On Tuesday, Netgear introduced a new Wireless AC "smart" router, the Nighthawk X4. This device is capable of delivering up to 1733 Mbps speeds on the 5 GHz band and up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. The router is available now for $279.99 in the United States.
According to Netgear, the new router includes a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor based on Qualcomm's Internet Processor, promising 40 percent faster speed than similar products. The router is also packed with Quantenna's 802.11ac Wave 2, 4x4, and MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO) WiFi technology, which provides the speeds and long range performance.
The new router includes a Dynamic QoS prioritization capability, meaning it doesn't treat all devices equally, but instead prioritizes each application. The router is also "device aware," capable of detecting consoles, desktops, Smart TVs and so on. Due to these two traits, gameplay will be lag free, according to the company, and streaming HD video will see less buffering.
The specifications include two USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA port for sharing external storage, four external antennas that provide whole-house coverage, 128 MB of internal storage and 256 MB of RAM. There are also five gigabit ports (one for the modem), Beamforming+ for connections that are more reliable and ReadySHARE USB technology for sharing a printer or external storage.
In addition to those features, the new "smart" router includes support for iTunes server for playing music on AirPlay-compatible devices. There's also the Netgear Genie interface for installing, monitoring and maintaining the network. ReadySHARE Vault software will back up Windows-based network-connected desktops and laptops to a USB external drive.
"The Nighthawk X4 is designed for gamers and people who do a lot of video streaming," said Sandeep Harpalani, Netgear's director of product marketing for Retail Network Products. "We are excited to leverage the best in processing power, Dynamic Quality of Service, and dual-band WiFi technology to exceed the expectations of these demanding consumers."
Netgear isn't the only company offering a Wireless AC router with 1733 Gbps speeds. Asus introduced its solution back in July, the RT-AC87 Wave 2 Wireless AC consumer networking router. Like the Netgear model, the Asus device also uses Quantenna's QSR1000 4x4 MU-MIMO chipset. The router also includes four external antennas for a wide range and Universal Beamforming for focused network connectivity. This router will also have AiProtection with Trend Micro pre-installed.
The Asus RT-AC87 Wireless AC router will be made available soon for $269.99, $10 cheaper than the Netgear solution.