The Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router (R8000) makes an impressive debut, proving the concept of tri-band router by deftly handling multiple wireless devices on a single network, despite a few minor rough spots. Using an application built for PC, Mac, iOS and Android, you’ll be able to access and adjust your network settings with ease. While the 2.4GHz band offers compatibility to older devices, two 4GHZ bands offer all of the benefits of the 802.11ac standard. It's easy to miss a popup, and if you're away from your computer when a potentially rogue device connects, you obviously won't see the popup in a timely manner. Wireless PerformanceNetgear cautioned me that the goal of tri-band routers is not breathtaking wireless speeds. The previous Nighthawk ($155.69 at Amazon) measures 1.97 by 11.22 by 7.26 inches (HWD) and weighs about 1.6 pounds. While this simplicity is nice, further configuration requires you to download and install the NETGEAR Genie application. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Adjusting your parental settings requires an OpenDNS account. It allows you to see which devices are connected to your network in a very graphical way. This new class of device is designed for the Internet of Things (IoT)—that is, it's meant to handle the increasing number and variety of devices many of us have on our networks. 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Receive news and offers from our other brands? All of those are minor complaints for what is clearly an excellent (if weird-looking) router. Lynn is the author of Windows Server 2012: Up and Running, published by O'Reilly. We're streaming movies, making videos, and performing other throughput-intensive tasks. Finally I removed the laptop streaming Netflix from one of the 5GHz bands and connected it to the other 5GHz band, isolating it from the second laptop and the smartphone (also still streaming Cosmos). In fact, the X6 is not even among the five fastest routers I've tested. is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. The Nighthawk X6 isn't for everyone, but if you need to support lots of 802.11ac clients, this is the best choice—for now. Read honest and unbiased product reviews … The Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is a tri-band Wi-Fi router from Netgear. Although they are initially somewhat difficult to access, the parental controls offered by NETGEAR are outstanding. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. You can also contact a NETGEAR representative for support by phone, email or live chat. The goal of tri-band routers is to meet the demands we're continually placing on our networks, and the Nighthawk X6 meets that goal. Thirteen LEDs run down the top-center panel, providing statuses of the router's various connections, such as WAN and USB. The throughput for the network as a whole was at a moderate 57Mbps, according to IxChariot. Black Friday KitchenAid deals 2020: Save up to 40% with these KitchenAid mixer deals, Best top load washers 2020: GE, LG, and Samsung washers with top load washer reviews, How Bidencare could shape your health insurance, Cheap Black Friday lawnmower deals: Get top mowers on sale from Walmart, Lowe’s, and more. I'll get to that later. Even when it's working well, the Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Wireless Router has nothing to justify its expensive price tag. The Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router (R8000) ($299) makes an impressive debut, deftly managing multiple wireless devices on a single network, though a few minor rough spots that turned up in my testing show that a firmware update may be in order in the near future. Designed for users with lots of different devices on different Wi-Fi bands, the X6 does a very capable job over decent ranges. Because there are three differently bands serving the devices in your home, you can connect and use more devices on your network before its performance begins to suffer. Enabling it sets both 5GHz bands to the same SSID. It's a good feature, but it needs a few improvements. Still, the Netgear Nighthawk is among the best-performing routers when it comes to serving as a NAS device. Because this device comes with a preconfigured network, all you have to do is enter the included password for immediate internet access. So how has Netgear leaped from 1.9Gbps... TECHSPOT : Tech Enthusiasts, Power Users, Gamers, TechSpot is a registered trademark. I'd rather be able to configure the app to send an email or SMS notification, however. Get the best reviews, product advice, news and more! All of the premium routers we reviewed make use of this standard, and the Nighthawk X6 is no exception. 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. