Netgear Nighthawk X4 Router May be Best Choice for Streaming 4K Content

It’s not enough to have speedy Internet when you want to stream a 4K video. High-res streaming also relies on a speedy home network (router) that can get you those UHD videos while one of your offspring is playing Halo with friends online and another is catching up on Futurama episodes on a Fire TV. Netgear has just upped the speed-ante with the launch of the model R7500, Nighthawk X4 AC2350 router. Proclaimed to stream content over Wi-Fi at speeds previously only possible with wired connections, the Nighthawk X4 may be the missing link between your screaming-fast Internet service and your 4K TV. The AC2350 has additional features for enhancing AV streaming that include Dynamic QoS (Quality of Service) for priority streaming, and an eSATA port for better media server streaming and faster file transfer speeds from an attached hard drive. All together, this router looks promising as the perfect companion for serious video streaming into the near future.

The X4 is perfect for homes with many simultaneous users who want to stream HD or UHD videos while others in the household are accessing the Internet. One look at the new Nighthawk and you know it means business. Its four amplified antennas can handle “wave 2 Wi-Fi.” When paired with Wave 2 Wi-Fi devices (not yet available), each antenna can be used for more than one stream at a time, offering local area network speeds (LAN) of up to a combined 1.7 Gbps.

The Nighthawk is also able to multitask beyond streaming. To drive Wi-Fi performance, handle QoS, and do full computer backups at the same time, under the “hood,” you’ll find a 1.4-GHz dual-core processor that uses the same type of Snapdragon processor found in tablets. Plus it has a dedicated 500-MHz Wi-Fi Dual Core offload processor so Wi-Fi speeds don’t suffer when using other router features (like accessing the hard drive).

The Dynamic QoS is an improvement over the standard QoS of earlier models and is essential for those who have demanding HD video streams while others in the household are connecting to the Internet and streaming in other ways. To understand Netgear’s Dynamic QoS, you need to understand how streaming video services work. Online services handle video streams in a couple of different ways. Netflix has an adaptive stream, which means that it will stream at the highest resolution that the media player can handle without constant buffering. After a few interruptions, Netflix will automatically downgrade to a lower resolution that can be played smoothly. A typical home network router can barely handle high-def videos much less stream at full 4K to compatible TVs. This adaptive stream maintains a smooth experience without taking bandwidth from the rest of the family who are also trying to access the Internet.

The other type of online stream service is what us networking geeks refer to as “hogs.” YouTube is the prime example. It will determine how much bandwidth is available from your router (in this case that would be 1.7 Gbps on one band and 600 Mbps on the other) and will use all that it can to buffer video. Everyone else’s network stream suffers as their bandwidth is diminished.

QoS offers more bandwidth to those who need it. Dynamic QoS starts by allocating priority to apps that need it—affording the best resolution on Netflix. It allows for streaming from YouTube but won’t sacrifice speed to other’s streams or cause lag in gameplay. Netgear takes it one step further by offering automatic device priority. If a tablet and a home theater are streaming from the same app, the TV will be given priority as it needs more bandwidth to stream at higher resolutions for the big screen. It’s also called Dynamic QoS because it will reallocate bandwidth when a new application starts on a connected device.

Many routers have a USB port for connecting an external hard drive that can be shared by all computers and devices in the home network. The Nighthawk X4 not only has two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, it adds an eSata port. The eSata port is faster than USB 3.0, allowing for file transfer speeds up to 6 Gbps. Computer backups are quicker even when multiple users are accessing the hard drive at the same time. Like other Netgear routers, the Nighthawk X4 is capable of automatic backups and works with Time Machine for Macs. Connecting a hard drive to the Nighthawk X4 may be better than using a Network Attached Server (NAS) drive. It is both a DLNA server and compatible with Apple AirPlay so you can store your iTunes library on the connected drive.

Netgear's Nighthawk 4 router is currently available for pre-order and should hit the shelves next week at $280.

trynberg's picture

For little more than $280, I can have an electrician wire every room where a device would be used with Cat5 and buy a cheap switch...

Barb Gonzalez's picture
Yep, there is advantages to connecting over cables. It's usually more reliable. But I think this is a great choice for those of us who are renters and don't have that option or who want fast WiFi on a multitude of devices-- including tablets and phones that can't wire in. Point i'm making here is that this router has taken capabilities to a whole new level so that many of us will have the option of fast streaming speeds without wiring our homes.
fe3836's picture

Please elaborate. What does that mean?

John Freeman's picture

There is a Netgear Nighthawk available from Brick and Mortar Costco for $159.99. I did not see the model number, as I was shopping for food and I was short on time. But a good deal to had, as my old Netgear N900 does not have AC spec.

John Freeman's picture

On a return trip to my local Costco I found that the Netgear Nighthawk router at Costco is the exact same model as reviewed here by the great Barb Gonzalez. So it can now be had for $159.99, now a much better deal.

Diagrafeas's picture

They should make a model with half the antennas and half the price.

surfmegeek's picture

Too many movies and TV Shows online watch it from the mobile phone with Latest Mobdro apk download for android and iPhone.

surfmegeek's picture

How to download the Playview on Windows device and watch movies from it? Please help the process of playview apk download

surfmegeek's picture

Watch latest movies from the iPhone or iPad by mobdroios and learn here to install.

William2789's picture

Now you can download free movies anytime, anywhere with the help of vidmate free download app. You can download directy from website.

mobdro's picture

nice blog post.mobdro is an amazing android application for watch live tv shows and hollywood movies. Mobdro Apk Download and Mobdro App For Android free on your android devices.
OG Youtube Apk also a best app for watch youtube on mobiles.

micksway's picture

best galaxy S7 cases just arrived in the market . ITs amazing

micksway's picture

anyone know where i can find some Best LG G5 cases ?

inber123's picture

Check your Karnataka SSLC Result available here.

Check your results 2016 here: Karnataka SSLC Results | Karnataka 10th Result

Check your Karnataka SSLC Result 2016 available here.

Mairala's picture

Vidmate App is a Free HD Video Downloader to Download Internet Videos For Android and PC.Why Late Just Install Vidmate APP and Download Thousand Of Internet HD Videos For Your Android and PC With Vidmate App.

For More Information About Vidmate App Plase Visit Our Website >>>>

vidmateforpcc's picture

Now you can download free movies anytime, anywhere with the help of vidmate free download app. You can download directy from website.

vidmateforpcc's picture

Now you can get free discount coupons from our website.
Link: Arvixe Coupon

jinal634's picture

good The brand-new re-launched Kodi on Personal laptop computer Saints Build jogging on Television set. So the end user can see videos, nice.