Your wifi is only as good as your wifi router. When looking at a new router, you’ll want to consider maximum and average upload and download speed, range, how many devices the router can handle, security, hardware features such as ethernet ports, and, of course, price. We took the Netgear AC1750 and evaluated it based on all of these criteria and more, so you don’t have to.
If you’re interested in buying the Nighthawk router for your home, read below to find out how it compares to the competition. (Spoiler alert: It’s pretty good.)
- What’s So Good about the Netgear AC1750?
- Pros and Cons
- How Do You Use It?
- What Do the Reviews Say?
- How Does It Compare?
- Netgear AC1750 vs TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750
- Netgear AC1750 vs Netgear AC1900
- Netgear AC1750 vs Linksys AC1750
- Is the Netgear AC1750 Good for Gaming?
- How Many Devices Can the Netgear AC1750 Handle?
What’s So Good about the Netgear AC1750?
Netgear is one of the leading brands in wireless routers, and the Nighthawk is their flagship product. It has top-of-the-line hardware, excellent range thanks to its use of new beamforming technology, can support up to 25 devices, and perhaps most importantly of all, it won’t cost you as much as some of the other routers on the market. With its dual-core processor and dual-bandwidth feature giving it great speed and performance, its USB 3.0 port, and its amazing price for its value, there are three main reasons you might want to choose the Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 as your wireless router.
Important Feature #1: Beamforming Technology
The way most people think of a wifi signal is probably as a sort of “bubble” that covers the area where the router is set up. And until beamforming came along, this was more or less accurate. But beamforming has changed the game, and, as the name implies, it’s now closer to a beam that shoots from the router to your device. With beamforming, the Nighthawk AC170 is able to detect the general location of your device and focus the wifi signal on that location. This gives you an improved signal at the edges of your signal’s range and means you won’t have to worry about getting stuck with the bedroom that gets a shoddy signal. With beamforming technology, you’ll get a perfect signal from your bed upstairs even if the router is all the way down in the basement.
Important Feature #2: Dual-Band Bandwidth
This feature is one that’s becoming more and more prominent in most routers on the market, and Netgear made sure not to fall behind. The Nighthawk comes with two different bands of Internet connectivity, one which operates at 2.4 GHz and one which operates at 5 GHz. The router decides which band to use based on what task you’re performing, prioritizing the faster 5GHz band to more demanding tasks. This means that if your daughter is playing a video game online, your son is streaming a movie, and you and your husband or wife are both browsing the web and checking emails, you’re only sharing the bandwidth with your spouse and not your children. It of course also works the other way around. If everyone in the house is browsing the web, you don’t need to worry about sharing bandwidth with them while you hunker down for that gaming session.
Important Feature #3: Input Ports
This is where it becomes a bit more of a tradeoff. Newer routers have a useful feature that allows you to plug a USB device such as a flash drive or an external hard drive into your router, and then stream the contents from the router straight to any device on the network. This is great if two people in the house want to watch a different movie from your virtual library. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 is not one to lag behind and comes with this great feature.
Where it becomes a give-and-take is in the number of USB ports. The AC1750 comes with one USB 3.0 port for storage, which means you can only plug one device into the router, but that device will be privy to the fastest speeds currently available. Other routers on the market have more USB ports, but they only come in the USB 2.0 variety, meaning the contents of the hard drive or flash drive will stream a little slower than they would on the Nighthawk. It comes down to preference and how many people you’re sharing a router with, but I don’t consider the lone 3.0 port to be that much of a drawback, as even if you live with a lot of people, you can always pool together for a hard drive big enough to fit everyone’s pictures and movies.
In addition to the USB ports, the router comes with the industry-standard four ethernet ports so you can plug your computer directly into the router for the absolute best speed, as well as a USB 2.0 port designated for printers, so you can print from all of your home’s devices over the wifi network.
Pros and Cons
As a recap, here is an easy-to-read breakdown of the pros and cons of the Nighthawk.
- Has beamforming technology for optimal range
- Uses dual-bandwidth Internet to prioritize tasks
- Can connect to an external memory source and stream its contents
- One of the best values available
- Has fewer USB ports than other routers
- Slightly slower than some of the competition
How Do You Use It?
Setting up the Nighthawk AC1750 is as easy as it gets and should take even the biggest technophobes no more than 15 minutes. The first step is to plug the AC adapter into any outlet, and then plug the yellow cable into the WAN port (also yellow) on the back of the router. As far as hardware goes, that’s pretty much it, unless you want to plug a secondary external device into the router. All of the ports are clearly labeled, so if you do decide to do that, you shouldn’t have any problem.
