Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

The performance of modern WLAN networks has increased to such a level that the wired Ethernet connection may be called excessive. Finally, the theoretical bandwidth of up to 1.733 Mbit / s, which exceeds the Gigabit cable connection. Of course, in practice, the speed will be much lower than the theoretical maximum, but fast WLAN networks are becoming increasingly popular in homes and apartments users. Netgear just introduced a new WLAN-Router Nighthawk X10, which uses a large number of modern technologies. And we got the router in the test lab.

The need for high-speed WLAN networks continues to increase as more users transmit data, including video streaming. In the living room, for example, set-top box can work in 4K, and the child in his room to watch Netflix will be broadcast on the tablet. For such scenarios require sufficient bandwidth on the Internet channel, as well as from a WLAN network, otherwise there will be noticeable twitches, and the resolution will decrease.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 also offers several additional features that may well become a standard for future routers WLAN. For example, the X10 can be connected to the network 10 Gb / s interface via SFP + for fiber optic cable. In addition to the standard high-speed 802.11ac WLAN router Netgear Nighthawk X10 802.11ad supports speeds of up to 4,600 Mbit / s in the range of 60 GHz. Other specifications are shown below.

According to the specifications table, you can make a first impression, but below we analyze in detail the characteristics. It is worth saying a few words about the price, because the Netgear Nighthawk X10 will cost from 470 euros in Europe. In Russia, at the time of publication of the router has not yet appeared. Price rather big, so Netgear Nighthawk X10 belongs to the most expensive consumer WLAN routers on the market. It will be interesting to see if the feature set will be able to compensate for the price, but we will return to this issue later.

The performance of modern WLAN networks has increased to such a level that the wired Ethernet connection may be called excessive. Finally, the theoretical bandwidth of up to 1.733 Mbit / s, which exceeds the Gigabit cable connection. Of course, in practice, the speed will be much lower than the theoretical maximum, but fast WLAN networks are becoming increasingly popular in homes and apartments users. Netgear just introduced a new WLAN-Router Nighthawk X10, which uses a large number of modern technologies. And we got the router in the test lab.

The need for high-speed WLAN networks continues to increase as more users transmit data, including video streaming. In the living room, for example, set-top box can work in 4K, and the child in his room to watch Netflix will be broadcast on the tablet. For such scenarios require sufficient bandwidth on the Internet channel, as well as from a WLAN network, otherwise there will be noticeable twitches, and the resolution will decrease.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Netgear Nighthawk X10 also offers several additional features that may well become a standard for future routers WLAN. For example, the X10 can be connected to the network 10 Gb / s interface via SFP + for fiber optic cable. In addition to the standard high-speed 802.11ac WLAN router Netgear Nighthawk X10 802.11ad supports speeds of up to 4,600 Mbit / s in the range of 60 GHz. Other specifications are shown below.

According to the specifications table, you can make a first impression, but below we analyze in detail the characteristics. It is worth saying a few words about the price, because the Netgear Nighthawk X10 will cost from 470 euros in Europe. In Russia, at the time of publication of the router has not yet appeared. Price rather big, so Netgear Nighthawk X10 belongs to the most expensive consumer WLAN routers on the market. It will be interesting to see if the feature set will be able to compensate for the price, but we will return to this issue later.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Netgear Nighthawk X10: Impression

As usual, we begin with the appearance of the Netgear Nighthawk X10 and interfaces.

Dimensions 224 x 168 x 74 mm at the Netgear Nighthawk X10 is quite typical WLAN-Router. Netgear refused any decoration, except that the external antenna WLAN stand. But still we have not received “arachnid” design with eight antennas. Netgear has failed to abandon the now fashionable lighting, as we’ll discuss below. Netgear body divided into two parts, one closed opaque plastic, and the other is a perforated surface that provides ventilation for cooling the components within.

Four external antennas are not classical circular and rectangular cross-section. Housing antennas as in the case of a router, is made of plastic. Non-removable antennas, while many competitors are using detachable connectors BNC. But antenna mounted on a hinge, so they can be given an arbitrary position.

Netgear has used a similar design, as some components are usually installed on the motherboard WLAN-Router, moved into the antenna. This approach allowed Netgear to reduce the noise level. In particular, mobile devices will benefit because the manufacturer promises to have a greater range of signal transmission and higher speed.

Let us turn to the interfaces and indicators. On the left side of the rear panel (viewed from the rear) added a toggle switch, turns on / off all LED router. So if a bright white flashing lights will annoy you, you can turn off. Under the external antenna is hidden button, which you can reset the router to its default settings.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

The right side of the rear panel, you can see the power socket, on / off button and a connector for SFP + optical Ethernet. Through this connector for fiber optic cable provides transfer rates up to 10 Gbit / s. Of course, such speed and today is provided by copper wires, but Netgear has decided to focus on the future.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 installed at seven ports RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet. Six of them are designed to connect via Ethernet devices at speeds up to 1 Gbit / s. The first two support aggregation port that can speed up to 2 Gbits / s. Some NAS has a similar port mode that doubles the bandwidth. However, in the consumer segment aggregation ports still rare. For network WAN router Nighthawk X10 connects the yellow Ethernet port. Router automatically configures itself depending on your network configuration, but through a software interface and advanced settings are possible.

