R7000 Nighthawk Success and Tips

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BigFNTarget
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Jun 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 22:18    Post subject: R7000 Nighthawk Success and Tips Reply with quote
Hello everyone,

First off I want to give a big thank you to everyone who contributes to this project! Having never attempted installing custom firmware before I found this process to be surprisingly easy and straightforward. Kudos!

Anyways, I was having horrible latency issues with my newly installed fiber optic connection, so much so that online gaming (especially FPS titles) was noticeably janky and the connection seemed very unstable.

A few speed tests later (sorry no pictures) revealed a ping of 90ms+ and jitter between 100-400ms using the ISP provided modem as a router and only my girlfriend and I sharing the line.


I went looking for a router that was affordable but better than the ISP one, and stumbled across the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 ($60 @ walmart). Read about the custom firmware for it and decided to buy it and see if it would be up to the task.

A couple hours of reading the forums and posts related to the R7000, I delved into it. Had it flashed and ready to go in 30 minutes or so and the network tweaked to perfection in another 20.
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BigFNTarget
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Jun 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 22:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
**SOME OBSERVATIONS AND TIPS FOR OTHERS**

#1. The wiki states that the new firmware for this router prevents using the stock gui to upgrade/downgrade the firmware. This is incorrect, as it did throw a warning that the firmware I was installing was a lower version number, it still accepted it.

I simply logged into the router using a laptop connected with an ethernet cord @ 192.168.1.1 and use the gui to load the factory-to-dd-wrt.chk file.

#2. I downloaded and installed the 06-02-2020-r43324 version of the firmware from https://download1.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/betas/2020/06-02-2020-r43324/netgear-r7000/ (as recommended elsewhere on the forum) and it works flawlessly.

#3. Forgot to erase the nvram after I had flashed the final firmware file, although I hard reset it and it asked to change the password like it should. My connection speeds were at around 100mbps and after some quick googling I realized I missed the nvram erase step. Quick fix and the router took it like a champ.


And finally a couple of screenshots for proof that even a $60 walmart special router can outperform some of those expensive "gaming" routers with the right firmware...

HARDWIRED PC SPEEDTEST WITH OOKLA APP



SAMSUNG S9+ WIFI FROM OUTSIDE ON MY DECK
gondre
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Jul 2020
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi BigFNTarget,

A quick question - I am trying to do the same thing as you with an R7000 that I bought secondhand. The wiki and other documents keep referring to a "trailed" file that I should flash when installing dd-wrt for the first time. Which "trailed" file did you use?

thanks
Alozaros
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 3784
Location: UK, London, just across the river..

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 13:33    Post subject: Reply with quote
gondre all firmwares are here ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/

for first flash you have to use this file
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/07-23-2020-r43904/netgear-r7000/factory-to-dd-wrt.chk

for any other update via WEB interface once you are on DDWRT you must use
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/07-23-2020-r43904/netgear-r7000/netgear-r7000-webflash.bin

'the .bin file'

there ware some reports of the recent units will take only the newer DDWRT factory .chk files and older units will flash with older versions of it like 2017 for example...

R7000 is a great and very stable unit with great ddwrt support and it used to be the flagman router of DDWRT for years... that was time ago...
nowadays the best price performance value router is R7800, witch is a beast...

Anyway R7000 as well the other Netgear routers have TFTP recovery option and they are literally unbrickable, you can use it for a first flash (factory file .chk) in case of your current Netgear firmware is locked to the stock firmwares only...

https://kb.netgear.com/000059633/How-to-upload-firmware-to-a-NETGEAR-router-using-TFTP-client

one thing to notice is do not do 30/30/30 hard reset
on this router, just use the reset button...

There are some newer preferences that advise not to use 'nvram erase' command via CLI too...so use either the button or reset via GUI

BigFNTarget 950Mbit/s for this unit is strangely good performance ..do you run it in a WAP mode or ipv6...where there is no NAT....??

my R7000 unit with SFE off can translate on WAN around 350-400Mbit with SFE on 600 ish...

