NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro XR500 Gaming Router Review
If you’ve spent even an hour playing an online game, you know what lag is. You know how annoying it can be, and you know how unpredictable it is. When you play on a wireless connection, it becomes even worse.
A lot of people begin to scream and complain about their internet provider and everything else they can blame, but they hardly ever stop to think about the router they’re using.
That’s a shame. Your router is one of the most important factors in establishing a lag-free connection. That’s why some of the biggest names in WiFi router technology have started making routers that are specifically designed for wireless gaming.
A gaming router minimizes the amount of ping that your connection has, and it lowers the amount of lag that you experience. These often overlooked peripherals are some of the most necessary parts of gaming. They don’t actively increase the quality of your experience like a headset or gaming mouse does, but they do make your online games play smoother and more reliably.
In this review, we’ll be discussing the Nighthawk Pro from NetGear. It’s a high-end router, and it’s one of the best gaming routers that you can buy. So, sit down and buckle up. We’re going to cover the features that set it apart from everything else, and we think you’ll fall in love with this often overlooked peripheral.
4 High-Speed Ports
The 1-GB ethernet ports on the Nighthawk Pro are capable of handling the fastest internet connections with ease. They’re for when you want the reliability of a wired connection, and they completely remove lag from your connection. This means that you won’t have to watch your enemies teleport across your screen, you won’t magically warp through a wall, and you won’t have get booted for a poor connection.
The Nighthawk Pro gaming router has four of these high-speed ports. So, you can form a wired connection with up to four different computers or consoles with it. If you want a truly smooth experience, you should buy a high-end monitor with a fast refresh rate. Between the lack of lag and the fast refresh rate that, that combo creates, you will experience the smoothest gaming possible.
2.6-Gbps Wireless Connections
For an online game to work, it has to constantly upload and download information from the game’s server. That constant activity is hard for most normal routers to handle. However, a gaming router is designed to handle that activity.
The Nighthawk Pro utilizes a dual-core processor to achieve 2.6-Gbps speeds. This means that your system will be able to communicate with game servers faster and more smoothly than any standard router you can find.
A lot of connectivity issues occur when you’re connected to servers that are far away. After all, it takes a lot more time to communicate with a server in Germany when you’re in the United States.
The Nighthawk Pro uses geo-filtering technology to make sure that you connect to the closest servers available. That means that you won’t have to worry about randomly connecting to a far away server, and you’ll experience faster communication times than ever before. Being able to filter connections based on their geographical locations is something that you won’t find in most routers, and it’s one of the features that makes this one of the best gaming routers on the market.
If you want to take your own communication to the next level, we recommend that you pick up an Astro A50 headset. The seamless voice chat and immersive audio will make the most of the Nighthawk Pro’s connectivity.
Keep The Bandwidth Thieves Away
Like all routers, the Nighthawk Pro can experience performance drops when a lot of people are using it. That’s not a point against the Nighthawk. You will experience the same issue with any router that you buy. However, the Nighthawk includes a handy tool for monitoring the people using your bandwidth.
The Nighthawk Pro utilizes bandwidth monitoring technology. That allows you to easily see who is using your router, and you can see exactly how much bandwidth they’re using. If your little sister is trying to download a 30-GB game, you’ll be able to see it in real time, and you can put a stop to her game-ruining nonsense.
Your younger siblings and children aren’t the only people that the Nighthawk Pro will protect your connection from. It utilizes a built-in VPN server to keep hackers and WiFi hijackers off of your network. When it comes down to it, that’s a lot more important than monitoring a stuttering connection. It can protect your files and data outside of gaming, too.
With standard routers, it can be difficult to prevent your children from accessing inappropriate content. Sometimes, it can be impossible. Considering how much time children are spending on the internet now, solid parental controls are a must have feature in any parent’s WiFi router. With DumaOS, you can easily block any content that you don’t want your kids to access, and you filter out types of content that you might not have a web address for.
The DumaOS software also works to prevent lag and video buffering. Typically, your internet connection is the biggest factor in whether or not you experience lag or buffering. However, the Nighthawk Pro can utilize DumaOS to optimize your network. This means that you can experience fast connection speeds without having the best service provider.
What’s even more impressive is that DumaOS is an independent program. You won’t have to wait for NetGear to release updates to modify DumaOS. You can easily download new apps from other developers. This helps to future-proof the Nighthawk Pro. If NetGear ever goes out of business, you’ll still have access to the best DumaOS apps available.
Quality of Service (QoS)
The Nighthawk Pro’s QoS system actively works to further optimize your internet connection. It manages the amount of bandwidth going towards different devices, and it manages any internet traffic that you have going on. This helps your internet connection transfer data at consistent rates, and that allows you to always know what you should expect from your connection.
Industry Leading Customer Support
It’s not always easy to set up a gaming router. NetGear has done their best to simplify the process, but you may still have issues if you’re not a tech enthusiast.
Luckily, NetGear has one of the most praised customer service systems in the industry. Help is always available, and their experts are qualified to walk you through the installation of your Nighthawk Pro. It’s not just for installation issues, either. You can count on the NetGear team to help with any issues that pop up with your Nighthawk Pro.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to sit through elevator music when you contact NetGear. Their customer service system has an online chat service. So, you can simply hop on their website, click on support, and a specialist will help you with any issue that you might need solved.
We believe that the Nighthawk Pro is one of the best gaming routers that the average person can afford. It isn’t cheap, but it has the anti-lag features that a gamer needs, and it has some advanced privacy features to keep your network safe. Bandwidth monitoring is an unusual feature, but it’s a welcomed addition to the Nighthawk’s overall package.
It may not look as if it will do a lot for your gaming experience, but the Nighthawk Pro gaming router is one of those peripherals that play an important role behind the scenes. It’ll make your overall gaming experience more enjoyable, and you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference it makes when compared to a standard WiFi router.