On the left panel of the router can be seen two ports USB 3.0. Through them, you can connect a USB-printer or external hard drive. Service Netgear EasyShare just provide network access to a printer or storage device. In addition, directly on the router, you can start downloading the client, the files will be stored on an external drive.

Almost the entire front panel of the router extends the width of the strip of LEDs, which allows a glance to determine the status of the router and interface. For example, you can see which WLAN is active, a USB port is used, if the router is switched on at all. Note that these indicators can be completely turned off by a toggle switch at the rear.

On the right side there are LED-strip lights rear Ethernet port. There are also two buttons that allow you to enable / disable WLAN module or start WPS procedure that does not require a password.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Through the upper ventilation grille lurks router cooler. Of course, conventional WLAN-routers emit not much heat. But in the case of Netgear Nighthawk X10 is different, but large radiator can be seen, and a small fan. However, in our tests, he never once earned. Therefore, we do not know the fan is switched under any circumstances. We did not cover the ventilation holes, to create an artificial accumulation of heat inside the body, as it does not correspond to the practical conditions of use.

After switching on the router all LED on the front panel light up bright white. Therefore, the ability to turn off the LED rear will certainly please many users.

In addition to LED-indicators of the router there is an additional LED-backlight on the antennae. It is not so bright, in addition, instead of the white LED light blue. LED-backlit antennas can be turned off with the same toggle switch behind, and LED-lights on the front panel.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Netgear Nighthawk X10: Software

Of course, in addition to the hardware component is also important program filling, because it allows you to expand the available hardware features to the fullest. Especially in the case of such high-end routers.

After the first inclusion of WLAN-Router starts with the default settings. However, users can connect to the WLAN at the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz. Relevant information including SSID and the password is present from the lower part of the housing of the router. After the first user to connect to any network when accessing any page of the wizard starts. It allows you to configure the router step by step with a few questions sequence. Master detects active WLAN devices and configures the Netgear Nighthawk X10 accordingly.

Also router software determines the type of Internet connection and configures the router. To ensure the best performance, the Setup Wizard recommends that all WLAN devices to connect to the Nighthawk X10. It is possible to use WLAN-router as the central access point or extend the existing bridge in the WLAN mode.

When the settings is finished, the software will give an overview of all major WLAN-Router settings. You can immediately see if your Internet connection is working. Also displays status of WLAN, the number of connected devices, including whether the visited network and the limited access mode for children. In the expanded view, you can see additional WLAN settings.

On the Configure Internet connection, you can set a password if it is required to access the service provider. You can also assign a static IP-address of the WAN or dynamic address assignment. Finally, you can specify the address of the DNS-server, if necessary.

The WLAN Settings menu includes all the basic options. Namely WLAN network name (SSID), and an encryption option. WLAN can also set the operating mode depending on the type of the connected devices. Separately activated WLAN network for 60 GHz.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

If the router connected external drives, be it USB drive or USB-drives, then Nighthawk X10, you can select different options. They are summarized in the paragraph “ReadyShare”. You can enable network access to the drives. And it can be accessed through the company’s cloud and ReadyCloud via the Internet. On the USB ports you can connect a printer that can make a network. Local information can be synchronized with the Amazon cloud is enough to specify the input parameters.

Also WLAN home network, you can create up to two guests. For them separately specify the name and security settings. Guest network makes sense in cases where you do not want visitors to have access to your local network.

As we have noted above, the router has a built-in download client that saves files on the USB-stick. In this case, you can not waste resources gaming computer to download. The download manager can specify exactly where to save the file, as well as what type of injection – for example, a torrent or a file. You can also see an overview of the downloaded and already downloaded files.

On the Netgear Nighthawk X10 can install Plex server, router rarity. If you connect a USB-drive, the content can be transmitted through the Plex Plex server to media players. Buyer router receives a server license for three months, after which you must purchase a subscription Plex. The server provides video transcoding, if necessary, with music and photos too, problems arise.

For advanced users, Netgear Nighthawk X10 firmware offers additional settings. Including the Internet connection settings. You can disable response to ping requests, including protection from DDOS attacks, activate the DMZ server in the local network. You can also set the MTU size, and NAT translation of filtering.

If you care about the high quality of streaming, it certainly will be pleased with Quality of Service settings. Through or WMM Wi-Fi MultiMedia can be set high priorities of the relevant services, and web-browsing or background services will receive a lower priority.

