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Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 review

Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 review
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Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 is loaded with advanced technology:. It is designed with a dual core 1.8GHz processor, 6 amplified antennas, Beamforming, MU-MIMO, Smart Connect, Amazon Alexa Voice Controls, and more. The world’s leading cybersecurity protects all your home devices from virus, malware, and data theft with a 30-day free trial. Reveal more in Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 review.

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Pros & Cons – Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000

FOR

  • Tri-band design
  • Good performance at middle distances
  • Lots of customization options
  • Wired LAN aggregation potential

AGAINST

  • Expensive
  • Parental controls require third-party account
  • 90-day support included

Specs – Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000

Wi-Fi: AC4000
Number of Antennas/Removable: 6/No
Ports: 1 WAN/4 LAN gigabit per second, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Processor/Memory/Storage: Dual Core 1.8GHz/128MB/512MB
Wi-Fi chip : Broadcom BCM4365E
Max Thoroughput (at 5 feet): 661.5 Mbps (at 50-feet)
Range: 100 feet
Size : 11.1 x 9.0 x 2.1 inches

Compare Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 vs TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router(Archer AX6000)

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6S Smart Wi-Fi Router (R8000P) – AC4000 TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router(Archer AX6000) -Wireless RouterASUS AX5400 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX82U)
Connectivity TechnologyethernetWi-Fi, Ethernet, USBWi-Fi, Ethernet
Data Transfer Rate4000.0 Mb per second5952 Mb per second4804 Mb per second
Item Dimensions2.14 x 11.63 x 8.92 inches10 x 12 x 4 inches10.96 x 7.26 x 6.5 inches
Item Weight2.43 lbs3.50 lbs1.57 lbs
Total Ethernet Ports494

Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 review

Design

Clothed in basic black, the 11.0 x 9.0 x 2.1-inch X6S can be set up on a tabletop, shelf or windowsill. Or, if you like, the bottom has cutouts to wall-mount the X6S, but the router’s six pull-out antennas run the risk of being used as a coat rack if mounted vertically. On the downside, the antennas can neither be replaced nor swiveled to aim the router’s signal.

Ports

Its connection panel in the back has a gigabit WAN connection as well as four LAN ports. The two that can be aggregated are marked. This router’s combination of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports means that it can turn a hard drive and a printer into networked devices.  

The X6S does something few routers can: It lets you aggregate two wired connections to a single computer that has a pair of RJ45 LAN ports. This LAN teaming can double the throughput, to up to 2 Gbps for top-speed gaming or file transfers.

LED indicator

The X6S is old school, with no fewer than 11 LEDs up front that blink away like a Christmas tree. In addition to indicators for power and internet, there are lights for the four downstream LAN ports and all three wireless channels. Happily, it has a switch in the back for turning all the LEDs off.

Reset

The power button and reset switch can also be located at the back of the unit. As for the WPS button, it can be found on the front end of the device, making for a relatively easy way to turn Wi-Fi broadcast on and off.

Hardware

he Nighthawk X6S is built around Broadcom’s BCM4365E Wi-Fi chip. It has a dual-core 1.8GHz processor, 128MB of RAM and 512MB of solid-state storage for holding the system’s firmware and settings. While this router does without the WRT32X’s bandwidth-expansion technology, the X6S uses the latest Mu-Mimo technology to connect with several devices at once.

Speed

The tri-band wireless design can theoretically deliver 750 Mbps with the X6S’s 2.4GHz channel as well as up to 1.625 Gbps for each of the router’s two 5GHz channels. This adds up to a hefty AC4000 rating.

Beamforming

This router also uses Netgear’s Beamforming+ protocol to customize the signal for each device. The protocol works at the driver level to get a little extra speed and range out of beamforming while remaining compatible with standard 802.11ac equipment.

ReadySHARE

ReadySHARE settings allow you to set up basic file sharing or configure your attached drive as a personal cloud drive. Use Advanced settings to create access schedules, enable email notifications when a client attempts to visit a restricted site, configure Port Forwarding, Port Aggregation, Static Routing, and VPN services, view system logs, and update the router’s firmware. There’s also a traffic meter that lets you view upload and download activity and total connection times for each client.

Installation

The installation process and the setup procedure is relatively easy than other Wi-Fi models. You just need to connect the router through a LAN cable or Wi-Fi. Open your internet browser and type routerlogin.net. If it does not work, you can type 192.168.1.1 in the address bar of the internet browser.

When you are prompted there, you need to enter the password of the router. You can find the default password on the setup booklet or the instructional manual that comes with the router. Remember, you need to change the username and the password from the default to secure the network.

To configure the router, you can use the Netgear Genie User Interface “UI.” Not only does this software application allows you to configure the device but it also enables you to set parental controls, modify settings for the external storage, as well as the number of devices that are connected to the router. Guest Network setting is another important feature offered by the Netgear Genie Interface.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 Performance review

We used Ixia’s IxChariot software to monitor network performance at our Utah testing facility. While the X6S was able to deliver 571.2 and 628.7 Mbps at 5 and 15 feet, it hit its peak at an unusual distance of 50 feet, moving 661.5 Mbps. That’s 6 percent above the EA8300’s maximum of 626.5 Mbps at 5 feet and 21 percent ahead of the WRT32X’s 544.5 Mbps at 15 feet. Still, the X6S was slightly behind the No. 1-performing router, Norton Core and its 672.2 Mbps at 5 feet.

