Showing Results: Most Recent
This review is from: NETGEAR R7800 Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Smart WiFi MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
Pros: The Netgear R7800 Nighthawk X4S AC2600 (hereafter referred to as the R7800) is a simultaneous dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless router that uses the latest, and fastest, Wi-Fi standard - 802.11ac. It is also is 802.11n/a compatible in the 5GHz band and 802.11b/g/n compatible in the 2.4GHz band. The R7800 is, as of this review writing, the flagship 802.11ac WiFi router offered by Netgear; including nice features such as, multi-MIMO support and beam forming (supported by 4 external detachable antennas), gigabit Ethernet LAN connectivity, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a speedy 1.7GHz dual-core processor to easily manage a speedy multi-device environment, and 256B of RAM to keep multiple connections moving quickly. Simply stated: There is a lot of hardware horsepower inside this thing!
The multi-MIMO support offers multiple 802.11ac or 802.11n streams to several devices simultaneously. There is no issue moving a ton of data across your network with no bottlenecks. Streaming HD content or moving large files to several devices from the Internet, or from another device within your network, is a cake walk for the R7800. The 1.7GHz dual-core processor easily manages a multi-device environment and ensures that bits are routed to their appropriate destinations.
Setup could not be easier. Simply take out of box, attach the 4x external antennas, power up and connect Ethernet and you’re up and running. The standard myriad of user options is given: set SID names, passwords, encryption, MAC filtering, guest network, etc. Moreover, Netgear offers a feature called Dynamic QoS on the R7800 that will automatically sense traffic that latency and bandwidth intensive and automatically prioritize the routing of that traffic. I must say that it works pretty well – I hit the R7800 with 3 instances of general HTTP traffic and music streaming and powered up a SmartTV to stream 1080p to it and there were zero issues.
Cosmetically, the R7800 is slick and looks good out in the open on a desk. The case is matte black and does not attract fingerprints. It’s not overly large but still solidly built, and has good weight/heft (it won’t be sliding off your desk). The standard bits of front LEDs and indicators are all there and are not overly bright – you can also shut them off altogether by a sliding switch on the rear of the unit (awesome feature if this thing is in a media room or TV cabinet). The rear features 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, Internet Ethernet port, the always tiny reset button, the LED on/off switch, and a rocker switch for power. One side has both USB 3.0 ports and the other has the eSATA port.
Netgear built this thing to be OpenWRT capable so you have an option for 3rd party firmware if you desire (seriously people, install and use OpenWRT, it will turn this consumer-grade WiFi router into an enterprise capable router that generally costs $$$$).
Cons: The price – but really you get what you pay for. People balk at a $200+ WiFi router, but the features and performance you get cannot be matched by cheaper routers out there. This certainly does not warrant the loss of an egg in my reviewing opinion.
Other Thoughts: In my network testing I was able to achieve nominal 802.11ac speeds to several devices - roughly 1710 megabits per second (Mbit/s), and nominal 802.11n speeds (5GHz band) of 834 Mbit/s. I moved large multi-gigabyte files across both the wired and wireless interfaces with no problems while simultaneously streaming HD video and audio content. This is THE router to get if you are apprehensive about setting up your own QoS, are not familiar with how to setup and manage it properly, or are brand new to QoS and want something that is smart enough to work straight out of the box. The R7800 does a great job in simplifying this often confusing technology for the layman.
In the box you will find the R7800 router, the 4 detachable antennas, a power supply, one Ethernet cable, and a quick install guide and DVD (not needed though because setup is so simple).
Miscellaneous networking rant: Note that there is a significant difference in the networking world when talking about measuring bandwidth by using Mbit/s or by measuring it by megabytes per second (MB/s) (one megabit per second is 1,000,000 bits per second, while one megabyte per second is 8,000,000 bits per second; or 1 Mbit/s = 125,000 bytes per second). These units of measure matter when talking bandwidth speeds not only for your home network, but also for advertised speeds from ISPs, phone carriers, data plans, etc.
This review is from: ASUS RP-AC52 AC750 Repeater / Access Point / Media Bridge
Pros: WiFi repeaters/extenders are nothing too exciting, but the ASUS RP-AC52 does manage to offer a few features that make it stand out among similar extenders in its class. Able to operate in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously, the RP-AC52 can support the 802.11ac/n/g/b/a WiFi standards. There is also a 100BASE-TX Ethernet port to offer wired bridge functionality to a wired device in the vicinity of where you end up placing this thing.
Setup is simple if electing to use the WPS feature; just plug into an outlet near your main router and push the WPS button on the extender, then push the WPS button on your router. After about a minute the two will establish a connection and be permanently connected sans pressing the reset button the extender or your router. Placing the RP-AC52 in a “sweet spot” to give WiFi coverage to an area of your abode is roughly the half-way point between your router and the place you want to extend coverage to. You can also plug the RP-AC52 into an outlet and configure it manually via a web interface that is straight forward and walks you through the process - about 6-7 minutes total if you understand network/WiFi basics.
Cosmetically the RP-AC52 is attractive with a diamond pattern on the front and LEDs that indicate power and both 2.4GHz and 5GHz band strength to the main router. The LEDs are not overly bright but are still easy to see in a well-lit room. Additionally, the RP-AC52 doubles as a night light by merely touching it to turn it on or off - nothing spectacular but a neat feature. All antennas are internal but the RP-AC52 is small enough if you plug it into the top outlet you will not be blocking the bottom outlet.
Speeds are typical of what you would expect for a repeater in both the 802.11ac and 802.11n standards. All WiFi speeds vary in numerous conditions and situations and no one person's experience and speeds are going to match their peers. But you can expect a solid signal that maintains connectivity as I did in my testing.
Cons: The range may not be as great a similar repeaters with external antennas since the internal antennas on the RP-AC52 will naturally impact the overall power output. Not enough to warrant the loss of an egg as you can clearly see on the box that you're getting a repeater with internal antennas.
Other Thoughts: Pro tip: Setup the RP-AC52 manually and use the same SSID as your main router. This ensures seamless transitions on portable wireless devices when moving between coverage areas. The WPS functionality merely clones your SSID and adds a “_RPT” or “_RPT5G” to the end of the SSID.
ASUS touts that the RP-AC52 has the ASUS native AiPlayer app support - which is some gimmicky media app for use on a smartphone. I see zero value in it as the marketplace for streaming music is saturated and dominated by big players who already offer great features. You won't be buying the RP-AC52 for this feature. Stick with the RP-AC52's core functions of WiFi repeating/extending and you'll be quite happy.
Pros: Fast, spacious! Great price! Great Samsung Magician software! Samsung has been making quality SSDs for some time so it's a no brainer to get one.
Cons: noneREAD FULL REVIEW