Home / Reviews / Computers / Netgear Nighthawk X10 review – a router with the speed and range to meet our modern needs
netgearnighthawkx103

Netgear Nighthawk X10 review – a router with the speed and range to meet our modern needs

If you want a great wi-fi network at home – you need a great router. It’s as simple as that. One router that can certainly be hailed as great is Netgear’s new Nighthawk X10 which can provide combined wireless speeds of up to 7.2Gbps.

The “Netflix effect” has made customers take more notice of their wi-fi networks than ever before so they can stream 4K content without buffering and play online games with less lag.

To achieve all this wirelessly you need a beast of a router and the Nighthawk X10 fits the bill.

Netgear is calling this the fastest router for media streaming and we have to agree.

On the design side the X10 has aggressive styling with an angular look and sharp corners. Most of the top surface of the new quad-stream router is actually mesh so you can look right inside and see the cooling fan and the motherboard.

But it does have quite a large foot print so it’s going hog some desk space – it’s 22.4cm wide.

What we did was mount the X10 on the wall behind our iMac so it took up no desk space at all. There are mounting holes on the back already.

netgear17ces7

On the rear panel of the router are seven Gigabit Ethernet ports to connect nearby devices like smart TVs, gaming consoles, set-top-boxes and Blu-ray Disc players.

There are two USB 3.0 ports on the left side that can be used to connect a printer or an external hard drive to share on the network.

You’ll also find a 10G LAN SFP+ port to connect a NAS (network attached storage) for fast access to your data, files and documents from anywhere.

We loved the fact the X10 had Plex support because the media that was on the hard drive we connected was organised with artwork, posters and synopses when we accessed that content on any other device on our network including our smart TV, smartphone, tablet, laptops and computer.

The Netgear Nighthawk X10 gets its power from its 1.7Ghz quad-core processor and its speed from its 802.11ac and 802.11ad wireless radios.

netgearnighthawkx101

802.11ad is the latest wi-fi standard that happens to be three times faster than 802.11ac at up to 4.6Gbps while typical 802.11ac tops out at 1.3Gbps.

The result is being able to stream content like 4K movies without missing a beat and online and VR gaming that’s faster than ever before.

What helps the wi-fi quality and speed are the four patent-pending active antennas that amplify the signal to increase range and throughput to all corners of your home.

How "Device A" covered our home
How “Device A” covered our home
"Device A" signal strength and speed weakened even a short distance from the router
“Device A” signal strength and speed weakened even a short distance from the router

It also has MU-MIMO (multiple user – multiple input, multiple output) to improve streaming while the 160Mhz band doubles the wi-fi speed to mobile devices on your network.

For our testing we used the Telstra Wi-Fi Maximiser app to map the wi-fi connection and its speeds at various points of our home.

In this review we compared a rival 802.11ac router that we will call Device A with the Netgear Nighthawk X10.

Using the Telstra app we mapped the bottom floor of our two-storey home which is 23m long and took identical measurements in four places while the routers were located beside each other in our study.

Netgear's Nighthawk X10 had stronger and faster signal strength over a wider area in our home
Netgear’s Nighthawk X10 had stronger and faster signal strength over a wider area in our home
nighthawkx10review6
The Netgear Nighthawk X10 was consistently fast with excellent signal strength across our home

With Device A the strength of the network was strongest and fastest in the vicinity of the router with wi-fi speeds of 70Mbps at Point A, 46Mbps at Point B, 38Mbps at Point C and only 15Mbps at Point D.

When we did the same wi-fi mapping with the Netgear Nighthawk X10 it was a huge improvement.

Not only was the heat map showing a faster and higher quality connection over a larger area – the speed at every point was much faster – 240Mbps (Point A), 240Mbps (Point B), 183Mbps (Point C) and 240Mbps (Point D).

The results of the test confirmed the X10 not only has wider range but also faster speeds in every corner of the home.

Now if after reading about all of these great features and wi-fi speeds you were worried that a router like this is hard to set up – then you can put those worries at ease.

nighthawkx10review1

The Netgear Up app takes you through the installation and connection process in a few minutes and that includes renaming your network and creating your own password.

The Netgear Nighthawk X10 is easily the best router we’ve reviewed but that speed, range and reliability doesn’t come cheap – it’s priced at $799.

But with the importance we place on our home wi-fi to not only handle the sheer number of devices connected to it in our homes and stream content smoothly across the network, it’s a price you’ll be willing to pay.

VERDICT

Netgear has knocked it out of the park with the Nighthawk X10 router. It delivers consistent speed and coverage across your entire home and it can reliably handle our modern needs when it comes to streaming content and connecting multiple wi-fi devices at once.

If you want a great wi-fi network at home – you need a great router. It’s as simple as that. One router that can certainly be hailed as great is Netgear’s new Nighthawk X10 which can provide combined wireless speeds of up to 7.2Gbps. The “Netflix effect” has made customers take more notice of their wi-fi networks than ever before so they can stream 4K content without buffering and play online games with less lag. To achieve all this wirelessly you need a beast of a router and the Nighthawk X10 fits the bill. Netgear is calling this the fastest…

Netgear Nighthawk X10

Rating - 95%

95%

PROS: Aggressive design, fast, consistent wi-fi across the home, excellent connectivity for printers, external hard drives and network attached storage, easy to set up. CONS: Has a large footprint, expensive. VERDICT: Netgear has knocked it out of the park with the Nighthawk X10 router. It delivers consistent speed and coverage across your entire home and it can reliably handle our modern needs when it comes to streaming content and connecting multiple wi-fi devices at once.

User Rating: Be the first one !

 

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

Check Also

mate9review19

Huawei Mate 9 smartphone review – the great call of China

Huawei is starting to loom large in the worldwide smartphone market behind giants Samsung and …

  • peter morrow

    hi

    what was the make and model number of the “device A” as it indeed has poor wifi coverage i would not expect of any wireless AC router , that is what would be expected of a slower wireless N router

    also the use of the telstra maximizer app is shown to be inaccurate and almost useless as a testing tool

    just to clear something up regarding the active antennas , all wireless AC routers have amplifiers most have them on the main board , netgear with the x10 have just moved them into the antenna , the moving of the amplifier make very little difference to coverage

    just to also poinht out the x10 current usable wifi is 1733M sync on 5 gig and 800M sync on 2.4 gig , the 60ghz wireless AD is currently not usable as there are no clients available and i suspect there wont be for some time to come

    the x10 is a good wireless AC router with good features but at $799 its really outside the normal household budget but i expect this review isnt aimed at normal households