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NETGEAR has released its first WiFi 7 router, the Nighthawk RS700, which promises to deliver super-fast speeds and ultra-low latency to gamers and other users of timing-sensitive applications. Although the WiFi 7 standard is not yet final, NETGEAR is not letting that stop it from offering this latest technology to the public.
One of the main features of the Nighthawk RS700 is its extremely low lag, with NETGEAR claiming it to be “100x lower” than previous models. This makes it perfect for gamers and users of virtual reality (VR) applications, who require quick response times for optimal performance.
The Nighthawk RS700 is a tri-band router with a new antenna design that offers coverage of up to 3,500sq. ft. It can handle up to 200 simultaneous connections and can be used to create a mesh network for larger homes. A 10Gbps WAN Ethernet port and a matching LAN port ensure that the RS700 can support the fastest home fiber connections, although NETGEAR limits the four additional local Ethernet ports to 1Gbps.
The Nighthawk RS700 will be available in the US in the second quarter of the year for $699.99. Although this may seem steep, it is less expensive than NETGEAR’s WiFi 6-based Orbi 860 two-pack and delivers much stronger performance in a smaller coverage area.
However, the main issue with the Nighthawk RS700 is compatibility. Currently, only a limited number of devices have the components required to support WiFi 7, and the new format is not yet enabled. While multi-gigabit internet service is becoming more commonplace, it is still rare enough that the RS700’s headroom may go unused. Therefore, buyers are purchasing this router to future-proof their setup rather than to realize any immediate speed gains.