The X6S hits its stride when other routers start to peter out. Overall, it turned in a good performance, but it excelled at midrange distances. Based on Broadcom’s BCM4365E Wi-Fi chip, the device sets up a tri-band 802.11ac network that has an AC4000 rating.

The X6S moved up in the pack, delivering 525.1 and 411.5 Mbps at 100 and 150 feet. That’s well ahead of the throughput for the WRT32X (302.4 Mbps) and Core (384.1 Mbps) at 150 feet.

This router makes for a pretty good choice in an older home that has lots of thick walls, because the X6S can push a strong 580.6 and 609.8 Mbps signal through a metal wall and ceiling. The EA8300, by comparison, produces 428.5 and 489.8 Mbps. By contrast, the Core punched 705.8 Mbps of Wi-Fi data through a ceiling.Advertisement

To test file-transfer performance, we move a 1.5GB folder containing a mix of video, music, photo, and document files between a wired host PC and a USB drive attached to the router’s USB 3.0 port. The R8000P delivered middling speeds of 36MBps (write) and 33MBps (read). That’s similar to what we saw with the Asus RT-AC86U and a bit slower than the D-Link DIR-885L/R. The Linksys WRT32X led with a write speed of 76.8MBps and a read speed of 48MBps.

In an older house, the X6S had a range of 100 feet, well ahead of the EA8300’s 75 feet and the Core’s 80 feet. The Netgear Orbi mesh router still leads here, with a 110-foot range. On the downside, the X6S’s range couldn’t quite cover my 3,500-square-foot home with Wi-Fi. The X6S left several areas uncovered, requiring an extension.  

The router easily played 4K videos on my iPad Pro. The X6S also passed my informal saturation test, in which I listen to an internet radio station on an iPad Pro while watching videos on a MacBook Air and Surface Pro 3 and moving data to and from a network storage system with a Samsung TabPro S. The music and video played without a problem.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000 customer review

Excellent coverage and FAST!

I was in need of an upgrade from an aging ASUS router that was constantly dropping WiFi or my GIGABIT connection (issue was later discovered to be Xfinity XB6). Plus who DOESN’T like to upgrade, right?! 🙂

I have used almost every brand of router on the market. I have purchased Netgear in the past and have had good luck with them.

This one in particular came as a recommendation from a Best Buy associate. I have a lot of devices using the internet via wireless and wired connections. My ethernet cables are all CAT6 24AWG Shielded High Performance (Shielded Twisted Pair). I am also using 10/100/1000 Mbps Unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switches.

Wireless performance is everything I expected it to be. I adjusted the antennas after using a WiFi app on my iPhone 11Pro Max called Wi-FiSweetSpots. I was able to walk around my entire home while using the app and analyze and figure where I needed to place the router (centered as closely as possible to my house/property).

In this house with 3 boys, we have a few wireless devices going on an almost all day schedule (especially with school out because of COVID-19). 3 4K ROKU TV Sticks going, A Nintendo Switch (and Switch Lite), iPads and a TAB S4 tablet, 2 iPhones, 6 Alexa devices, 5 KASA smart plugs, 2 Google NEST thermostats, and Google minis to name a few. We never have an issue with dropouts or speed on any of these devices.

I average killer speeds on my iPhone 11Pro Max 609 Mbps down and 37 Mbps down (those speeds are when most online devices are not in use). This router manages our wireless devices correctly and spreads the bandwidth accordingly.

Wired connection speed tests (connected to my Netgear CM1150V-100 modem via Xfinity) averages 940-952 Mbps down and 40-43 Mbps up. The user interface is clean and easily understandable. Netgear user forums are also informative if you don’t quite understand the setup.

At any given time when I look at my router, I can have 30 devices combined using the network (PS4’s, XBOX One X and so on) and this router has been solid since I purchased and installed it on 27 February 2020. I recommend this model after my user experience has been positive.

I purchased it for $249.99 (did not purchase the extended warranty).

By LTwinJeff at Best Buy

Alternate of Netgear Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi router (R8000P) – AC4000

TP-Link Archer AX20

If our pick is out of stock or its price is more than $30 higher, you should consider the TP-Link Archer AX20 instead. The AX20 looks like the AX50 and offers a strong, responsive network that’s nearly as good, especially if your house isn’t larger than our 2,300-square-foot-test home. But it’s not quite as fast at longer ranges, and TP-Link sacrifices a few advanced features and settings in its administration interface to meet the lower price.

TP-Link Archer AX50

The TP-Link Archer AX50 is reasonably priced, yet it can handle a growing selection of laptops and smart devices while surpassing the performance of routers that cost twice as much. It’s generally speedy and able to reach long range, it has little lag even when the network is busy, and it’s a great choice if you have a high-performance internet service plan. It’s compatible with Wi-Fi 6, the latest wireless standard, and it comes with built-in security in the form of a lifetime subscription to updates.

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