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NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2100 Smart WiFi Router

Discussion in 'NETGEAR AC Wireless' started by Sizzlechest, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Sizzlechest

    Sizzlechest Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    34
  2. Pierino

    Pierino Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    Columbus Ohio
    Probably a neutered r7000p. Maybe. Lol
     
  3. Internet Man

    Internet Man Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Messages:
    277
    Netgear has a long history of making slight changes to retail models for different stores. While it may be possible to crossflash the firmware, Netgear seems to have designed the shared firmware to impose different restrictions based on some identification method that is external to the firmware so that you do not necessarily upgrade the specs by crossflashing to a higher-specced equivalent.

    I believe that all of the following Netgear routers are physically identical. They all use MediaTek hardware capable of dual-band four-stream operation but they claim to have different limitations on the number of spatial streams that are operational which determines their speed capabilities. They may all actually support "AC2600" speeds. I'd be curious to hear from someone who owns one of these and a 4x4:4 client whether it connects at a four-stream link rate.
    • AC1750 (R6700 v2) 3x3+64QAM 2.4GHz, 3x3 5GHz - WikiDevi - Many sold on Amazon Prime Day 2017
    • AC1900 (R6800) 3x3+256QAM 2.4GHz, 3x3 5GHz - WikiDevi - Not sold in the US
    • AC1900 (R6900 v2) 3x3+256QAM 2.4GHz, 3x3 5GHz - WikiDevi
    • Nighthawk AC2100 (R6950?) 4x4+256QAM 2.4GHz, 3x3 5GHz - $180 @ Staples
    • Nighthawk AC2400 (Rxxxx) 3x3+256QAM 2.4GHz, 4x4 5GHz - $190 @ Best Buy
    • Nighthawk AC2600 (R7450) 4x4+256QAM 2.4GHz, 4x4 5GHz - $200 @ Walmart, $100 new on ebay

    Although the Netgear R6950 is not mentioned anywhere on the internet yet, the firmware download for the R7450, AC2400, and R6800 all contain a single R6950.bin file. It is possible that the R6950 is yet another model and not the AC2100 but ultimately they are all the same.

    They all look identical in pictures aside from the R6800 having a USB 2.0 port exposed on the back. The Datasheet for the R7450 and the AC2100 are nearly identical. The R7450 and AC2400 claim MU-MIMO support while the AC2100 and AC1900 do not. A user who has a R6700v2 shared that it actually does support MU-MIMO so the R6950 probably does too.

    It looks like the firmware identifies what model the router is supposed to be by checking the PCI ID burned into the radios?

    Code:
    R6700v2:
    VEN_01f2&DEV_0029&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    R6900v2:
    VEN_01f2&DEV_001b&REV_02
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    R7450
    VEN_01f2&DEV_0023&REV_02
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    AC2400:
    VEN_01f2&DEV_0038&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    AC2100:
    VEN_01f2&DEV_0039&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    AC2600:
    VEN_01f2&DEV_003a&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    R6800?:
    VEN_01f2&DEV_003b&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&SUBSYS_01&REV_01
    VEN_01f2&DEV_8000&REV_01
    Other fun strings appear to be used to determine the number of streams that are actually supported and how many to enable (or just show in the GUI?):

    Code:
    modelinfo_get_product_name
    wifi_spatial_stream_actual_2g is %d
    get_wifi_spatial_stream_actual_5g is %d
    wifi_spatial_stream_gui_2g is %d
    wifi_spatial_stream_gui_5g is %d
    r7450series_customsized is %d
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    Murtaza12, Sizzlechest and kamoj like this.