Benchmarks - Wireless Range
For wireless range, we need to refer back to the Network Infrastructure chart on page four of this review. Each chart herein is based on the locations on the table. To make it simple, Location 1 is the closest and within Line of Sight, while Location 4 is the furthest away with many walls in between. Location 5 tests the router's ability to generate enough signal strength to penetrate to the second floor of a home.
Right off the bat, we could tell the Nighthawk had much better range than we were used to seeing. As you can see in our chart above, location four was the only place all routers came together.
The 40MHz band showed similar results as we saw in initial testing. Here the Nighthawk started at -30dBm and fell off to -50dBm at location four.
5GHz allowed everything to settle down, and the Netgear was closer to what we expected.
5GHz 40MHz showed similar results to the previous 20MHz test in that we started with a good connection at -40dBm and fell off to -68dBm at location four.
Lastly, we have the 80MHz, or AC band. Here the Nighthawk did quite well and fell within our expectations based on previous routers we have tested. As you see within this same range, the router is much more powerful at getting data to your device.