Netgear Nighthawk X6: A smart router for a smart home

Netgear officially announced the Australian release of the Netgear Nighthawk X6 gigabit router yesterday night. The Nighthawk X6's claim to fame is Tri-Band WiFi technology; while most modern routers feature a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz band, the Nighthawk X6 features a second 5GHz band on top of this.

By Alex Choros

Netgear officially announced the Australian release of the Netgear Nighthawk X6 gigabit router yesterday night. The Nighthawk X6's claim to fame is Tri-Band WiFi technology; while most modern routers feature a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz band, the Nighthawk X6 features a second 5GHz band on top of this.

"Why?" you might ask. While "why not?" would be my answer, David Henry, Netgear's Vice President of Product Marketing & Engineering, had a much more compelling answer. "The number of people who have 9 more or devices on their network is going to be growing by 200% between 2013 and 2016" said Henry.

The Nighthawk X6 is designed to support the growing number of devices in households, and ensure each one is functioning at peak wireless performance. This is achieved through the Tri-Band technology. Henry provided an example where phones and tablets might sit on one band, light bulbs and other smart appliances on the second, and laptops and consoles on the final. What this means is that streaming video to your iPhone won't affect the quality of your PlayStation's online connection.

Netgear have not forgotten practicality though; rather than provide three separate wireless networks (one for each band, as with most existing routers), the Nighthawk X6 provides users with one network to connect to. With the router's "SmartConnect" feature, the Nighthawk X6 automatically assigns a device to the most optimal band for it. What's more, it will be possible for advance users to enable a function where devices are automatically re-assigned to the fasted band possible based on their location from the router. This will however cause a few second drop out while the connection is re-assigned.

The Nighthawk X6 is available to pre-order now and will ship by the end of the month. It will retail for AUD$399.

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