The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Gaming Router is not unknown and has already been tested by us. The manufacturer also offers the router as a set with the Netgear EX7700 Nighthawk X6 Mesh Extender. As a result, it is called the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XRM570. We took a look at how such a gaming meshworks in a single-family home.
With the Nighthawk XR500 gaming router, the gaming-oriented functions are of course retained. These include, for example, the gaming dashboard, which shows Internet and bandwidth usage in real-time and allows personalized settings to be made to match the gaming requirements. The network monitor helps to identify devices that require unnecessary bandwidth. The geo-filter for optimized server selection also remains a component. QoS to avoid bottlenecks in bandwidth allocation and Hybrid VPN to protect privacy are also on board.
The EX7700 extender adds additional functions. This forms a mesh together with the router, which however cannot fall back on a dedicated backhaul. The Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 system doesn’t offer that either. Only the Orbi systems, such as the RBK50, rely on a dedicated connection between the individual network nodes. With a current street price of around 400 euros, you get a statement first, we were excited to see how the performance would ultimately be presented.
Detail view of the Netgear XR500 gaming router
The Netgear XR500 as an old friend should only be touched upon again briefly. The so-called gaming router is larger than, for example, a FritzBox and relies on external antennas. This should definitely be considered when purchasing, as the installation can be a hurdle. The same has already been attested to the Nighthawk AX6000 AX12. A few LEDs on the front of the router provide information about the activity. You can also deactivate this with a switch. Also, the WLAN can be easily switched on and off and WPS can be activated.
The rear has five 1G ports, one of which is used for the WAN connection. The two USB 3.2 Gen1 ports are placed on the side. Here z. B. Connect data carrier. The router is a dual-band device, which is also responsible for the fact that there is no dedicated backhaul. Wireless AC is used for broadcasting, which means that up to 1733 Mbps can be achieved in the 5 GHz network. There would be more equipment, for example, with the XR700, which also masters WLAN AD and here reaches up to 4600 Mbps and also has a 10G connection. Alternatively, the manufacturer also has the XR1000 in its range, which relies on WiFi 6 and can theoretically achieve 4808 Mbps.
The main advantage of the device over routers from other manufacturers is its OS, which is primarily aimed at gamers. The functions were already mentioned in the introduction or can be read again in a detailed individual test.
Detailed view of the Netgear EX7700 Nighthawk X6 Mesh Extender
The X6 EX7700 is not exactly small either. It’s about the size of an Orbi RBS20. It has the addition of Mesh Extender because the repeater has a separate 5 GHz band. In contrast to the router, it is a tri-band device. However, the 5 GHz band does not rely on a 4×4 design, which is why a maximum speed of 866 Mbps can be achieved per 5 GHz band.
The EX7700 is also available separately and can enlarge any WLAN that spans a 2.4 and/or 5 GHz network and uses 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac. With the right conditions, the so-called Fastlane3 technology is used, which should actually be nothing more than the dedicated backhaul. In addition to enlarging the WLAN, the extender also offers two additional network connections with 1Gbit. This means that you can also bring your computer into the network via cable, even if the router is in another room.
The extender or repeater, like the Nighthawk router, can be configured using the Nighthawk app. To get the system of the two included devices working, you can also simply use the WPS button.
The operating system, dubbed DumaOS, emerged from the cooperation with Netduma. How the surface is structured and what there is to be discovered has already been recorded in a video:
The following shows the network structure of the two-man team. The extender is connected here via the 5 GHz network, i.e. the faster of the two possible connections. Of course, you have to make sure that the extender is placed in the router’s WLAN and that it is in an area with strong reception. Otherwise, the system cannot deliver its full potential. As the test later showed, the repeater looks for the stronger of the existing connections.
In the following, the two special functions will be briefly discussed again. You can read about this in more detail in the review of the XR500.
The GEO filter lets the user define server regions so that you only meet players from these. This should reduce the ping overall. This should be an advantage, especially for console players, as fewer adjustments can be made here than in PC games with their own server options. In the test, this turned out to be practical because, for example, in Fifa, no opponents with a high ping were drawn.
Quality of Service – QoS
QoS is no longer a specialty, but the representation as it can be found in the XR500 is. You can assign the bandwidth interactively here. So you can adapt the network to your own needs and assign bandwidths to games and also PCs or consoles, measured against the actually incoming bandwidth. The function proves to be particularly effective in the test. The ping could be reduced to 15-20ms, whereas without the function it could be found to 200-300ms.
