Today we’ll take a look at two popular Netgear routers. Once at the upper end of the Wireless AC router spectrum, time has meant they are no longer the cream of the crop.
However. both are clinging on as respectable performers (AC1750), now sitting in the mid-range AC range, and come with a range of solid features that will satisfy most buyers today.
The Netgear R6400 was released in 2015 to replace the older R6300. It is dual band, Wireless AC, has three external antennas.
Netgear Nighthawk R6700
The Netgear R6700 was also released in 2015. It is also dual band, also has three antennas, also uses Wireless AC.
They are almost identical in looks (there are slight differences, honest!)...however, surely one must be better than the other, right?!
Let us first look at what features both routers share, then round up what makes each router unique. Finally, we'll pit them against each other: R6700 versus R6400 style...
Netgear R6400 And R6700 Main Shared Features
So, first things first, what do these two routers have in common. Well, quite a lot actually! Here is a look at the features they share.
Take one look at these routers and anyone with even a passing familiarity of Netgear will be able to recognise them as Netgear routers. Black finish? Check. Sloped design? Yes. Vent holes on the side? Yeah, that too. Antennas that stick out the back like the tail of a scorpion? Of course.
Basically, both routers look great, if not incredibly similar. There are different ports available, that's the only difference on the exterior. More on the ports later...
Fast Network Speeds
Both routers use the AC Wireless standard with theoretical speeds of 450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band. These are solid speeds that should allow multiple devices to stream HD video, play games, and perform other bandwidth intensive activities at the same time. If you do have many users online at the same time, we highly recommend setting up Quality of Service, especially if you're a gamer. More on that below.
As well as this, if you want an even more reliable connection and don’t mind wires, then both routers also have Gigabit Ethernet ports that you can use to plug your laptop, computer, or other Ethernet capable device into.
Both routers in today’s article have advanced QoS. This allows you to prioritize your bandwidth to be used with certain devices, data types, or programs.
For example, if one person on your network is downloading a file, and one is making a video call, you can set it so that traffic is prioritized for the person making the video call to ensure they have the best possible connection meaning they are less likely to suffer from connection issues.
Of course, the download may take a little longer, but that is likely to be less important (if not, you can just prioritize the download.)
Both routers have beamforming capabilities. Beamforming can help increase the reliability of your signal in the further away spots of your network. It is a super-useful feature to have, especially if you need your router to cover a large area.
Three External Antennas
Both these routers have three external antennas that can be adjusted to suit the your home's design.
Looks like we are going to have some job recommending just one of these routers. They are very similar!
Is The R6700 Better Than The R6400? Key Differences
Of course, "better" is subjective, and will depend on the exact features you need from your router. However, here are some features that the R6700 has that the R6400 doesn’t - or are at least "better".
1GHz Dual Core Processor
The R6700 has an excellent 1GHz dual core processor. In comparison, the R6400 has a decent, but not quite as powerful 800MHz dual core processor.
Processors are used in routers to help them route traffic, block unwanted traffic (firewall/NAT) and efficiently deliver the features that sit under the hood. CPUs are especially important if you are looking to connect a large number of devices to your router, and also if you intend to plug in a USB drive for sharing.
In theory, the R6700’s processor should therefore be able to handle more connections in a better way than the R6400, but don;t get too hung up on this, particularly if there aren't a plethora of devices needing to connect to the router.
Although, it isn’t all one way traffic. The R6400 has features that the R6700 doesn’t.
Two USB Ports
The R6400 has both a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port. In comparison, the R6400 only has one USB 3.0 port. While this may not be a dealbreaker for many of you, if you have two devices that you want to connect via USB (external storage, printer, scanner, etc.), then the R6400 could be hard to look past.
Other than these two differences, there is very little to separate the two routers. That is essentially why the price of each item is so similar.
R6400 with the extra USB 2.0 port on the rear. Both routers have a USB port on the front
R6400 vs R6700: Decisions, Decisions...
Of course, if you are indifferent to these features then deciding which to choose becomes a bit harder. Perhaps go with whichever is cheaper?
Either way, you will end up with a router with a lot of great features from a company that is renowned for the quality of its routers.
Thanks for reading. If you have either of these routers, or any questions on them, let us know down below!