Netgear vs Linksys Routers 2024

Top Netgear & Linksys Routers

Read more about these routers further below...or click the links above to go straight to Amazon.

There’s a battle that has been going on for many years. It’s a fierce battle between two of, arguably, the biggest heavyweights of consumer routers. What’s the battle in question? Netgear vs Linksys of course!

Ever since the 1990s, these home router giants have been fighting it out, trying to outdo each other by continuously launching the latest and greatest router. We are all familiar with these two routing brands, and we trust them to give us fast reliable routers with solid Wi-Fi.

But what we want to know right now is which router to go for depending on our needs? What is the absolute best router? What is the best router that isn’t going to break the bank? What’s the best budget router?

Well, the best thing to do is answer each question, one-by-one. Provided the router that fits the bill for the category, and run through what that router can do.

Ok, so without further ado, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

Netgear vs Linksys – Best AC Routers (oh, and AD!)

The best AC routers from Netgear and Linksys, you ask? Well, both Linksys & Netgear both happen to feature in the fastest class of router around today – the AC3200 class.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200

Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Buy Button - Netgear vs Linksys Routers
>>> Check it out on Amazon <<<

“AD” you say? Didn’t you mean to say “AC”? Nope, this is Netgear’s first foray into the world of the wireless standard 802.11ad.

What does this mean for you and I? Well, you’ll be able to connect over wifi at super gigabit speeds. Don;t get too excited yet. There isn’t a whole lot our there that runs on .11ad, but that should change over time. Also bear in mind that as AD runs the 60GHz range, the coverage distance is, well, not great. We’re really only talking line-of-sight, and within a few meters. Ideal uses are bridging and streaming uncompressed ultra high-def video between dedicated appliances….for now at least.

Aside from .11ad, there’s Quad Stream MU-MIMO, and of course it also uses Wireless AC and N. Tri Band is on offer across all 3 standards.

The X10 is also Plex server ready (for all your media), has a 10Gbps LAN ports (via SFP) and 6 RJ-45 LAN ports, that support aggregation.

It also has a quad core CPU to keep it up and running, Sweet!

If you’re happy to spend the money, you could do worse than the X10.

Read our full X10 review here

Linksys WRT32X AC3200 Gaming Wi-Fi Router (with “Killer Prioritization Engine”)

Linksys WRT32X AC3200 Gaming Wi-Fi Router Buy Button - Netgear vs Linksys Routers
>>> Check out the WRT32X on Amazon <<<

Brand new for 2017 – the WRT32X is the first dedicated gaming router created by Linksys.

If your gaming device has a Killer NIC (Network Interface Card), the WRT32X will automatically prioritize gaming traffic going to and from the internet for those devices. It’s an easy way to set up QoS (Quality of Service) as opposed to going into the router setup page and manually setting up for every device that comes along, or using a blanket rule for multiple devices, which can sometimes inadvertently prioritize non-gaming traffic (if you don’t 100% know what you’re doing).

What else has it got? Well, there’s tri-stream MU-MIMO, which can cumulatively offer theoretical 2.6Gbps speeds on 5GHz (with a further 600Mbps on good old fashioned 2.4GHz). Yup – it’s a dual band router.

It’s also got a USB 3.0 port and the oh-so-common 4x 1Gbps LAN ports.

Overall, not as well spec’d as the X10 above, but then again, it’s aimed at the online gamers who want to get their ping down as low as possible – without having a Cisco qualification in QoS or a degree in networking!

We haven’t done a “Features In Common” for these two behemoths, as arguably, they aren’t in direct competition with each other.

Netgear vs Linksys – Top Mid-Range AC Routers

So, what about the middle of the .11ac pack?

Netgear Nighthawk X6

Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Main - Netgear vs Linksys Routers 2015
Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Buy Button - Netgear vs Linksys Routers 2015
>>> Look at the X6 on Amazon <<<

The Nighthawk X6 R8000 has taken the world by storm since its release in late 2014. Netgear’s most powerful router was also the first AC3200 router to hit the shops.

Netgear have also taken the stealth-fighter looks of the original Nighthawk, and made it even more menacing looking. We think it looks cooler than the EA9200. Not that the EA9200 looks particularly bad!

Read our full X6 review here

Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Wi-Fi Router

Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Main - Netgear vs Linksys Routers 2015
Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Buy Button - Netgear vs Linksys Routers 2015
>>> Check out the EA9200 over on Amazon <<<

X6 R8000 & EA9200 Shared Features

Up to 3.2Gbps – Data rates hitting 3,200 Mbps over 3 bands (two 5GHz & one 2.4GHz).

Tri-Band – We are now entering the era of 3 bands. Two 5GHz bands (each 1.3Gbps) and a single 2.4GHz band (600Mbps) enables your 5GHz AC clients to hop onto one of two available bands. This is pretty cool, because it means that no one client can hog all the bandwidth within the 5GHz band.

