Hardware and Gear

Published on February 10th, 2015 | by Justin Giza


Netgear Nighthawk

The Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Smart Wi-Fi R7500 offers up a single WiFi connection of up to 1.73Gbps (2.33 Gbps combined) at 802.11ac speeds. It packs a punch in terms of hardware, including a 1.4Ghz dual core processor, dual USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port and 4 high-gain external antennae. It also features Dynamic QoS, which when enabled, will automatically prioritize certain types of traffic (such as Skype), ensuring solid bandwidth for the programs that really need it.



Priced at around $200-279.99, this is a pretty versatile piece of hardware. Looking to simply network storage? You can plug in a USB or eSATA drive and quickly configure your network for both storage and streaming. iTunes server can be utilized to play your stored music via iTunes or Apple remote. Plus, you can use OpenVPN to connect remotely to your home network. Handy!
In terms of WiFi range, the unit should have large homes covered. The combination of the four-antennae system as well as Beamforming+ should allow you to reduce dead zones in your home and maximize coverage. We had no issues with it at our test locales and saw a marked improvement in both web browsing and gaming during our testing sessions, even on the newer and more demanding games such as Dying Light, EVOLVE, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Our biggest issues and in doing research we learned was a common complaint that are made about the UI. Overcustomization seems to be the name of the game, and those looking to get a little more technical may find themselves a bit frustrated at the number of options in the setup menus. That said, users looking for a fast and speedy router without customization will feel at home just plugging it in, and connecting using the default settings.

The key here is versatility as you can plug it in and forget it and enjoy a nice performance boost, or you can tweak it to your specifications and find the ideal settings that work best for your needs.

4 stars out of 5.

About the Author

Justin spent many of his post-college years eating and drinking nice things and writing about them. He now resides near NYC, where he haunts the Nintendo store like some kind of horrible ghost, and moonlights as electronic and nerdcore hip-hop artist Zilla Persona.

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