If your home network, connect the children, you can activate the parental regime of time-limited access to the Internet and content filtering. The filters can block certain keywords in the domain name or create a white list. In the latter case, the child will have access only to the sites listed in the white list.

On other pages of the router software interface available advanced settings, we will not dwell on them. But if required, the user can configure the port forwarding, dynamic DNS and VPN-server, specify static routes to enable UPnP and IPv6. Also, LED-indicators can be controlled programmatically, not only through the switch on the rear panel. Finally, we note the possibility of aggregation of the two Ethernet ports.

Netgear Nighthawk X10: Tests

After describing the software and hardware components it is time to consider the performance of the router. We installed the router in a central place of the house, and then measured the performance in two Metakhim with different distances. WLAN-Router to get enough data, we used the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter with eight ports that support aggregation of Ethernet ports. In addition, the router supports scripts and simulation of user data that allows you to load ports to the maximum.

Of course, in practice, performance was significantly lower than the theoretical values. But again, note that the transfer rate is highly dependent on conditions. Namely, from the router installation site, the number of connected devices, obstructions between the router and the client.

In any case, Netgear Nighthawk X10 performance high enough to replace the WLAN wired Ethernet connection at home. Of course, wireless network latency is somewhat higher, and transmission stability is dependent on external conditions, but with the speed problem no longer occurs.

We also tested the performance data from the drive, connected to the Netgear Nighthawk X10, and the results we were pleasantly surprised. With the connected drive USB 3.0 data can be read and written to the Ethernet client at a rate of over 100 MB / s.

We have had two router Netgear Nighthawk X10, which made it possible to conduct tests 802.11ad mode, in which two routers were connected in bridge mode.

In tests, we could not get a theoretical rate of 4.600 Mbit / s. But the result of 144.5 MB / s can still be called quite high, over the frequency range of 5 GHz speed was noticeably lower. But, again, we were able to conduct tests only between the same two routers. If you connect a laptop all looked different, the rate was significantly decreased with distance. Long distances 802.11ad standard does not cover. And the need to satisfy the condition of direct visibility.

Netgear Nighthawk X10: conclusion

Netgear Nighthawk X10 combines all the latest WLAN technology in the high-end segment. Supports WLAN new standard 802.11ac, MU-MIMO technology, 802.11.ad at speeds up to 4.600 Mbit / s at a frequency of 160 MHz, beamforming (beamforming), and much more, so that the router is a reliable investment in the coming years. However, many customers require appropriate technologies. For the same 802.11ac, for example, though today more and more client devices to acquire the support of the standard.

In the case of the new standard WLAN 802.11ad everything looks different. The standard is supported by only a few notebooks, including the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet, Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 and HP Elite x2 1012 G1. In 2017, should appear longer compatible devices. It all depends on the rate of development of the ecosystem.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 offers a modern and cabling standards. To connect the router to six Gigabit Ethernet ports, which is enough for the home environment. Ports can be combined with support for 802.3ad and Link Aggregation – if you connect the NAS with support for the appropriate function, the bandwidth of the cable capacity can be increased. Port SFP + optics 10 allows you to connect Gigabit Ethernet.

The performance of the router Netgear Nighthawk X10 showed himself well. Of course, the theoretical bandwidth has remained out of reach, but the values ​​in practice turned out to be quite convincing, the network in the 5 GHz band worked on the Gigabit Ethernet level. So that this router can theoretically eliminate the cabling in the home.

But we must pay for everything. Netgear Nighthawk X10 will cost from 470 euros, so it is worth taking only if you really need a lot of bandwidth. And you have the appropriate customers. For example, if you purchased a notebook with 802.11ad, it makes sense to look at the router closer. In this case, you get the advantage of bandwidth. But if you do not have client hardware with support for the latest WLAN standards, such a router is hardly worth taking. Is that with an eye to the future. Here we have a classic chicken and egg problem. In any case, the router manufacturers are preparing ecosystem. Also, the Netgear Nighthawk X10 has other advantages: the ability to connect optical 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP + port, and support for aggregation at the two ports.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 is a perfect central device in the house or apartment. The router provides a high transfer rate and supports the most modern standards. If you want to increase the range of your existing network, we recommend that you look at the Netgear Orbi system we recently tested.

For superior performance WLAN and support for the latest technologies we award our Netgear Nighthawk X10 award “Excellent iron.”

Advantafes Netgear Nighthawk X10:

  • High WLAN transmission rate
  • 6x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1x 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Support Link Aggregation
  • Supports WLAN 802.11ad
  • Advanced configuration options

Disadvantages Netgear Nighthawk X10:

  • High price

Source: netgear

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review and test: router that supports 802.11ad and 10 Gigabit Ethernet was last modified: February 16th, 2017 by Casey Rembrandt