_________________
Atheros
TP-Link WR740Nv1 ------DD-WRT 44251 BS AP,NAT
TP-Link WR740Nv4 ------DD-WRT 44251 BS WAP/Switch
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----DD-WRT 444406 BS AP,NAT,AP Isolation,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,NAT,AD Block,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----Gargoyle OS 1.12.0 AP,NAT,QoS,Quotas
Qualcomm/IPQ8065
Netgear R7800 -------DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,NAT,AD-Block,AP&Net Isolation,VLAN's,Firewall,Local DNS,DoT
Broadcom
Netgear R7000 -------DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,Wi-Fi OFF,NAT,AD-Block,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stubby for DNS over TLS I DNSCrypt v2 by mac913
gondre
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Jul 2020
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:00    Post subject: Reply with quote
Alozaros, thank you for the detailed instructions. I am happy to report flashing success.

However, I have run into another problem: the router refuses to allow wifi clients to connect. The only thing I have changed in the wireless settings is the WiFi password under the Security tab.

I tried to connect using three different devices:
1. Android phone (Oneplus 7)
2. Windows 10 surface Pro 4.
3. Ubuntu Linux Thinkpad T440s.

All of them fail to connect to the router over wifi (using the right password).
The Android device says "Failed to authenticate"
The Windows machine doesn't give a reason.
The Linux machine repeatedly brings up the authentication dialog asking for a password.

When I look at the list of connected dhcp clients in DDWrt as these devices try to connect, I can see the mac addresses of these client devices momentarily, but then it disappears after about 30 seconds.


Any help would be much appreciated.
Alozaros
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 3784
Location: UK, London, just across the river..

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 16:17    Post subject: Reply with quote
make sure you use wpa2 + aes it should work...
on basic set up page make sure you use DNSmasq for DHCP..

to be able to help with diagnose, not bad idea to post a pic of basic setup page, services (DNSmasq section), WI-FI basic settings, WiFi security page too...you can hide the sensitive data...

_________________
Atheros
TP-Link WR740Nv1 ------DD-WRT 44251 BS AP,NAT
TP-Link WR740Nv4 ------DD-WRT 44251 BS WAP/Switch
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----DD-WRT 444406 BS AP,NAT,AP Isolation,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,NAT,AD Block,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----Gargoyle OS 1.12.0 AP,NAT,QoS,Quotas
Qualcomm/IPQ8065
Netgear R7800 -------DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,NAT,AD-Block,AP&Net Isolation,VLAN's,Firewall,Local DNS,DoT
Broadcom
Netgear R7000 -------DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,Wi-Fi OFF,NAT,AD-Block,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stubby for DNS over TLS I DNSCrypt v2 by mac913
gondre
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Jul 2020
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 23:44    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Alozaros -

To check if it is a problem with the router, I reflashed the OEM firmware (R7000 firmware V1.0.3.24_1.1.20 from here: https://kb.netgear.com/24590/R7000-Firmware-Version-1-0-3-24) and tried to connect to wifi. It works fine on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I've since reflashed DD-WRT and double checked the settings to match what you suggested (problem persists). Current screens are attached of three of the pages you suggested. The fourth one will be in a followup post (max 3 attachments per post). Any ideas?



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wifisecurity.png



dnsmasq.png
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dnsmasq.png



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wifibasic.png




Last edited by gondre on Thu Jul 30, 2020 0:00; edited 2 times in total
gondre
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Jul 2020
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 23:46    Post subject: Reply with quote
The remaining screen for diagnosis.


basicsetup.png
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basicsetup.png


Alozaros
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 3784
Location: UK, London, just across the river..