The router, using intelligent software, balances wireless clients over the two bands evenly. This helps optimize your network as much as possible.

Dual Core CPU – A fast processor is required to handle all the traffic that an AC3200 can muster. Both have these, and also 3 extra processors to handle NAT translations (traffic in between your local network and the Internet).

USB 3.0 – A USB 3.0 port and a second port (USB 2.0) are at your disposal.

Beamforming & Antennas – As you probably know by now, both the EA9200 & Nighthawk R8000 have Beamforming technology. Clients can roam further than before and keep up the fast Wi-Fi speeds.

With 6 fully adjustable/removable antennas, it’s easier to say goodbye to wireless dead spots around the home. This is especially true for multi-story homes, as clients could struggle to connect vertically to a router on another level. Tilting the antennas can resolve this issue.

Read our full Linksys EA9200 review

Netgear vs Linksys Routers – Best All-Rounder

You know….a decent routr, that delivers good “bang for buck”.

Nighthawk R7000

Netgear NightHawk AC1900 (R7000) Main
Netgear NightHawk AC1900 (R7000) sales button
>>> Read more on Amazon <<<

The ORIGINAL Nighthawk router. And guess what, it’s still an awesome router. In fact, in some ways it’s more awesome now than it ever was. Why? Because although it’s not the fastest kid in town any more, it is still pretty damn fast! It’s fast enough for 4K streaming, enjoyable online gaming, and handling multiple clients at the same time with no issues. It has loads of cool features.

So why is it more awesome than ever? Because it’s dropped price. With all these newer models, Netgear have had to drop the price down.

Read all that we have to say on the R7000 here

Linksys WRT1900AC

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Linksys WRT1900AC AC1900 Buy Button
>>> Read FULL Linksys WRT1900AC Review Here <<<

The WRT1900AC is up there with the Nighthawk in the coolness stakes. Looking like a Linksys classic, and with DD-WRT ready, this is a little gem.

Read Full WRTAC1900AC review here

Other Netgear Routers Worth A Look


Netgear R6300v2 AC1750 Main
Netgear R6300v2 AC1750 sales button
>>> View the Netgear R6300v2 on Amazon <<<

Priced a little lower again, is the Netgear R6300v2. The buzzword of ‘Nighthawk’ seems to have gripped everyone. This is actually a really good router – and it has two USB ports…

Our full review

Centria WNDR4700

Netgear Centria WNDR4700 Main
Netgear Centria WNDR4700 Sales
>>> Read FULL Centria WNDR4700 Review Here <<<

If you want some built-in storage with good sharing functionality, look no further than the WNDR4700. The WNDR4720 version ships with a hard drive.

It’s a Dual Band Wireless N router which takes a SATA drive up to 2TB. There’s also a USB 3.0 drive, should the 2TB not be enough!

As well as being DLNA compatible, the WNDR4700 also lets you back up your laptop OS to the drive – automatically.

Full review here

Other Linksys Routers To Check Out

Linksys EA8500

Linksys EA8500 AC2600 Main - Netgear vs Linksys
Asus RT-AC87U Buy Button - Netgear vs Linksys
>>> Check it out on Amazon <<<

The EA8500 is the first of two new ventures into the world of MU-MIMO for Linksys. This AC2600 router also has a 1.4GHz processor, USB 3.0 port with an additional eSATA option – nice.

Full EA8500 review

Linksys E8350

Linksys E8350 AC2400 Main - Netgear vs Linksys
Linksys E8350 AC2400 Buy Button - Netgear vs Linksys
>>> Read FULL Linksys E8350 Review Here <<<

The E8350 (yes we always get this confused with the too similarly title EA8500 above!) is another MU-MIMO router.

It’s less powerful, but the cost is a little lower…

Our full review

Do you agree/disagree? Why not comment below and let us know what you think…

7 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Hi Team,
    I like your article. It is very informative. As you say in the text, “…is which router to go for depending on our needs?”

    I am looking for a router to handle the wifi for an exhibition sized model railway layout.
    There are 9 operators each using ipad2 and iphones/Android at present – 18 seperate connections but I am looking at splitting the screen on the ipads and putting the Throttle App onto each one instead, cutting down the connections to 9.
    (1) The router is not required to connect to the internet, making it a private network. This facility must be switchable ON or OFF.
    (2) The range has to be about 50ft since the layout itself in 40ft long and 20ft wide.
    (3) Has the ability and is capable of handling all bi-directional traffic from the 9 inputs and from the layout itself.
    (4) The control system uses a Dell Inspiron 1750 Laptop that runs the Control Program (JMRI) and JAVA 1.8 running under Windows Vista.
    (5) The router must be capable of having both its Frequencies and its Channels changed quickly since the layout, at exhibitions, has to share the same room with maybe 40 other layouts and more and more are going wifi! so we need the flexibility to avoid interference with other layouts and their operators as this can get very messy very quickly as we have already found out to our cost!

