Netgear formally introduced its new Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router at CE Week on Wednesday, June 25.

The X6 features six antennas and three network bands (one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz) that should enable it to achieve an aggregate Wi-Fi speed of up to 3.2 Gbps (1300+1300+600 Mbps). This also helps balance the network load to maximize Wi-Fi performance for each device in the network while encouraging extended wireless range.

Many home environments now contain a mix of new and old (legacy) Wi-Fi devices. A typical home network might include several smartphones, a tablet or two, a laptop and a desktop computer, a Wi-Fi enabled DVD player, television set, refrigerator or other appliance. It is likely that all of these devices incorporate a wide range of wireless standards, from older to newer. These standards are comfortably sorted by a tri-band router, and the Nighthawk X6 assigns devices of differing speeds into the most effective Wi-Fi band. This network load balancing and categorizaton allows the X6 to minimize interference and provide support for all Wi-Fi devices, especially "Internet of Things (IoT) products.

With the usual dual band router, video streaming and Internet games have to "time share" the 5 GHz band. The Nighthawk X6 will allow video streaming and Internet gaming to operate on separate 5 GHz bands -- the result is that each of them gets twice the throughput that a dual band router would provide.

"Home networks are being weighed down by an exploding number of Wi-Fi devices demanding bandwidth for more and more video content," said Sandeep Harpalani, Netgear's director of product marketing for retail network products. "Nighthawk X6 solves these issues by not only providing more Wi-Fi bandwidth but also segmenting slower and faster devices across different Wi-Fi bands and balancing the number of devices in each band to deliver the best in-class experience for streaming, sharing and gaming."

The Nighthawk X6 is powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor with three additional offload processors, and uses the newest 801.11ac wireless technology. The X6 also supports Netgear's Beamforming+, a signal-focusing technology that boosts Wi-Fi connections by locking onto a wireless device on the network and focusing Wi-Fi signals precisely at the device. With a mobile device, for example, Beamforming+ adjusts for distance to target, resulting in faster downloads, clearer Voice over Internet (VoIP) calls, smoother HD video buffering and ultra-responsive gaming.

The X6 has five gigabit Ethernet ports (one WAN, four LAN) and a USB 3.0 port. Software included with the X6 features ReadySHARE Vault, which automatically backs up Windows-based PCs to a USB hard drive connected to the Nighthawk X6.

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