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Pros: Router is light and fairly small with respect to wireless AC routers.
The user interface is really straightforward. Anyone with previous knowledge of wireless routers would be able to set this up relatively easily. I like that there is an owner's manual included for reference, but it is on a mini CD, which is my least favorite form of media.
The enclosure is neat looking but I'm not sure how much that really matters seeing as it is just a router.
Speeds on wired LAN are like any gigabit router. I noticed no dip in performance during video streaming or transferring of large files when on a wired connection.
The 5Ghz wireless band is quite fast. I was able to hit speeds upwards of 275mbps on wireless using my wireless AC enabled Dell Latitude E7240 up to 20 feet away through one drywall wall. More on the distance past 20 feet in the Cons.
The 2.5Ghz wireless band is pretty average and isn’t terrible. At any point in my house I maintained around 35mbps. This didn’t change as signal strength decreased or increased.
The USB feature on this device is quite easy to use. Just connect a USB hard drive or flash drive and you are off to the races. No real setup necessary to get things going. You will have to go in and set up permissions if you wish to keep things safe or restrict access to certain users. I found this setup process to work very well without any real issues. The speed is what I can describe as livable but certainly not mind blowing by any stretch.
My Dynamic DNS service through No-IP worked right out of the box with this router. All I had to do was enter my domain name and provide credentials. Unfortunately, the client No-IP provides you is better because it allows you to update multiple domains whereas the built-in functionality of this router only supports one domain name.
Cons: 5Ghz: Unfortunately, the range on this band with this router isn't great. Anything past 20 feet away or through more than one wall the transfer speeds dropped down to about 55 mbps on average. At the opposite end of my house (through 4 walls about 40 feet away from the unit) I found the speeds to be 20mbps. Considering that the router I received for free from Google Fiber service can do better than this while residing in the basement, I can’t really overlook this issue. What I found most interesting about the issue was the signal strength stayed at “full” while the transfer speeds suffered quite badly as distance increased. I haven’t ever seen that sort of thing before on routers like this. That being said, it is a fact that 5Ghz doesn’t offer the best object penetration and that is pretty evident here.
2.5Ghz: It’s pretty standard like stated above. Nothing to write home about and certainly not that impressive for wireless N. Once again, I have tested even some really nice wireless G routers that can beat the speeds attained by this router on the 2.5 Ghz band. However, it’s not the end of the world as signal is reliable and probably not too inconvenient for day to day internet browsing.
I’m not a fan of piano black finishes on electronics as a general rule. You pull them out of the box and they are already covered in fingerprints. I will say the diamond design is kind of cool, but it’s a router and it sits in a dark room all day and serves up packets. At the end of the day, I’m not really sure why one needs a fancy looking router. Just give me a box with some really nice antennas and quality components, I’ll be happy.
Transfer speeds over the USB connection aren’t what I call great. I was only able to hit about 9MB/s transferring to and from a 1TB Samsung drive. Connecting this drive directly to a computer yields around 34MB/s on average. So, yes, it’s slow but not so terrible that it isn’t useful.
Other Thoughts: The router stays cool even under heavy load.
It’s very stable even with 10 devices running on it.
I’d still recommend this router for the average user. The price is right and it has a decent feature list. It’s also not overly complicated and the web interface isn’t terrible.
Don't bother using the built-it DDNS. Just get the standalone client for your computer from your provider. You'll be much more satisfied that way.
This review is from: NETGEAR R8000-100NAS Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Wireless Router
Pros: Range is pretty incredible. Specifically on wireless AC I am able to get full signal strength 30 feet away from the house (router is in the basement of the house). Speeds never fluctuated and are really as fast as my devices can handle (Google Fiber helps for testing as well, of course).
The web GUI is pretty straighforward and would probably be understandable for even a beginner.
I will say the interesting “Smart Connect” feature seems to make things a bit better by prioritizing network traffic and what have you. However, I didn’t notice enough of a difference on my network and between my devices to rule out the placebo effect that comes with such a powerful device.
Connecting a random drive to the USB ports is unbelievably quick to respond. I connected various flash drives and external hard drives to both the USB2 and USB 3.0 ports and this router found them and setup the share automatically in 10 seconds on average. I will say that feature impressed me. No custom formatting, no real management of any kind to get it up and running. I like the ability to drill down and password protect the devices connected and the like. Unfortunately, I don’t have a printer handy to test this but I’m sure experiences will vary based on the printer as with any traditional USB print server device.
