Netgear Nighthawk XR700 Gaming Router Review

The Netgear Nighthawk XR700 gaming router delivers superlatives: huge body, spectacular design, many wireless antennas, and the latest wireless 802.11ad technology, in addition, an SFP connection for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. So it is clear: this Netgear XR700 router is not aimed at the classic standard user, but at users who want to have super fast connections and lots of power in the home network such as gamers.

 

Netgear Nighthawk XR700 Appearance

Netgear has gone all-in for the design and designed a very unique case. The XR700 gaming router is huge and heavy in comparison to other router models, especially the bulky wireless antennas catch the eye. A large ventilation grille on the front allows a view of the technology and the active fan, red stripes on the body provide a fresh look. Overall, the design takes a bit of getting used to and certainly not compatible with any home decor – the XR700 is more likely to fit between gaming computers and network switches rather than on the dresser in the entry hallway.

 

Nighthawk XR700 WLAN Features

The Netgear Nighthawk XR700 can use WLAN on three frequency ranges: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 60 GHz. Over 2.4 GHz, a maximum of 400 Mbit/s is possible, over 5 GHz up to 1733 Mbit/s and over 60 GHz even up to 4,600 Mbit/s – in each case a suitably equipped terminal provided. The router supports 4 × 4 MU-MIMO antenna technology and offers a comparatively good range. An apartment of 60-80 square meters can be easily provided without the further repeater.

The integrated 802.11ad WLAN at 60 GHz is a curiosity. Theoretically, very high data rates are possible at a short distance – ideally a few meters and visual contact. Practically, however, it lacks of devices that have integrated 802.11ad. In fact, very few devices around the world are with this technology. Although there are retrofit solutions, including from Intel, but even Netgear has no retrofit adapter for USB or PCIe in the range. The 60 GHz WLAN could therefore not be tested.

 

Nighthawk XR700 Gaming Pro Interfaces

The Netgear XR700 has six RJ45 Gigabit LAN ports on the back, two more than an ordinary wireless router. Ports 1 and 2 can even be combined via Link Aggregation and thus significantly increase the speed, if supported by the end device (for example, a NAS). If you need an even faster LAN, you can buy a 10 GBit/s SFP module from a retailer and install it in the XR700’s SFP bay. Then up to 10 Gbit/s are possible.

 

 

The Netgear XR700 has no integrated modem. This is a shame given the high price on the one hand, on the other hand, there are now with (V) DSL, TV cable and fiber- three common types of connection and so anyone can take the modem, which fits best. The modem is then connected to the XR700 via the 1 Gbps WAN port.

For external devices such as hard drives or printers, there are two USB 3.0 ports on the Netgear XR700. In practice, a USB stick was easily detected and could be used within a short time. The data transfer rates were not tested in detail.

 

Conclusion

One thing is clear: the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 is not a router for everyone. This is already visible at the incredibly high price. But when you get the Netgear XR700, you can get other things that are otherwise in hardly any other router: an extraordinary design, good workmanship, top wireless performance, an SFP port for 10 GBit LAN and good software. Due to the lack of end devices, the integrated WLAN 802.11ad can hardly be used by anyone – but it is, after all, integrated. If you want to combine this combination of high-end features in one router, the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 is just what you need.

 

Telstra Presents Netgear Nighthawk M2 5G Mobile WiFi Router

As the successor to the Nighthawk M1, Netgear presented a new 5G mobile router Nighthawk M2 for the Australian network carrier Telstra at CES 2019. The new mobile hotspot supports 4G LTE Category 20 and could provide faster speeds for surfing. The appearance of the new 5G mobile hotspot is very similar to the first 5G mobile router Netgear Nighthawk M5, which is available for the AT&T 5G networks in the USA.

The Nighthawk M2 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 modem, and the theoretical data rates are 2Gbps for download and 316Mbps for upload. It’s possible to achieve 7 carrier aggregations for download and triple carrier aggregation for upload. The 4 × 4 MIMO antenna technology is supported on up to 5 carriers simultaneously. The 256QAM modulation is supported not only in the downlink but also in the uplink. Combining the mentioned technologies, the device reaches the mentioned 2 gigabits per second – but only if the mobile networks support these technologies as well.

Like the predecessor M1, Netgear M2 could also support maximum up to 20 wireless devices to access the internet. What’s more, the Nighthawk M2 has one RJ45 Ethernet port, one USB-C Port and one Type-A USB port. And two connectors for external antennas are available, but what’s the connector type is unknown yet. More details of the Netgear Nighthawk M2 is waiting for the official specs from Netgear or Telstra.

 

According to the Telstra news, the Nighthawk M2 is the world’s fastest 4G device on Australia’s fastest mobile network, and it’s said the M2 was already under test and it would be available in the market in early 2019. However, the price of Netgear Nighthawk M2 is not yet known, but we will keep updating the news.

 

 

 

Netgear Nighthawk M5 – World’s First 5G Mobile Hotspot Released

Recently, the US mobile operator AT&T launched the first mobile 5G hotspot which comes from the Netgear. The 5G device is named Netgear Nighthawk M5 Fusion, which receives and transmits data via an integrated 5G modem and then forwards the Internet connection via LAN and WLAN to other devices. The new hotspot includes a Qualcomm X50 modem, the first consumer 5G modem. 5G is supported in the millimeter-wave range by 26 GHz, in this frequency range, the provider AT&T launches the 5G expansion in the US. Whether the range between 3.5 and 3.7 GHz is supported by the modem, which is used in many other regions of the world for the launch of 5G, is currently not known.

AT&T didn’t confirm other specs for the Nighthawk M5 Fusion (we got the name from an image title on AT&T’s press site), but we think it also has a Qualcomm X20 modem for gigabit-plus speeds on LTE.

 

The announcement by Netgear and AT&T was made in late October 2018 as part of a 5G test in Waco, Texas. The 5G network technology gets from Ericsson. AT&T plans to launch the 5G network in at least 12 US cities by the end of 2018, and by early 2019, 5G will be available in 19 US cities.

 

The Nighthawk M5 Fusion looks like Netgear existing Nighthawk M1, and the revealed product image of the new Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G hotspot shows the Nighthawk M5 in cuboid design and with a large display on the front. There are no other technical details yet, so it is unclear how long the battery life will be in 5G operation and what connections the device offers. Neither AT&T nor Netgear have provided information on the maximum speed.

 

The M5 Fusion model from the Nighthawk series will probably be among the world’s first commercially available 5G router and it’s also should be the first Netgear 5G Router & ATT 5G Router. It’s said it would be available in 2018 for the launch of the AT&T 5G network in the US. Details of the technical equipment were not released yet, but the Nighthawk M5 should be the successor of the Netgear Nighthawk M1. We will keep updating the news and detail specifications about Nighthawk M5.