A few months ago, I had the TP-Link Talon AD7200 in the lab. When I tested that router, they had sent along a notebook that had the Qualcomm Sparrow 802.11 chipset, so I was able to test for myself what 802.11ad performance was like. I admit the performance from this standard is quite impressive, so when NETGEAR launched their latest top-tier offering, there was no doubt in my mind it would include 60GHz technology.
I took a little extra time with the Nighthawk X10, to go through and use all the features this router has. From the top, it shares a lot of "firsts" for the consumer router market starting with its 10Gbe SFP+ connectivity. There is a single port set aside to receive this higher throughput for storage devices like ReadyNAS, or for you to uplink to a secondary switch if you need more wired connections.
This solution is marketed for very large homes, as such it carries seven Gigabit Ethernet ports, two support link aggregation. You will find two USB 3.0 ports for storage, and that takes us to software which includes the ever popular Plex Media Server.
To power such an expansive package, NETGEAR has supplied the X10 with a quad-core processor from Annapurna Labs, the AL314. This processor operates at 1.7GHz and is paired with 1GB of DDR3 and 512MB flash. The 2.4GHz radio which is capable of 800 Mbps via 256QAM is powered by the QCA9984 radio backed by Skyworks power amps. The 5GHz band is setup with the same quad-stream radio with RFMD power amps, and the 60GHz radio is part of the QCA9500 package.
The MSRP of the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 comes in at $499.99 with a one-year warranty.
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