After that, you’ll need to install the router, but luckily the Nighthawk app gives you simple step-by-step instructions making it as easy as possible. There’s even a QR code you can scan to enter most of the required information automatically. Finally, just restart your modem and you’re ready to go!
What Do the Reviews Say?
Reviews on the Netgear router are positive overall both from critics and customers. Reviewdot noted the Nighthawk’s amazing range and its dual-core processor which lets it handle a large number of devices at a time, while Digitweek thought the router was unimpressive in terms of features but also praised its range and called it the best budget router available. With over 53,000 reviews on Amazon, the Nighthawk AC1750 received 5 stars over 70% of the time.
How Does It Compare?
We pit the Nighthawk against the other top routers available and gave you a full breakdown so you can make the best decision.
Netgear AC1750 vs TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750
The TP-Link router is one of the cheapest routers available, costing about $70 compared to the $150 of the Netgear Nighthawk AC1750, so if the price is your top concern, the choice is clear. The TP-Link has two USB ports for storage compared to the Netgear’s single port, but the TP-Link’s USB ports are of the 2.0 variety, which is slower than the Nighthawk’s USB 3.0 port.
The top speeds are the same on paper, but the Nighthawk has a stronger dual-core processor and more flash memory and RAM, so it’ll have a way smoother, consistent performance. Though the TPI-Link has 6 antennas for great range, it probably falls behind the beamforming Nighthawk. If price is your priority, or you have two devices you want to connect to your router, you should go with the TP-Link. If you’re looking for anything else, you’ll probably want to buy the Nighthawk AC1750.
Netgear AC1750 vs Netgear AC1900
When comparing a product to its successor, you’re mostly deciding if it’s worth it to spend more for the best new thing. The Netgear AC1900 only costs $20 more than its 1750 counterpart but is quite frankly almost identical. The hardware and core features are the same, with the speed of the AC1900 being better, but not by a very noticeable amount. You’ll see the difference more in the 5 GHz network, so if you’ll be gaming or streaming a lot or just want to stay up to date, you should go with the AC1900. If you’re not too fussed about the slight jump in speed or hate feeling like you’re spending money for the sake of it, stick with the 1750.
Netgear AC1750 vs Linksys AC1750
Both routers have AC1750 in their name, which refers to their top speed of 1750 MBps, which shows you right away that they’re in the same ballpark. The Linksys AC1750 is about $20 cheaper, but has worse range to due it’s lack of beamforming capabilities. However, it does have MU-MIMO (multi-user multi-input multi-output) technology, so it can handle multiple devices a little better than the Nighthawk AC1750. That pretty much tells the whole story, as outside of that the two wifi routers are fairly similar. Go with the Linksys if you’re looking to keep it cheap or have more devices, and go with the Netgear Nighthawk for the best range.
Is the Netgear AC1750 Good for Gaming?
The short answer is: Yes. The prioritizing dual-band system and generally great top-speed make this wifi router very good for gaming. I’d recommend using an ethernet cable to connect directly to the router for the best connection possible. While there are better routers out there when it comes to gaming, the Netgear Nighthawk will more than get the job done.
How Many Devices Can the Netgear AC1750 Handle?
While you’ll see different numbers from different sources on how many devices the Netgear wifi router can handle, with the high estimates being well over 30, it’s important to remember that pushing the limit will slow you down. The short answer for “how many devices can the Netgear handle?” is ” a lot,” but it’s probably better to err on the side of caution.
It’s also important to take into account not just how many devices are on the network, but how much bandwidth each device is using. All that being said, the official Netgear documentation puts the number at 12, so I would set that as the highest number you can be absolutely sure of, and then simply observe beyond that if you notice any dip in performance.
The best way to describe the Netgear AC1750 is as the entry-level wifi router of the future. It’s absolutely in the most modern tier, but a step behind the newest competition. It’s also cheaper than most of them.
If you’re prioritizing range, the Nighthawk is one of the best, and it’s ahead of the game in terms of speed for external hard drive streaming. For absolute top speed, or more devices, it’s maybe better to look else where.
We hope this review was helpful. Remember that any buying choice comes down to budget and what you’re looking for, and the Netgear is a solid router that does what most users need on an affordable budget.