Transfer speeds from connected USB devices are impressive. Among the devices connected on USB 2.0 I averaged 25-30 MB/s (about as fast as if it were just connected to my computer directly. USB 3.0 devices hit an average of around 50MB/s with my Corsair Voyager 3.0 drive topping out at 69MB/s for average file transfer. This was a random assortment of .mp3, .mp4, and document files.
VPN works pretty well using the Open VPN plugin provided. I was able to jump on to my network and snag some files without any trouble.
At the end of the day, this router didn’t slow down my network speeds so I can’t complain. Speed tests over my Google Fiber using a wired connection to a desktop in my house yielded 763mbps, a very impressive number. This is the same number I got through my current gigabit router in my network setup. Wireless N hit around 100mbps but that could have been a device slowness more than anything. Wireless AC was much more impressive topping out my Latitude E7240 around 400mbps.
Dynamic DNS setup using No-Ip worked flawlessly and my Minecraft servers were back up and working in short order without any lengthy pauses or interruptions.
Cons: Well, my unit gets really hot. I’m guessing this is also why the chassis is almost all mesh. I almost feel like it would really benefit from a fan like my gigabit switch and router in the rack have. Then again, that might be annoying to some users.
Obviously, the elephant in the room is probably cost. It’s an expensive unit and, while impressive, I just feel like I could get something a little more basic without all of the bells and whistles that I may not use long-term any way.
It kind of looks like a bionic crab on its back and the antennae aren’t very movable nor convenient. You also need to know that this guy is big. Like bigger than I ever thought it would be. We are talking the size of a laptop and twice the thickness without the antennae unfolded. That being said, plan on a large shelf and understand that it’s probably double the size of a standard blue Linksys.
The plastic housing doesn’t look very expensive. Plastic quality is quite low. It doesn’t feel like it would survive anything falling on it or being dropped. So, good thing it will probably never move, right?
Even after the latest firmware upgrade my router still takes a full 3 minutes to reboot after changing settings. This isn’t a terrible con as, once again, I’m setting everything up and then forgetting about it until something breaks, I need to forward some new ports or reserve some IPs.
Other Thoughts: It has a massive power supply. Just something to keep in mind, my laptop has a smaller unit.
I’m not sure if it was supposed to come with a set of rubber feet or wall mount hardware, but mine did not.
Maybe it’s just me, but I just wouldn’t be dropping this amount of money for the features that it includes. However, that being said, it will make your life a lot easier if you don’t have another option for firewall, VPN or dyndns.
Pros: Included fans are quiet and the blue LEDs are bright enough to look nice but not so much that they light up the entire room. I need to stress that the fans are very quiet. Compared to the Cooler Master EVO that I've been using, I noticed about a 5C drop in idle temperatures and 3C average on full load. System specs in Other thoughts below.
Currently, with the ambient house temperature at 23.5C the processor hovers around 33-35C average at idle and right at 40C under full, sustained CPU load.
This unit is noticeably more quiet than the Evo it replaced.
The cooler and backplate was relatively easy to install for someone like myself. If you have any previous experience in aftermarket heatsinks this one is pretty straightforward aside from a few little things like the rubber grommets that hold the bolts on the backplate.
The whole setup holds the substantial heatsink to the board and I'm not at all concerned about the mounting. Overall, the bracket seems substantial enough for holding the heatsink in place.
Cons: The instruction booklet isn't really that useful and I feel that it might be a bit confusing for someone if they are in a position where they would need to use the instructions.
The backplate was too large for the CPU cutout in my case so the motherboard had to be completely removed for installation.
My biggest gripe is that the fan in the middle of the heatsink has to be removed for installation on the board. That's not so much the problem itself. However, when removing the fan, all of the small rubber grommets fell off of the fan, which was slightly annoying. The biggest problem in this is that my heatsink had to be slightly pried apart to remove the fan from the "sandwich." This presented a very difficult removal process as I only have two hands to work with.
The brackets for mounting the fan seem a little small and flimsy at first but they get the job done and I can't really complain past saying they look like small, bent paperclips.
The heatsink is very very large and heavy. Not surprising given the level of cooling it provides but it was pretty bulky.
Other Thoughts: This heatsink replaced a Cooler Master Evo heatsink.
The system it went into was a AMD Phenom x4 955 BE overclocked to 3.9Ghz.
I will say that, overall, I'm very impressed with the cooling.