The Nighthawk collection of routers is Netgear’s high-performance collection of routers and the Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router is the most recent entrant within the house that’s seen lots of consideration from PC producers and shopper digital manufacturers alike. This time round its partnered with Netduma, makers of the DumaOS, that’s labelled to be a characteristic packed working system particularly focused at fixing issues avid gamers face. However how good is the complete Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router bundle? We discover out.

The design is replete sharp, aggressive angles, and grills aplenty. It avoids the standard gaudy, ostentatious ‘gaming’ industrial design we’ve seen in laptops, PCs, and smartphones due to its all-black color. But it surely’s a pretty big router that may take up an honest quantity of house in your desk. With LEDs that point out Web, USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi connectivity that gentle it up, it has extra in frequent with stealth bombers than the comparatively mundane job of letting you prolong your kill streak in Overwatch. Although the shiny grills are a degree of concern as they appeal to mud with ease, making certain you’ll have to wash it usually if you need it to look pretty much as good because the day you bought it. A swap additionally allows you to flip off all LED indicators however one which signifies its on, for when your room begins to resemble a discotheque.

Within the field you get the router, 4 removable antennas, an Ethernet cable, a fast begin information, and two energy adapters — one with spherical pins and one other with flat pins. You want only one to get it operating, and its good to see Netgear consider various energy socket sorts and pre-empt any potential points by together with two sorts so that you don’t should run out and get an adapter to make use of it.

Powering the Netgear Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 is a dual-core 1.7GHz processor and 512MB of reminiscence that assist drive the 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports (4 LAN plus WAN), two USB three.zero ports, and 4 WiFi antennas. Netgear claims dual-band speeds of as much as 2.53Gbps (800Mbps at 2.4GHz plus 1,733Mbps at 5GHz), the XR500 Professional helps Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) too. In a neat contact, there’s a Wi-Fi button to allow you to swap it on and off as you see match.

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Netgear Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router options

Whereas a lot of the above specs could appear nothing out of the bizarre, the true differentiator is within the aforementioned DumaOS. Outdoors of Netduma’s personal R1 router, it’s not out there on another machine apart from the XR500 simply but. With it come a number of options comparable to a dashboard that exhibits you the way and the place your bandwidth is being consumed, geo-filter management which controls your lag by limiting the gap to sport servers, high quality of service (QoS) to allow you to prioritise bandwidth allocation, in addition to a community monitor and machine supervisor that offers you a visible illustration of which units are hogging your Web.

The latter two are normal options current in different routers although their distinctive presentation does make this router stand out from the pack due to stay graphs and networking maps.

Each characteristic is siloed in its personal app referred to as R-App inside DumaOS. Netduma claims this enables for a modular method to design letting it add new options with out introducing points to the general firmware whereas permitting every R-App to perform independently.

Organising the Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router was a easy job of changing the present WiFi router for our 50Mbps line with it. Logging into router login.web nevertheless, confirmed off an interface that’s far out of your ordinary networking administration software program.

Every part of DumaOS is crammed to the brim with information. A lot in order that it resembles web site analytics instruments like Chartbeat or Taboola, besides with metrics geared in the direction of how your router is working. It’s a bit overwhelming to make use of the primary time with graphs, charts, and community maps peppering each facet of it. This type of method is absolutely the anti-thesis to Apple’s discontinued AirPort Excessive collection that had a easy use and overlook arrange. Right here you’re bombarded with information, which is one thing the professional customers would recognize.

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Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router efficiency
As soon as we obtained over the preliminary info overload, the gaming dashboard offers a helpful overview of what your obtain and uploads are in actual time together with CPU utilization. There’s additionally an choice to allow or disable R-Apps on startup, helpful within the occasion of trouble-shooting any potential points.

The geo-filter allows you to add units comparable to consoles and PCs to be recognised by DumaOS by a dropdown menu containing related units. This lets you restrict the vary of looking for sport servers, letting you connect with these closest to you by selecting your location on a map and limiting the gap for which sport servers ought to be looked for. It’s extraordinarily simple to make use of and the outcomes have been refined however perceptible.

Firing up Overwatch, Name of Obligation: Black Ops three, and Halo 5 on the Xbox One resulted in barely quicker match making in all three video games with decrease pings too. This was additionally evident with Overwatch and Name of Obligation: Black Ops three on the PS4 Professional as effectively. It wasn’t a drastic, night time and day distinction over our present router nevertheless it made for a smoother general expertise. The interface additionally confirmed gamers related in actual time in addition to threw up servers that have been blocked outdoors the chosen radius. You possibly can tweak the settings in order that if a close-by server has poor ping, it may be blocked too.

