHz but has a limited coverage area.
6. Beamforming+ Technology
The Netgear C7800 also features Beamforming+ technology. Basically, the standard beamformer technology allows the beamformer (router) to transmit radio signals in the direction of the beamformee (client) to create a faster, and more reliable wireless internet connection on both 2.4GHz, and 5Ghz Wi-Fi.
Beamforming can extend Wi-Fi coverage, and reduce dead spots, reduces unnecessary radio frequency interference, and more stable Wi-Fi connection for voice and HD video.
Netgear improves this technology with their own Beamforming+ technology. This implements the Beamforming standard with a fine-tuned Wi-Fi design to further improve the Wi-Fi range and performance across all Wi-Fi devices, most especially to the 5GHz band, which as we said, is faster than 2.4GHz but has less coverage area.
7. 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 128MB flash and 512MB RAM
Finally, the Netgear C7800 has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, with 128MB flash storage, and 512MB RAM. Well, that sounds like so ancient. Especially, with smartphones nowadays jumping on board 512GB ROM, and 12GB RAM storage. Wi-Fi routers doesn’t need that much memory to work efficiently.
Since it has a dual-core processor, and enough RAM, expect the Netgear C7800 support more devices (up to 45 devices to be exact), and output faster uninterrupted internet connection when streaming HD contents, and online gaming. A poor router processor can cause such lag, despite of having a really fast internet connection. The Netgear C7800 doesn’t have this problem.
The 1.5GHz dual-core processor is also enough to support 2x USB 3.0, and 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
Overall, Netgear C7800 is a good buy. It combines both the router and modem for convenience, both in the installation time and money. It also features the newest DOCSIS 3.1, which supports up to 32 downstream, and 8 upstream channels. This means you will not experience speed loss even during the peak hours, thanks to channel bonding technology.
Netgear’s proprietary Beamforming+ technology also ensure a more reliable internet connection, and Wi-Fi coverage, most especially to 5GHz band.
Finally, the 1.5GHz processor with 128MB flash storage and 512GB RAM will give the best Wi-Fi performance both for gaming, and streaming HD contents.