    I am open to suggestions, please.

    1. · Edit

      Hi Dave,

      Without knowing the throughput required for the app used on the ipads, it’s hard to know how much ‘guts’ of a wifi router you need.

      I may be reading you wrong, but all 9 of your operators will use the same channel/SSID. If you are sharing a room with (40?!) other layouts and they each need their own channel, then you’re probably going to run into difficulties with interference/overlap. You will definitely need a 5GHz router. If you just need something cheap and cheerful, a Wireless N router might be good enough, like the Netgear WNDR3700

      Or a good all rounder is the Nighthawk router in the lists above.

      If this is a public exhibition and you really need 40 available channels, you will probably need a network consultant to visit the site and get this set up for you. You’re moving into the realms of tweaking power and managing overlap. It can get messy! Good luck 🙂

      1. Not quite what I had in mind. The Router must allow the iPads to link, using wi-fi, to the the Laptop that is running the Control Program.

        The Problem of overlap between different systems is well understood at Exhibitions. We all tend to talk to our neighbours first thing whilst setting up. The smaller layouts tend to use the lower frequency and the larger layouts the highter frequency . We generally set ourselves up so that each adjacent layout uses a different channel but the Exhibition Managers are aware of the problem and try to fit small layouts between the larger ones to try to avoid overlap of Channels as well as frequency.

        I understand that those Routers at the top end have the ability to both automatically and manually set the IP address of devices that connect to them. That being the case, if we know the IP Addresses available to and generated by the Router we can manually set a unique IP adress to each iPad in turn.

        If the Router is capable of handling, say 50 IP Addresses, then if the controlling laptop is designated as No 1 in the sequence and the iPads are designated the folllowing 10 addresses we will have spare capacity to add further devices at a later date – say Mini TV cameras on trains to show the Driver’s eye view to the visitors to the exhibition or to big monitor screens so that people can watch from afar.

        If we go on to use the split screen mode of an ipad and now have both the control program and a Throttle active on each ipad. Since the whole layout is held within the program and each ipad will normally be given its own section to control as well as the means to control the locomotives running in that section or anywhere else around the layout for that matter, that should not prove to be too onerous a task for a top of the range Router to handle. After all, it is not connected to the Internet but merely supplying the structure to what is essentially a private network.

        The problem we are facing with the use of DCC is that the operator can now choose to become the person controlling their own part of the layout alone or can become the Engine Driver and follow the train through every other part of the layout, controlling its speed and direction wherever it happens to be. Don’t you just love it! Wait until the Breakdown Train is required!

        1. · Edit

          Hi Dave,

          It’s potentially a tricky setup, but I’ll try to answer your concerns the best I can.

          1) I’d expect pretty much all routers to dish out dynamic IP addresses (for your iPads – using DHCP) and to allow statically assigned addresses (for your laptop). Just make sure you keep the DHCP range separate from the statically assigned range. You can check out our DHCP article here for more info:
          2) It’s pretty common to see routers have a DHCP range of up to 150 addresses, and up to 149 addresses that can be assigned statically. You should be able to change this within the settings of the router in the menu if necessary. The default is usually sufficient for most home users. If you only need 10 addresses – you’re good to go…
          3) Don’t underestimate the amount of throughput required for all the sessions combined. This is especially the case if you’re streaming video across wifi onto big screens. The resolution and how ‘efficient’ the software on the laptop works will have a huge bearing on this.

          I’d love to just give you a simple answer here, but without knowing the finer details of how the setup actually works (I’d need to be physically there with monitoring tools) I can’t give an answer. If you’ve set this up before with a ‘normal’ basic home router, and it worked pretty well, then I’d say that any of the Netgear Nighthawk series will probably do the job for you. If you flash one with DD-WRT (be very careful doing this! There are numerous caveats: & ), you can really dig deep into how much control you have.

          As I said before, try to get an IT ‘expert’ who can actually be on site to help set you up. And make sure you test as much as possible before the exhibition starts. Especially when the other layouts are operational. That’s where a lot of the problems will start with ‘overlapping’.

          I hope this helps and good luck!

          P.S. I’d love to actually see the exhibition! It sounds like fun!

        2. · Edit

          Also….I really do think a more professional setup is needed considering all the different layouts. Like a corporate wifi system… I know that might not be so easy, especially financially.

  2. Nice Comparison. According to The reviews on These given sites linksys is better than netgear.

  3. Thanks for your wonderful article. WiFi Alliance has decided WPA3 retire the circa-2004 WPA2 soon, WiFi Protected Access version 2 was ratified for public use. It took the WiFi Alliance more than 14-years to revise the wireless LAN standard encryption system, with version 3.0 of the WiFi Protected Access has been green-lighted for public consumption.


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