This characteristic is smart for many console video games the place you don’t have any management over which server location to hook up with, however with PC video games having a server record to select from usually, geo-filtering is way from a necessity for those who play with a keyboard and mouse.

Moreover, due to how geo-filtering is applied, you’ll must always tweak and fine-tune the settings on a per sport foundation, you possibly can’t save particular profiles for particular video games, and whereas it does include pre-determined profiles for a bunch of video games like GTA V and Battlefield 1, it doesn’t robotically swap between them. You need to use the Netgear Nighthawk app for primary duties like establishing your router, handle the variety of units related, and check your Web pace, however that’s it. You possibly can’t tweak geo-filtering or any of the opposite DumaOS options from it as none of them are current within the app. So if you wish to get the most effective out of this particular choice as a PS4 or Xbox One gamer, you’ll need to be subsequent to your PC or laptop computer always to handle these settings.

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Transferring onto the High quality of Service (QoS) characteristic, it comprises a chart representing bandwidth allocation for downloads and uploads. Clicking on a tool current right here allows you to set obtain and add limits. QoS labored flawlessly, permitting us to manually cap our colleagues units’ add and obtain speeds at will whereas enjoying video games or streaming video. It supplies a form of granular management that we’ve seen from different routers as effectively.

Additionally discovered on this part is anti-bufferbloat. This allows you to stop a single machine from utilizing all of your bandwidth. You possibly can preserve it on always, flip it off fully, or use it when excessive precedence site visitors is detected. On this case, ‘excessive precedence site visitors’ refers to video games.

Netduma claims that when anti-bufferbloat is used on this setting, it kicks within the second a console sport or PC sport has been fired up and reduces out there bandwidth to different units. Utilizing each the PS4 Professional and Xbox One, it labored because it ought to with no complaints in such eventualities regardless of having 5 laptops and smartphones additionally related to the identical community and is a macro-level method to creating positive gaming is prioritised over all else. To push it even additional, we saturated our community with three units HD streaming video. In-game ping in Fortnite for Xbox One went from 100 to 140. Setting anti-bufferbloat on noticed it revert to the standard ping of 100 with an apparent efficiency penalty to video high quality on the opposite units together with buffering.

Apart from gaming efficiency, the Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router carried out effectively with most units we used with it. These embrace quite a lot of laptops, tablets, and smartphones which labored and not using a hitch until we enabled QoS choices. The vary appeared respectable too, permitting us to stream 1080p YouTube video and not using a hitch on a laptop computer roughly 12 metres from it with a wall in between. The expertise was related on Netflix as effectively, although quick forwarding did end in a buffer time of some seconds.

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Verdict
Though it’s crammed filled with options, the Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router has some apparent omissions. There’s no technique to test the bandwidth consumption of every machine independently, a obtrusive omission contemplating information caps current in international locations like India.

And regardless of receiving a number of updates, Ping Help, a a lot awaited characteristic for the router isn’t out there but. It’s a slider set in milliseconds and permits you to be a part of servers that fall beneath the chosen worth and permits you to be a part of them irrespective of the gap. It successfully bypasses any geo-filtering settings you might have chosen, prioritising decrease ping over the rest. On the time of this evaluation the characteristic hasn’t made it to the Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router although Netgear and Netduma have stated it could be coming in a future replace. Oddly sufficient it’s out there on Netduma’s R1 router.

Nonetheless its ease of use and refined efficiency enhancements coupled with helpful additions comparable to anti-bufferbloat and geo-filtering make the Nighthawk Professional Gaming XR500 router an fascinating addition to an area dominated by boring white containers. In the event you’re critical about your on-line multiplayer video games on console and don’t thoughts having to micro-manage every facet of the expertise, the XR500 is value contemplating regardless of its hefty Rs. 20,000 price ticket.

Execs

  • Simple to arrange
  • Perceptible enchancment in gaming efficiency
  • Characteristic wealthy

Cons

  • Barebones cellular app
  • Fixed micro-management wanted

Rankings (Out of 5)

  • Design/ construct: four
  • Options: four
  • Efficiency: four
  • Worth for cash: three.5
  • Total: four

In the event you’re a fan of video video games, try Transition, Devices 360’s gaming podcast. You possibly can take heed to it by way of Apple Podcasts or RSS, or simply take heed to this week’s episode by hitting the play button beneath.



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