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
do not use mixed mode
for 2,4 use ng mixed channel like 1,6,11 at 40HT
for 5Ghz use ac/n channels that work for you at 80HT

services DHCP server move it from WAN to LAN&VLAN

DNSmsaq
cache DNSSEC data
validate DNS replays DNSEC

if you dont want to use DNS fetched by the ISP
add those commands to advanced DNSmasq

no-resolv
server=9.9.9.9
server=1.1.1.1

or any servers you want

on basic settings use Forced DNS redirection

try those and come back..

sadly im away of my R7000 and im not using WI-FI on it to test it, but once i have a chance will do for you if its a still, a trouble

_________________
Atheros
TP-Link WR740Nv1 ------DD-WRT 44251 BS AP,NAT
TP-Link WR740Nv4 ------DD-WRT 44251 BS WAP/Switch
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----DD-WRT 444406 BS AP,NAT,AP Isolation,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,NAT,AD Block,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
TP-Link WR1043NDv2 ----Gargoyle OS 1.12.0 AP,NAT,QoS,Quotas
Qualcomm/IPQ8065
Netgear R7800 -------DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,NAT,AD-Block,AP&Net Isolation,VLAN's,Firewall,Local DNS,DoT
Broadcom
Netgear R7000 -------DD-WRT 44340 BS AP,Wi-Fi OFF,NAT,AD-Block,Firewall,Local DNS,Forced DNS,DoT,VPN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stubby for DNS over TLS I DNSCrypt v2 by mac913
ikwyl6
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 23 Apr 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Alozaros - been reading up on r7000 before I flash and I have some questions on your post above:

Alozaros wrote:
gondre all firmwares are here ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/

for first flash you have to use this file
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/07-23-2020-r43904/netgear-r7000/factory-to-dd-wrt.chk

for any other update via WEB interface once you are on DDWRT you must use
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/07-23-2020-r43904/netgear-r7000/netgear-r7000-webflash.bin
'the .bin file'


Everywhere I've read (including the peacock thread) says to use 14929 build. This 43904 build seems very new. Do you think I shouldn't use the 14929 build?

Alozaros wrote:

one thing to notice is do not do 30/30/30 hard reset
on this router, just use the reset button...


Also on the peacock thread it says to do a hard 30-30-30 reset before you do initial flash and again after you do initial flash. I know I should be following wiki for initial flash.. In the router wiki is says to use the 'GUI reset' for the 'Flash from OEM'. Is this what you mean in your above comment or do you mean the reset pin button on the back of router? If reset pin button on back of router, do you hold it for a certain amount of time or just hit it once?

Alozaros wrote:

There are some newer preferences that advise not to use 'nvram erase' command via CLI too...so use either the button or reset via GUI
blkt
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 1483

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:20    Post subject: Reply with quote
ikwyl6 wrote:
Everywhere I've read (including the peacock thread) says to use 14929 build. This 43904 build seems very new. Do you think I shouldn't use the 14929 build?

Also on the peacock thread it says to do a hard 30-30-30 reset before you do initial flash and again after you do initial flash. I know I should be following wiki for initial flash..

R7000 is Broadcom ARM, not MIPS, and the Peacock thread is ancient. Do not use 30-30-30 hard reset on any ARM router.

R7000 user manual says to hold reset button 5-10 seconds. Use builds from the past month, not from a decade ago.


Last edited by blkt on Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:23; edited 1 time in total
kernel-panic69
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 7189
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
I should probably make a note at the top of the Peacock to reiterate it's historical relevance as being historical. There are also contents which are incorrect. 30-30-30 generally applies to MIPS R1 Broadcom routers, not R2. Anyhow, this is the build you should go with; flash and report issues in the proper build thread:

https://download1.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/betas/2020/08-02-2020-r44048/netgear-r7000/

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=326071

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ikwyl6
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 23 Apr 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
blkt wrote:
ikwyl6 wrote:
Everywhere I've read (including the peacock thread) says to use 14929 build. This 43904 build seems very new. Do you think I shouldn't use the 14929 build?

Also on the peacock thread it says to do a hard 30-30-30 reset before you do initial flash and again after you do initial flash. I know I should be following wiki for initial flash..

R7000 is Broadcom ARM, not MIPS, and the Peacock thread is ancient. Do not use 30-30-30 hard reset on any ARM router.

R7000 user manual says to hold reset button 5-10 seconds. Use builds from the past month, not from a decade ago.


ok - that explains it.. thanks for heads up. Yes - someone should update that Peacock post for historical reasons. I've been reading it over and over today.. I ended up just following r7000 wiki post for OEM and dd-wrt update and it worked fine.
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