I have been following the Nighthawk brand since March of 2014, in those now four years, we have seen so many platforms come through the lab, the mind boggles. That said, the Nighthawk solutions, for the most part, stick out not only for the design of some models i.e. the X6, X8 and X10 but for the raw horsepower Netgear put into them.
That said, the interface always needed a bit more as it was just a carryover from the ReadyNAS platform. With the XR500 and Netgear's partnership with NetDuma, I think they hit the nail on the head as this platform carries the perfect mix of aggressive gaming styling and modern enthusiast level software that's intuitive and easy to use even for the novice.
As I stated when going through the software, the interface is overwhelming as hell when you first land on that dashboard but it quickly becomes easy to navigate and well thought out as your brain catches up to all the diagnostic data being thrown at you. Adding to this the level of features included in this platform is amazing and from what I can tell in my own testing both the QoS and Geo-filter work great for both Xbox and PS4.
Performance speaks for itself, the XR500 hit all the marks for wired performance with 942Mbps LAN to LAN and 921Mbps WAN to LAN. Wireless performance was some of the best we have seen, 338Mbps for 2.4GHz and 856Mbps for 5GHz and our iPhone X returned chart leading 566Mbps for mobile throughput. USB Storage testing showed the XR500 to perform amazingly well in read performance reaching 109 MB/s with slightly lower write at 53 MB/s.
In closing, I am impressed by the XR500 not only for its design or its performance or even its amazing software but that Netgear put it all together, giving us the consumer, the best damn 802.11ac router ever made.
|Overall TweakTown Rating||92%|
The Bottom Line: In partnership with NetDuma, Netgear has taken its XR500 platform to another level creating the most feature rich platform without a single sacrifice in performance or design.
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