Netgear has perhaps one of the most complete router lineups much of which, we have reviewed here at TweakTown. Within this lineup, the Nighthawk brand is likely the most recognizable by consumers as it encompasses both mid-range platforms and gamer or enthusiast platforms. That said, across this entire lineup we had got used to Netgear deploying its "genie" OS/firmware and while it carried all the features needed for the typical consumer, it didn't have that edge gamers look for.
With the Nighthawk XR500 Netgear has gone all in, partnering with NetDuma, the company behind the R1 back in 2014, to create a feature-rich gaming platform. This includes a geo-filter to guarantee you connect to a host close to home, Anti-Flood technology to eliminate congestion caused by excessive downloading and the ability to set per device bandwidth with QoS.
On the hardware side, Netgear pulled from their archives the Nighthawk X4S giving the new XR500 a solid base. This means we have the QUALCOMM IPQ8065 Dual-Core SoC operating at 1.7GHz as the heart of this platform. Its paired with 512MB of memory and 256MB of NAND Flash. Wi-Fi is controlled by two QCA9984 Radios and the QCA8337 switch. Connectivity includes 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band with 256QAM and 1733Mbps on the 5GHz band. Wired connections include five-gigabit ethernet ports one dedicated to WAN and two USB 3.0 ports for storage.
MSRP of the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 comes in at $299.99 with a three-year warranty.
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