Netgear is introducing a smart wireless router today that will recognize bandwidth-hungry apps and prioritize them so that you can get a smoother experience for online games and video streams. It will also let your family share a wireless network across a bunch of smartphones and tablets.
The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000) has a crazy-long name, but it is a powerful device. It features a dual-core processor running at 1 gigahertz, with technologies like Netgear Beamforming+ to boost speed, reliability and range. One of the cool features is its ability to prioritize data traffic based on the needs of applications. It will prioritize an online game over slower, less time-sensitive traffic, said Sandeep Harpalani, Netgear director of product marketing for core networking.
“The goal is to have faster video and a better online gaming experience,” he said in an interview with VentureBeat. “It knows how to prioritize the traffic, and it will recognize traffic from services like Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, Huluplus and others.”
The device is a dual-band 802.11ac wireless router with SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Nighthawk can transfer data at 600 megabits a second when transferring data in the 2.4 gigahertz band of the wireless spectrum, and it can boost that to 1.3 gigabits per second when transferring data at 5 gigahertz. That makes it suitable for online gaming, video streaming, and supporting a greater number of mobile WiFi devices in the home.
It has high-power WiFi amplifiers and three external antennae to provide better coverage inside and around the home. It has built-in iTunes server compatibility.
Nighthawk automatically gives bandwidth priority for Microsoft’ Xbox 360 video game console.
The USB 3.0 port is ten times faster than USB 2.0, making it good for streaming video to DLNA-enabled screens around the home. You can also keep your content backed up in the Netgear ReadyShare Vault, or free software for automatic backup to a USB hard drive connected to Nighthawk. Time Machine on the Mac is also supported.
Netgear says that Beamforming+ enables fast downloads, clearer voice over internet calls, uninterrupted high-definition video, and lag-free gaming. (Just don’t try to do all of that at once). Video has become about 63 percent of internet traffic, and 41 percent of game consoles are connected.
Devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, MacBook Air, and other 802.11ac devices will work well with Nighthawk. It has VPN support, five Gigabit Ethernet ports, live parental controls at no cost, Network monitoring apps, wireless printer support, and other features. It is available now for $199.