It’s about time we did another comparison. This time it’s the Nighthawk AC1900 vs Nighthawk X6 AC3200…
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000 is the follow-up to the very successful original Nighthawk R7000. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 R7000, to give it it’s full title, entered the market in 2013. At the time it had 3 major competitors, which were also AC1900 routers – the Asus RT-AC68U and the Linksys EA6900. Both of the competition were worthy contenders for the crown of AC1900 champ. In fact, depending what features you looked at, each router was/is fantastic in their own right. However, it must be said that the original Nighthawk was, and still is, a beast of a machine.
Top Netgear Routers
What we need to find out though, is whether or not the original Nighthawk R7000 should still be on your shopping list. Is the new Nighthawk X6 R8000 really that much better?…and how do they compare with each other, especially when it comes down to features?
Nighthawk X6 R8000 AC3200 Router
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000 boasts ‘Tri-Band’ technology, which promises to deliver faster AC throughput for more devices concurrently. 3.2Gbps cumulative data rates…
Nighthawk AC1900 R7000 Router
The old workhorse – the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. It’s been out for almost 1 year now and is still very popular with customers. It uses the more traditional Dual Band wireless technology and has data rates up to 1.9Gbps cumulative…
Nighthawk AC1900 vs Nighthawk X6 AC3200 – Shared Features
Both Nighthawks have a loooooong list of features. We could be here all day, boring you to death. So instead, here is a list of the key features that both routers share. You know, the features that you actually care about…
Wireless AC Speeds
Pretty obvious this one, but it has to go in our list. It’s mandatory! The R7000 was up there with the RT-AC68U when it came to AC speeds. Now, the R8000 takes fast wireless to a whole new level. Overall throughput for ALL clients is greatly improved under heavy usage conditions. This is all down to the clever “Tri-Band” technology. More on that further below…
1GHz Dual Core CPU
Both Nighthawks have 1GHz CPU’s. Essential for processing the wireless Gigabit data flows, concurrent sessions, Quality of Service etc. The X6 R8000 does have another trick up it’s sleeve though. It has 3 offload processors, which take the strain off the main dual core. Gigabit networks can take their toll on network hardware, so having offload processors is a very welcome relief!
Having the ability to direct Wi-Fi beamwidth in the direction of wireless clients as and when they need it, not only makes total sense, but should be a ‘no-brainer’ in this day and age.
USB 3.0 Port (oh, and a USB 2.0 port too!)
An AC router MUST have a USB 3.0 port. No “ifs”, no “buts”, no “maybes”. What would be the point of having a USB 2.0 only port, that can only provide throughput of a couple of hundred Mbps, when the wireless AC speeds are so much faster? The truth is that there are some USB 2.0 only AC routers out there today. Thankfully the Nighthawks DO NOT fall into this category!
The GENIE app is awesome for managing the home network, and streaming media across devices. It’s also compatible with iPhone & iPad for printing purposes. Just install on your Apple, Android or PC and off you go! The intuitive menu is easy to navigate.
Here’s what we said about wireless PCI cards for desktops
Netgear ReadyShare facilitates sharing of media and printing, as well as offering backup options. Share media by plugging in a USB drive to the router, or print wirelessly from anywhere in the home via a connected USB printer.
Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 R8000
Extras That The Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Has in It’s Pocket
Tri-Band Wireless – You are all familiar with Dual Band…it uses both 2.4GHz & 5GHz radio bands. This means you can effectively have two non-conflicting networks for clients to connect to.
The 5GHz is used for Wireless AC, and can also be used for the older Wireless N. Wireless AC should always be used where possible as the throughput speeds are so much greater.
The 2.4GHz range is more popular, at time of writing, but it’s popularity is waning with the introduction of the faster Wireless AC 5GHz routers now on the market. Wi-Fi devices that use Wireless N, G & B use 2.4GHz. Aside from slower speeds, the 2.4GHz range suffers from congestion from other wireless networks and interference from microwaves and cordless phones etc.
Tri-Band has three radios as opposed to two. Why three you may ask? Well, Netgear have provided one 2.4GHz radio, which is normal, and two 5GHz radios. The reason for having these two 5GHz radios is to balance the available throughput. Each radio is capable of 1.3Gbps data rates. The idea is to have each single wireless client connect to either 5GHz radio, whichever is less congested.
Nighthawk X6 AC3200 R8000 Ports
Offload Processors – The Offload CPU’s (there are 3 of them) take the strain off the main dual core CPU. Gigabit networking can be processor intensive when the network is busy. Offload processing takes the load away from the main processor, so that it can get on with other tasks, improving efficiency and helping to avoid any bottlenecks.
Nighthawk AC1900 R7000 Ports
If you want Netgear’s new flagship router, and have the money, you won’t even have read this far! You’ll already have made your decision and opted for the X6 AC3200. In fact, you have probably already placed your order! The tri-band radios and plethora of processors set the AC3200 apart from the rest.
However, if you want a solid router that won’t put as big a dent in your wallet, why not just go for the old favorite – the R7000?
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 R7000
Alternatives Worth Considering
What do you think? Do you agree/disagree? Why not comment below and let us know what you think…