NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Full Review

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NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Full Review

After X10 and X6, another router from Netgear and Nighthawk series is X4s. But, can X4s handle multiple devices? Let’s see.

Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Full ReviewThe Nighthawk X4s AC2600 is a dual-band smart WiFi router. In other words, it is the younger brother of X6, x8, and x10. The X4s comes with multi-user MU-MIMO with Quad-stream technology.

It is equipped with a dual-core 1.7Ghz processor, which ensures maximum WiFi speeds of up to 2600Mbps. Its Dynamic QoS allows or lets you enjoy smoother gaming and streaming.

Highlights:

  • Quad Stream Wave2 WiFi Technology
  • MU-MIMO & Beamforming+
  • Dynamic QoS
  • Dual-core Processor with x4 Architecture

What do you get inside the box: Let’s Unpack X4s

Basically, you get four main items inside the box including:

  1. R7800 X4s Router
  2. A Gigabit Ethernet Cable
  3. The Power adapter
  4. 4 Detachable antennas

Nighthawk X4S package details

Design & Hardware Overview:

Top View of the X4s:

Let’s starts with Status LEDs:

If I include the power led then it would be 11 in total. So, the first LED shows the router’s power status. The Internet LED shows whether the connection is established or not. Now in order, There are two LEDs for WiFi bands (2.4Ghz + 5GHz), as it is a dual-band router. Then, USB 3.0 and 2.0 LEDs.

Four Gigabit Ethernet LEDs indicate the speed: a white one for Gigabit connections and amber one for Ethernet Connections. You also find two buttons: a WiFi On/Off button, when you press the button, it turns the WiFi On and Off. A WPS button for joining the WiFi network.

Nighthawk X4S front side

That’s all you get on the front side of the router, and of course, the logo of the router as well.

Rear Panel:

Like Nighthawk X6, X4s’s back panel is also quite busy as it has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB ports, and buttons.

Nighthawk X4S rear panel

The above image shows us the following ports and buttons: ( Left To Right )

  • LED Switch: This switch allows you to turn the router On and Off. ( This switch will turn Off all the LEDs except the power one ).
  • Reset Button: Like other routers, it has the same reset button. ( You need to press the button for seven seconds at least in order to reset the router ).
  • Antenna 1: It has four detachable antennas, where one of them will be attached here.
  • Ethernet Ports: It has Four Gigabit Ethernet LAN RJ-45 ports for connecting wired devices.
  • Antenna 1: Like before, another antenna attachment with a label.
  • Power Connector: It allows you to connect the power adapter, which you get inside the box.
  • Power Button: It lets you turn the router On and Off.

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What is my WiFi network name and Password: Nighthawk X4s

On the back side of the router, you will find the label, which shows the login information of the router.

Nighthawk X4S login information

Left Panel: On the left side of the router, you will find two USB ports.

1. USB 3.0: It has two USB 3.0 ports. These ports allow you to connect any USB 3.0 supported devices. Unlink USB 2.0; It is up to 10x faster.

Nighthawk X4S left panel

Right Panel: On the right side of the router, you will find an eSATA port. This port allows you to connect any eSATA device to it using an eSata cable.

Nighthawk X4S right panel

Speeds:

The x4s ensures the fastest WiFi speeds to enjoy lag-free gaming and streaming. We get maximum speeds of up to 2.55 Gbps using both bands. It supports 160Mhz bandwidth too, which means double streaming speeds.

The router is equipped with a powerful 1.7Ghz dual-core processor that boosts wired, LAN, and wireless performance. It is also using Next-generation WiFi at Gigabit speeds.

WiFi Range:

X4s can easily cover any types of homes. It will not disappoint you in terms of WiFi range; it doesn’t matter where you connect. Even though my house was large, it performed pretty well. As I mentioned above, it has four external antennas with High-powered amplifiers.

Sharing & Accessing features:

Sharing and accessing stored media is fun and easy across our network. The following features are convenient.

  • DLNA: If you have a smart TV, you use DLNA for playing Media and games.
  • ReadySHARE: It has two USB ports: 1x USB 2.0 and 1xUSB 3.0. With the ReadySHARE feature, you can access your storage devices and printer wirelessly.
  • ReadySHAre Vault: The vault allows your router to back up automatically to USB hard drive.
  • ReadyCLOUD: It lets us enjoy secure and personal cloud access to USB storage.

Security:

When it comes to safety, it provides high protection across our network. It protects and keeps privacy and family safe when you are online. Plus, It prevents you from viruses like spyware, malware, trojans, and even phishing.

let’s talk about some security features:

VPN Support:

x4s comes with Open VPN connect app, which is available for both IOS and Android users. It allows secure remote access to the home network.

Parental Controls:

Netgear has enhanced the parental controls feature. With it, you can limit access to kids and guests devices. It also lets you block unauthorized and harmful websites.

WiFi Connections:

It provides high wireless security and encryptions like WPA and WPA2, which ensures secure WiFi connections. The router can also create an FTP server by using a personal FTP server feature.

Performance:

The overall performance of the router depends on various factors. So, Here I include significant ones.

MU-MIMO ( Multi-User MIMO)

When it comes to performance, we all should consider MI-MIMO technology at first. Typical or traditional routers stream data to the single device at a time. However, MU-MIMO allows multiple devices at once. It means, it can simultaneously stream data to various devices.

In other words, x4s ensures and delivers faster throughput to all the connected devices with smoother and lag-free streaming. You can see the difference between SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO in the following image.

Nighthawk X4S mi-mimo technology

QoS (Dynamic Quality of Service):

The second main feature to be considered is QoS. It is very beneficial while playing games and streaming videos. With QoS, you can prioritize bandwidth of the connected devices or any sensitive application that uses more bandwidth. When all connected devices use the same bandwidth, meaning slower network and internet speeds. Let’s understand the following image.

Netgear Nighthawk X4S QOS

Competitors:

Its other family members x6, x8, and x10 are the main competitors of X4s. However, they are expensive and comes with some advanced feature. If you want to know the side-by-side comparison of the router. Please read this article: Netgear x4s (R7800) vs x6 (R7800) vs x8 (R8500) vs x10 (R9000).

Conclusion:

In my opinion, x4s is the best multiple devices router. Price range from $220 to $240, it offers excellent features and technologies. Setup of the router is quite straightforward using the Netgear Genie app.
Other Key features such as Quad Stream, Dynamic QoS, and Beamforming+ ensure reliable connections. So, overall great router, you can buy one without any second thought.

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