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? * TechSpot is supported by its audience. NETGEAR chose to let the R8000 perform only a few tricks out of Broadcom's entire XStream technology catalog. It's even bigger and heavier than the original Nighthawk—which is a sizable piece of hardware. So you might be better off manually assigning clients to its two 5 GHz radios, instead of using the very simple (and static) client assignment algorithms currently implemented. With advent of the IoT, we'll have more and more devices connected to our routers, competing for throughout at both bands. You’ll also find a variety of buttons for resetting the device, turning the device off and disabling the LED panel. For details on all throughput testing results, and comparisons to other 802.11AC routers, click on the images. While there is no doubt that the Nighthawk X6 is an excellent solution for keeping our increasing numbers of devices connected to the net efficiently, those who already have a good router may be dissuaded by the price, however for those who are suffering the pain of device dropouts and ‘too much data in too few pipes’ could do a great deal worse than Netgear’s latest offering. At 11.5 x 8.8 x 2.2 inches, the R8000 is one of the biggest Wi-Fi routers around, and unlike many of its peers, it needs to be set up horizontally or screwed into a wall.Down the middle of the router's top there are no fewer than 13 LEDs that show which bands and ports are active, and whether it's turned on and has an Internet connection. Both the original Nighthawk and the X6 outperform most other routers in maintaining good throughput at further distances in 5GHz mode. Connect the cable as shown in the enclosed illustrated instructions, extend the retractable antennas, and fire up a browser. I attribute some of that to interference at the 2.4GHz band in the testing area. But the file-copy speed more than tripled, to 18Mbps. Laptops, tablets, phones, TVs, game consoles, music streamers, cameras – if it’s WiFi enabled, it’s X6 accelerated. We've only had dual-band routers until now, operating on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. Physically it's designed with that same brooding matte-black finish as last year's model — which basically means it'll still look great sitting in the Batcave next to the Tumbler batmobile from Batman Begins . It offers the latest in Wi-Fi technology on two 5GHz bands, for impressive speeds and an uncongested wireless network. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. More tri-band routers are coming soon, and once we've tested enough, We'll settle on an Editors' Choice. With serious power under the hood and enough features like USB media servers and automated Windows backup tools, the X6 offers a solid combination of hardware and software that should be enough to handle the networking needs of any home. Instead of increasing the overall speed of your wireless connections, the Nighthawk X6’s three simultaneously broadcasting bands serve to balance the load of connected devices. These benefits include its increased speed of 1300 Mbps and beamforming technology. The X6 clocked in at a still quite-respectable average of 171Mbps in the same mode, ranking sixth-fastest of the eighteen 802.11AC routers I have tested so far. The Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is a tri-band Wi-Fi router from Netgear. The 2.4GHz band is capable of 600Mbps via 256QAM modulation, and the 5GHz band can do 1300Mbps. The first-generation router let you set options such as enhanced QoS and had a slew of preset QoS network traffic rules. I also noticed that the Network Map is hit or miss when it comes to properly identifying connected devices. With two bands that offer these advancements simultaneously your network should be able to handle almost anything. © 2020 TechSpot, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Overheating should not be an issue with this router, though, as with any router, you will want to place it somewhere with decent airflow. Once installed, you’ll have access to the router’s advanced features. An avid Xbox gamer, she unashamedly admits to owning more than 3,000 comic books, and enjoys exploring her Hell's Kitchen neighborhood and the rest of New York city with her dog, Ninja. NAS FunctionalityAs with other Netgear routers, the X6 lets you connect an external drive to one of the router's USB ports and use its ReadyShare feature for some light NAS (network-attached storage) functionality. She has a Bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College, several technology certifications, and she was a tech editor for the CRN Test Center. Because of the additional stress of two connected wireless clients streaming Cosmos, I now had more throughput happening: IxChariot reported throughput of 71.4Mbps on the network. By the time we tested throughput at 30 feet, both actually increased signal strength by 2 percent as compared with their performance at 5 feet. Please refresh the page and try again. The X6 automatically configures its two 5GHz bands on different channels, so you can connect more devices at 5GHz without the performance suffering.