Netgear R6400 Review
The Netgear R6400 is Netgear’s replacement for the R6300, which was one of the first routers to support IEEE 802.11ac. The R6400 is good for crowded Wi-Fi networks, and has a theoretical max speed of 1750Mbps. If you want an incredibly fast Wi-Fi network without breaking the bank, the Netgear R6400 is a strong choice.
The R6400 has 3 external antennae and supports three spacial streams, and has beamforming for directional transmission, which decreases interference. This means that unlike cheaper routers, it will maintain good performance even when a dozen or more devices are connected to your network. The R6400 has a maximum throughput of 1300Mbps on 5GHz and 450Mbps on 2.4GHz, though note that most clients support a maximum of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz bands. With simultaneous transmission, this adds up to a theoretical 1750Mbps. It has has a gigabit WAN port for input, four gigabit LAN ports, and a USB 2.0 port explicitly labelled “printer”, with a USB 3.0 port in the front, allowing you to simultaneously connect a printer and a USB storage device to your network. Performance with a drive connected over USB is strong. Internally, the R6400 contains an 800MHz dual core Broadcom BCM4708 processor, the same that was in the R6300v2, and the ram 256MB of memory and 128MB of flash storage. In terms of aesthetics, it is a matte black color, and with its sharp angles and straight lines, it shows clear resemblances to Netgear’s Nighthawk line of premium routers.
With more and more households having multiple Wi-Fi connected devices, sometimes over a dozen, all of them slowing down wireless speed has become a real issue. The R6400 has a feature called Airtime Fairness, which is designed to help mitigate this. Traditionally, it would take longer to transmit a packet over a wireless network using older 802.11 standards, meaning that newer devices which support a faster standard would have to wait while the router first served older, slower devices. Rather than waiting for older, slower devices to respond, Airtime Fairness changes how time is allotted to devices, allowing faster devices to download data at optimal speeds without having to wait for older devices to finish transmitting. By changing the order and amount of time the router spends communicating with each device, it can optimize connections to maximize the transmission capacity of each individual device.
|NETGEAR R6400||ASUS RT-AC66R||TP-LINK Archer C8|
|WiFi Performance||AC1750 WiFi (450 + 1300 Mbps)||AC1750 WiFi (450 + 1300 Mbps)||AC1750 WiFi (450 + 1300 Mbps)|
|WiFi Band||2.4GHz & 5GHz||2.4GHz & 5GHz||2.4GHz & 5GHz|
|Ethernet Ports||4 Gigabit LAN port|
1 Gigabit WAN port
|4 Gigabit LAN port|
1 Gigabit WAN port
|4 Gigabit LAN port
1 Gigabit WAN port
|USB Ports||1 USB 3.0 port|
1 USB 2.0 port
|2 USB 2.0 port||1 USB 3.0 port
1 USB 2.0 port
|RAM||256 MB||256 MB||128 MB|
|Flash Memory||128 MB||128 MB||8 MB|
|Antennas||3 external antennas||3 detachable antennas||3 dual band detachable antennas|
Testing shows that the R6400 has decent real world wireless performance, and a combination of stronger transmission power amplifiers, and beamforming technology mean that several devices can connect with no degradation to speed. It is also very reliable. It has a large range that is significantly larger than the typical range for a wireless router; Netgear claims a range increase of 80% over the R6300, which is useful if you have a large multistory or wanted to use your devices outside in the yard.
Netgear has also made a number of improvements to its built in Netgear Genie router management software. It has a user friendly GUI, and you can log in and manage the router either locally or remotely from the internet. There is also a Genie app available for smartphone and tablet for managing your router on the go. Netgear Genie also allows you to monitor data usage. Parental controls have been upgraded, and can now be set per device, instead of for the entire network. The R6400 also supports AirPrint for printers. Unlike some routers, there is also support for OS X Time Machine backups, and ReadySHARE Vault for backing up Windows computers is also supported.
The Netgear 6400 is also incredibly easy to set up, taking only 5 minutes with the Netgear Genie program. Compared to other routers, it is fairly large, so it can be easily set on the floor or wall mounted, but you might have trouble fitting it on a shelf in the space occupied by a previous router. It also has very bright status lights, which may become an issue if you wanted to keep it in your bedroom.
Overall, the Netgear R6400 is a solid choice if you're looking for a good dual-band wireless AC router, especially considering its large range. At $150, it faces some stiff competition, but you won't be disappointed by its performance.
Submitted By: joel teczon
So far, I am really happy with this device. I replaced my old Linksys with the R6400. This device is exponentially better. At a distance of about 40 feet, I now get almost four times the signal strength. As far as I’m concerned, this router is worth every penny. The fact that the router can also be used as a modem is another advantage.
Submitted By: Jesse B.
I upload a substantial amount of media from the Internet. Using this router, I can accomplish the task virtually anywhere in my home. I can even upload while the spouse is watching a movie or TV show on the Internet in another room, and neither of us experience poor quality. Though my other router was functional, I decided to upgrade with this device. I wish I had made the switch sooner. I am absolutely amazed at the Wi-Fi reception that I now get. The set-up was ridiculously simple. The antennas conveniently fold down if you choose to place the unit under a desk. I like the fact that the device has an on/off switch and two USB ports.
Submitted By: Brendan Miller
This router is a real bargain. I initially ordered the R6100 but decided to get the R6400 instead. In addition to providing faster speeds and more bandwidth, the device allowed me to eliminate having to use both a modem and a router. In my mind, this makes the device perfect for future upgrades.
Submitted By: Max Koch
I have had this unit for around a month, and it has not lost the connection once. I bought the router to replace an older model that was having problems daily. After turning on the modem and going through the set-up, it detected my DSL connection immediately. The device delivers maximum speeds effortlessly. It works great on my home network that includes two computers. It also serves my wireless devices well and I get great reception in other rooms and at distances of up to 150 feet.
Submitted By: Dilson Ferreira
I live in a southern state and I am extremely dissatisfied with the Internet service that I have had to contend with for the last decade. The equipment they provide is atrocious. I have upgraded my service, switched to Wi-Fi and still had issues. Tech support was no help. I decided to find a solution down another path, so I bought the Netgear. I feared at first that it would not be compatible. I have tried other routers in the past with no success. However, I plugged the device in, inserted the LAN and Ethernet cables and configured the settings on my laptop. I could not believe that I was actually getting Wi-Fi on my laptop. I then proceeded to link the device with my TV, 2 additional laptops, tablets and smartphones. I was pleasantly shocked and impressed. Have not even had a problem.
Submitted By: EmilyA
This router sure comes packed with features. The degree of functionality is also impressive. It even provides the opportunity to establish a wireless guest network. This lets visitors connect to the Internet while not invading your private network. The router works as well as a previous model that I owned. I appreciated the tips offered while you set up the device via the interface. The documentation also has definitions and additional information.
Submitted By: Michigan Engineer
My house encompasses 2,300 square feet and this router covers the entire space. I don’t even have the device centrally located. I have not had speed reductions. Nor have I had to reboot the unit. Set-up was a snap. I was also happy with the website interface. Anyone having basic experience working with routers will have no problem configuring this router.
Submitted By: fred
Works great, everybody can use the printer and portable hard drive. Full signal in most of the house. Works great with NAS and looks nice. You can not go wrong for the price.