In 2019, WiFi 6 brought the promise of faster speeds, lower latency, and a cleaner network. It was great news for gamers, where the struggle for fast and consistent internet connectivity seemingly never ends. The only issue? Older devices don’t support it, and WiFi 6 enabled hardware built for gaming doesn’t really exist.
That is, until last week, when Netgear announced the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000. It’s the first WiFi 6 enabled gaming router powered by DumaOS 3.0, software designed to give you advanced control over your WiFi connection. So, unlike the handful of other next-gen routers on the market today, the XR1000 is designed “specifically to improve performance and reduce network latency when it comes to [your] gaming environment.”
Software Makes the Router
The XR1000 utilizes five 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN and 4 LAN) and a powerful 1.5GHz Triple-Core processor to support more devices without hurting performance. And while the Netgear hardware itself is known for being reliable and consistent, it’s the DumaOS software that truly makes these routers so impressive.
This third iteration optimizes airtime efficiency and doubles up your bandwidth, and is designed to “improve the WiFi performance by up to 40% and reduce the ping rates up to 93% under a congested network,”
When designing this next-gen router, Netgear took user feedback very seriously, and produced new and improved features, including the following.
Bandwidth Allocation (QoS)
Allocate and prioritize bandwidth for specific applications within a device or data usage category. Simply drag and drop to choose between devices or categories connected to your network.
Geo-Fencing allows you to create and customize filters for specific game servers you want to play on. Updating the spherical geographic server options of Geo-Filter, this newly updated feature provides the capability to draw customized shapes with up to 47 angles. So, rather than wasting space or being limited to a set range of servers, you have full control over your connection.
Pings your favorite game servers to test specific connections and identify top-performing servers. Even if your favorite game isn’t currently supported, Netgear is dedicated to adding games as the server information becomes available.
Tests your connection’s speed, ping, & performance under peak congestion. It supports periodic network checks and displays testing history over time, to better help you identify and compare the results of specific setting combinations.
Control how your internet is used by blocking traffic by device or application manually, or on a set schedule.
The XR1000 is also the first router in Netgear’s gaming lineup to have its proprietary Armor Cybersecurity software built-in. This includes an integrated Bitdefender security stack, the ability to download up to 20 different protection clients, and activate up to 200 Mb VPN traffic per device per day. Coverage is available to any device connected to your network, even friends just passing through, and costs $69.99 per year after a 1-month free trial.
Take Flight With the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000
All-in-all, it looks like Netgear has taken the best features from previous models and added new capabilities that take full advantage of WiFi 6. And if you’re looking to pick up a PlayStation 5 this holiday (good luck with that pre-order situation), the release of a robust and gaming-specific WiFi 6 router couldn’t have happened at a better time.
The Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 is now available at various retailers for $349.99 USD.