What is best firmware for the R7000?

ecktt

Occasional Visitor
I recently changed out a buggy Asus RT-AC56U for a free Netgear R7000. Feature-wise, it was downgraded as the Merline firmware for the Asus had the best feature set that a home user or a SOHO could ask for without compromising the wifi performance. Reception and speed-wise, this R7000, with the latest official firmware, blows the pants off the Asus. I know that some custom firmware can add back features like OpenVPN or redundant/load-balanced Internet sources but tend to have worse reception and throughput. Is this still the case? What is the best firmware for the R7000 with the following priority?

1. Reception
2. Speed
3. Features
4. Possibly add some mesh support.
 

TexasFlood

Regular Contributor
I recently changed out a buggy Asus RT-AC56U for a free Netgear R7000. Feature-wise, it was downgraded as the Merline firmware for the Asus had the best feature set that a home user or a SOHO could ask for without compromising the wifi performance. Reception and speed-wise, this R7000, with the latest official firmware, blows the pants off the Asus. I know that some custom firmware can add back features like OpenVPN or redundant/load-balanced Internet sources but tend to have worse reception and throughput. Is this still the case? What is the best firmware for the R7000 with the following priority?

1. Reception
2. Speed
3. Features
4. Possibly add some mesh support.
The R7000 2.4Ghz is rated double the RT-AC56U and 5Ghz 50% faster/more bandwidth. So yeah it's got newer generation components that should do better.

Everything I've ever read says that for performance reasons you want to stick with the original Netgear firmware because it supports hardware NAT acceleration and 3rd party firmware doesn't. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
FreshTomato is a good firmware alternative. It has NAT acceleration support, but it's disabled by default. Features like QoS, Bandwidth Limiters, IP Traffic are incompatible with NAT acceleration. I would definitely try how stable FT is on R7000 and what's the Wi-Fi performance. On my test RT-AC68U router FT2021.7 was showing identical Wi-Fi performance as stock Asuswrt. Both routers R7000 and AC68U have the same hardware inside. There is new FT2021.8 release from Dec 24th.

 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

TonyK132

Senior Member
Is there an image for R7000 that will allow revert from Merlin 384 firmware to stock that I could download? I'd like to try Fresh Tomato by starting from scratch.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Is there an image for R7000 that will allow revert from Merlin 384 firmware to stock that I could download?

There is, but you need to look elsewhere, not on this forum.
 

TonyK132

Senior Member
Thanks. I got the link from you in an email notice.
 
Last edited:

Tech9

Part of the Furniture

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