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Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Smart Wi-Fi Router Review

By: Tyler Bernath | Routers & Access Points in Networking | Posted: Jan 30, 2015 3:09 am
TweakTown Rating: 84%Manufacturer: Netgear

File Transfer Speeds

 

In our file transfer test, we use a single 4GB ISO file, and transfer it from test system one to our second test system via the network. To eliminate any bottlenecks, each system is utilizing a Corsair Neutron 256GB SSD.

 

netgear-nighthawk-x4-ac2350-smart-wi-fi-router-review_46

 

File transfer results with the Nighthawk X4 started out with the straight LAN connection reaching 111 MB/s. As we started to test each band on the wireless, we found the 2.4GHz to reach 16.3 MB/s with 20MHz, and 24.2 MB/s on the 40MHz band. Switching things over to the 5GHz band, we started out at 19.6 MB/s at 20MHz, moving up to 27.3 MB/s at 40MHz. To top things off, we found the 80MHz band to reach a very impressive 96.3 MB/s.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

netgear-nighthawk-x4-ac2350-smart-wi-fi-router-review_01

 

The crutch for each of the Wave 2 solutions we have tested in the past has always been the client-side options for connecting and utilizing the full potential of a solution, whether it is the RT87U, or the E8350 from Linksys. At this point in time, the same can be said for the Nighthawk X4; with the Nighthawk X4, the only solution for obtaining peak performance is utilizing two routers with one in bridge mode. That leaves the issue of having gigabit ports to support a connection that is capable of 1.73Gbps. Certainly, one solution to this would be for vendors to offer port aggregation similar to what ASUS offered with their 87U solution.

 

With all of that said, Netgear has done a tremendous job offering the very latest in technology for those that may want to "future proof" their network infrastructure. This includes making the Nighthawk X4 a MU-MIMO ready solution. MU-MIMO is a feature that will be enabled in the future via a firmware update.

 

In our testing of the Nighthawk X4, we found the router was a rather capable solution for today's home networks. In both LAN to LAN, and WAN to LAN, throughput results topped the 900 Mbps mark at 952 Mbps for LAN, and 919 Mbps for WAN. Wireless performance of the X4 was equally impressive with the 5GHz band with 20MHz and 40MHz coming in at 186 Mbps and 313 Mbps respectively. 80MHz topped the charts, right with the previously tested Linksys E8350 at 470 Mbps. Additionally, if we swap gears over to the 2.4GHz band, those results practically mirrored the Linksys solution as well, with both coming in around 122 Mbps.

 

Of course, performance isn't the only thing that matters when it comes down to spending your hard earned money on a routing solution. In that case, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 does excel with its superior build quality and ease of use within its software menus. Having used many diverse routers over the past few years, I have always found the Genie platform from Netgear to be rather intuitive, with well laid out menu systems and value added features like ReadyShare and Dynamic QoS.

 

MSRP of the Netgear Nighthawk X4 Smart Wi-Fi router is listed at $279.99, with a one-year warranty.

 

 

PRICING: You can find the Netgear Nighthawk X4 Smart Wi-Fi Router for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

 

United States: The Nighthawk X4 retails for $279.99 at Amazon.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance85%
Quality including Design and Build85%
General Features90%
Bundle and Packaging80%
Value for Money80%
Overall TweakTown Rating84%

The Bottom Line: While the market may be slow to adopt Wave 2 networking solutions, it's the perfect opportunity for consumers to future proof their network infrastructure with MU-MIMO ready solutions like the Nighthawk X4.

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