Gamers looking to jump into online play at home may want to think about their router needs differently, as Netgear’s new Nighthawk is all about speed and customisation.
While it’s pretty clear gaming has changed over the past decade, PC gaming still pushes on strong, thanks in part to how much that happens in the world of esports. There’s big money to be made from behind a computer, as eyes dart across the screen and hands make work of controls, with gaming skills allowing folks who love themselves a challenge to compete in a global and digital arena.
But getting there takes practice, and it means gaming at home, spending time playing those games and making sure you have the same sort of smooth performance without interruption.
Most gamers know that a PC will need to be spec’d up to make it fly, but performance goes beyond that computer you play on, because there’s network performance as well. Specifically, if you’re playing a multiplayer game, what happens when your network activity isn’t in-sync with the performance from your computer: can you play games if the two aren’t working as well as each other? The answer is yes, but the results may be less than useful, and so routers have been built to offer customised performance for gamers, too.
Performance has long been a part of Netgear’s approach with the “Nighthawk” range, a brand of its routers built for high-end wireless networking, through its latest model appears to have gamers squarely in mind.
Called the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000, it’s one of those products where it’s all in the name, bringing an 802.11/a/b/g/n/ac/ax WiFi router together with some technology folks in the gaming space are likely to want ideal for customisation.
Essentially, it’s a fast WiFi router with support for WiFi 6, but thanks to the operating system it runs — DumaOS 3 — it can be customised a little more aggressively than your standard router, supporting device traffic control (to stop some apps or devices from connecting to help shape that network performance), bandwidth allocation (a variation of Quality of Service, QoS), a way to ping servers on a world map, connection benchmarks, and an ability to geofence your network experience so that you only connect to servers within certain parts of the world. They’re features gamers will likely take advantage of, but not everyone, which is why they’re focused on gamers specifically.
On the hardware side of things, the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 offer 5.4Gbps of bandwidth to work with, being a 5400Mbps device, and capable of spreading it over 802.11ax, which is also compatible with 802.11ac and older connections. If you prefer wired connectivity, there are four Gigabit Ethernet connections there to connect to, plus one for WAN, with the hardware basically being optimised for increased networking activity.
“Netgear is pleased to introduce the latest addition to the Nighthawk Pro Gaming Franchise developed to enhance the online gaming experience and provide improved network performance for an entire household of connected devices,” said David Henry, Senior Vice President of Connected Home Products for Netgear.
“Now with the DumaOS 3.0 software and the ultimate WiFi 6 hardware solution, the network will be equipped to handle the load of multiple streaming screens and gaming platforms without compromising on bandwidth or ping rates,” he said.
The Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 router can be found in Australian stores now for a recommended retail price of $549.