NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 Gaming Router Review8/10 (Expert Score)
- 60 GHz Throughput
- Plex Media Server Support
- File Transfer Speeds
- Feature Packed
- No MU-MIMO
- 802.11AD Range
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 Design
There are four adjustable antennas that light up when the Wi-Fi radios are being used, as well as LED indicators in the front that tell you the different bands and more. The router features two USB 3.0 ports on the side and six Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a reset, SPF+LAN port, and more. Users can combine two LAN ports for better file-transfer speeds via its support for Ethernet Port Aggregation. And for those not in the know, the 10G SPF+ LAN port is used to connect the router to 10-Gigabit Ethernet devices like switches and servers (and usually found on enterprise routers).
As one of the best wireless routers for gaming, it’s powered via a 1.7GHz quad-core CPU and is a quad-stream, dual-band router that features a 2.4GHz band that this 800 Mbps, while the 5GHz band goes up to 1,733Mbps. But it also supports 60GHz that’s capable of getting up to 4,600Mbps (in theory), but in order to do this, you must have WiFi devices that support 802.11ad networking. Despite that huge shortcoming, it’s good to have when you need to transfer big files of data or 4K video.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 has MU-MIMO capability. It enables the router to send data to compatible devices at the same time instead of sequentially. This allows devices to spend less time waiting for their turn and behave as if they have their own dedicated connection. MU-MIMO works hand in hand with the router’s Beamforming technology. Beamforming focuses Wi-Fi signals to specific devices instead of simply sweeping across a wide area. This allows for stronger, more steady connections.
Another huge benefit of the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 is its automatic backups to a cloud-based storage service and its Plex Media Server support that allows users to share and manage photos, audio files, and more stored on any connected USB hard drives.
As far as settings, you get to manage them via a web-based console or via the Genie mobile app. Here you can change settings and view basic info like attached devices, guest networks, and more. It’s easy to install and once it’s connected, you simply open your computer’s browser to access the Setup Wizard that will walk you through a basic setup.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 – Video
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 has all the bells and whistles you could want and more. Unfortunately, the 3rd band with the 60GHz 802.11AD WiFi leaves something to be desired. This is not Netgear’s fault. It took guts to produce one of the first 802.11AD routers on the market. The problem is with 802.11AD itself. Its maximum range is only 30 feet and it’s the line of site only. That means if you go through all the trouble and expense of purchasing a device that supports 802.11AD and you want to move it to another room you’ll get no signal. Big frowny face.
That means if you’re not going to be using this connection to transfer huge files or stream 4K video from one corner of a room to the other you’re left with 2 usable bands that put out 2.4GHz 800Mbps and 1,733Mbps. That is a total of 2,533Mbps. Now all of a sudden you’re looking at an ordinary high-end wireless router.
On the opposite side of the “disappointment spectrum” is the built-in Plex server which could save you hundreds if you wanted to get a dedicated device for that purpose. There is also the port aggregation feature which allows you to combine 2 1GB ports into one 2GB port. Of course, this requires a device (Such as a NAS) that allows for this. Let’s not forget the 10GB fiber connection.
Depending on your needs the Netgear X10 could be everything you’ve ever wanted in a wireless router or more than you’ll ever need. Shop wisely!
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Specification: NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 Gaming Router Review