The ASUS RT-3200 is a top router, but how does the Netgear model below stack up to it?
- Lots of power and antennas
- Smart connections for managing bands automatically
- Not the fastest tri-band model
- No MU-MIMO for future devices
- A bit pricey
This tri-band router offers a maximum combined speed of 3.1GBps, a 1GHz profeccors with three offload processors when the load gets heavy, and a smart connect option that picks the best band for any device at the time to improve reception. Setup includes automatic backup options and home network management. There is one USB 3.0 band
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 (with a retail price of $280) is part of the Nighthawk line of super powerful routers for managing business areas or homes where there is a whole lot of tech: Let’s take a look at how this router performans and compares to the alternatives!
What do you want to use the X6 for? Tom’s Guide found that it’s an incredible general use router, with tri-band operation, multiple types of USB ports, and six antennas to give in great range over a number of rooms. However, it doesn’ have MU-MIMO for fast future mobile connections, and there’s no eSATA port if you want to dig deep and attach it to a big hard drive. Additionally, TG found that other tri-band routers tended to be a bit faster.
“The R8000 has a theoretical maximum throughput of 3.2 Gbps. In real-world testing using ixia’s ixChariot software, the R8000’s two 5-GHz and one 2.4GHz channels added up to a peak total throughput of 702.4 Mbps 5 feet from the router. That’s good, but 5 percent slower than the combined output of the Linksys WRT 1900AC tri-band router (732.3 Mbps).”
PC Mag loved how well the X6 managed multiple wireless devices, making sure that they are all as speedy as possible. However, at distances of 30 feet, the review did find some lapses in the signal, along with issues with a somewhat confusing setup app. It is possible that these issues indicate the need for a firmware update, or could point to a long-term range problem (although Nighthawks are not known for this issue).
“More and more home networks have tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles performing heavy-demand throughput tasks, such as streaming HD video. You’d normally want to assign those devices to the more-robust 5GHz band, but with so many gadgets competing for throughput, you’d soon saturate it. The X6 automatically configures its two 5GHz bands on different channels, so you can connect more devices at 5GHz without the performance suffering.”
Amazon users who upgraded from an older router to this Nighthawk loved the speed increase that they realized. However, some noticed that firmware updates seemed to be a little hit or miss, with some updates making the router slower and some solving past problems – so it’s important to keep up on updates, and be patient with them.
“All these years I paid for a 50mbps speed from my cable company. I had an older Netgear from 2009 which has served me well all these years (and still works) but I decided it was time to upgrade. Typically I was getting only 12-17mbps through my wi-fi (for example, to my iPhone6). After getting this Nighthawk Router, I now get 57mbps on the same iPhone. All of my devices are much faster now… PS4, iPhones, iPads, Epson Printer, Baby Monitor, Tablets, Roku 3 box, Roku Streaming Stick, etc…”
This Nighthawk seems a little slow for its tri-band and may have some reliability issues: However, the Nighthawk router family is large, and it’s worthwhile looking for a reliable model.
- Linksys EA7500 AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router Review
- Linksys WRT1900ACS Router Review
- Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Router Review Roundup