Netgear has unveiled what could possibly be the world's fastest router to date, promising that the device could render 4K video streams and VR gaming with ease for ultra-fast media consumption and instantaneous backup.
Dubbed as the Nighthawk X10, the router packs a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, the fastest chipset in the home router history so far. It is complemented by a quad-stream Wave 2 Wi-Fi architecture, which taps the next-generation Wi-Fi technology called 802.11ad. These specifications collectively enable the X10 to deliver a maximum speed of 7.2 Gb per second.
"The superior capabilities of 802.11ad will greatly enhance the user experience when dealing with applications that require the transferring of large amounts of data," Michael Thelander of the Signals Research Group, said in an official statement. "[It] also provides approximately one-tenth the latency, as compared to 802.11ac."
Currently, only about two or more routers could claim 802.11ad support, and these include the TP-Link Talon AD7200.
Not content with the previously cited specifications, Netgear further buffed up X10's technical muscle with its adoption of the MU-MIMO technology, which is a groundbreaking Wi-Fi technology that can double transmission speed and enable fast multiple streaming. There are also four Active Antennas, a proprietary component that can extend the router's range. This particular hardware seems aimed at Google Wifi, which promises to boost the range of home networks.
Some observers are also particularly interested with the fact that X10 has Plex Media support. This means that the router can double as a server without using a computer. A user just needs to plug in a USB 3.0 flash drive, and the router will turn it into a server. The device can convert up to two connected drives.
Nighthawk X10 also has OpenVPN mobile support, which allows its user to access his or her home network even from overseas.
Older routers under the Nighthawk range also sported USB ports but, the Plex firmware gave the X10 the server capability. Because of this, Netgear is also now touting the router as a mini PC, one that can store videos and files and make them available wherever a user wants.
It is, therefore, forgivable, when Netgear decided that the router should retail for $500. It is unmistakably top-of-the-line and leaves rivals in the dust in terms of the offered functionalities. It is even in the business of providing certain computing tasks. But for some ordinary mortals out there — those whose concerns and requirements are way below the gamers, VR users and voracious media consumers' — a cheaper alternative would probably still prove a better option.