The tests were carried out in a practical scenario – an older single-family house with ~ 120m 2. To get a comparison, the starting position was staked out with a FritzBox 7360. Admittedly an old model, but certainly still a common sight. The house is divided into two floors, which are divided as follows. The walls are all solidly built without any noticeable use of drywall.
The router is always placed in the same place. This is located in the living area. In the picture in the upper left corner. From there it is of course more difficult to cover the entire house than from a central position. However, the telephone connection does not allow any other setup. The Nighthawk XR500 was also placed there. In the mesh test, the Nighthawk X6 was placed directly above the router, i.e. in the dressing room. The search was not for the maximum transfer rate of the devices, but a common situation. Therefore, the bandwidth was measured with a smartphone, specifically a Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro, as a client. This was chosen because it has WiFi AC and should have an antenna similar to some Smart TVs or, for example, a FireTV stick. The server was operated using a notebook, which was attached to the router by cable. The upper f3 tool was then used for measurement. It was measured in Mbits. If you want the result in MB / s, you have to divide the values by eight.
|FritzBox 7360||Nighthawk XR500||Nighthawk mesh|
|tape||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz||5 GHz||2.4 GHz||5 GHz|
It was measured in Mbits. If you want the result in MB / s, you have to divide the values by eight.
Of course, the comparison is somewhat unfair, since the FritzBox can only span the 2.4 GHz. However, it is precisely this band that can actually bridge the greater distance and overcomes obstacles. Nevertheless, the XR500 is clearly more potent without an additional expander. With the repeater, the overall performance decreased, which suggests that the backhaul was built up via this band after all since more arrives or has arrived via this band on the top floor. The comparison with the 5 GHz band, which provides three times as much bandwidth on the ground floor or twice as much as in the 2.4 GHz band of the XR500, is also awesome. As I said, the mesh ensured that the 2.4 GHz performance was lower. However, you can also see that the use of the repeater has significantly increased the 5 GHz in all rooms.
Since the mesh can also access or use the Nighthawk app, the internal test was also used again shortly.
Here you can see the differences much more clearly. After switching to the mesh, the signal strength is 100% everywhere and the bandwidth is actually fully utilized everywhere. That’s how you wish it.
Especially if you have an older router, it can run into problems in an older house. This shouldn’t be shown in this test, but it was revealed anyway. A powerful router like the Nighthawk XR500 can bring about a significant improvement here, which was also shown. When the repeater is switched on, nothing more is left to be desired, at least in the present scenario. The bandwidth increased enormously in all rooms. Above all, the problem child bedroom was able to record an increase from 11 Mbits to 167 Mbits. Stuttering during streaming is a thing of the past, even if the receiving device has a rather weaker antenna. The fact that the Nighthawk Mesh or XRM570 does not have a dedicated backhaul is only due to the router. The Nighthawk X6 EX7700 extender has one. In the test, this did not show up as a problem in this case, even if the “wrong” band was apparently used to forward the WLAN. This caused a slight drop in the 2.4 GHz networks, but the 5 GHz was completely convincing.
So the set already knows how to convince. But you also have to say that you could drive cheaper with other combinations. The advantage is that you get special gaming features. It turned out that these can really make a difference in pinging. Gamers will definitely be pleased. The DumoOS is flawless and the setup is also easy. Even laypeople should not encounter any problems here.
The set is currently around € 380, but it has also been sold much cheaper. For ~ 320 € you can get the Netgear Orbi RBK50, for example, which has a similar configuration but also a dedicated backhaul. So you have to know where you can see the network’s priorities.
Netgear Nighthawk General SummaryNetgear Nighthawk To summarize, we see that it has very good features in terms of design, price and performance. Netgear Nighthawk, which has given a successful performance compared to its competitors in this segment, has not received any serious complaints from its users until now and has given its users confidence with maximum positive feedback. With the Netgear Nighthawk 2-year warranty, it continues to support any problem after the sale and does not suffer the user.
Want to win? Netgear NighthawkThanks to the campaign made with Amazon, our site gives gifts to a certain user every month. Netgear Nighthawk Winning users are selected from our commenting users. The winners can be reached via e-mail. You can join the lottery by leaving a comment below this article. Please visit our site to make sure your comment is approved.
Installation of the Product is Extremely Simple. You can set it up easily with the included Guide.
Has no known chronic problems.
Yes, they say they are generally satisfied.
The minimum warranty period is 2 years.
You can buy it from sites like amazon, ebay.