Netgear announces the Nighthawk X6 AC3200, its second 'next-gen' router

Netgear's new Nighthawk might not be for you.

After introducing the 802.11ac "1900" Nighthawk router last fall, Netgear is announcing the newest in what it's calling the "Nighthawk family": the Nighthawk X6 AC3200. Where the original Nighthawk staked its claim on its impressive range and local network speeds, the Nighthawk X6 is aimed beyond the gaming audience intended for its predecessor. Instead, the Nighthawk X6 will see the most use in households with multiple concurrent users.

According to Netgear marketing director Sandeep Harpalani, almost 20 percent of homes surveyed have nine or more active Wi-Fi-connected devices, which the company expects to increase considerably in the next year and beyond. The X6 will serve this growing audience by virtue of what Netgear is billing as the first tri-band router.

The concept behind tri-band routing is simple. In addition to the now standard 2.4 GHz radio and faster (but shorter-ranged) 5 GHz radios found in the Nighthawk, the Nighthawk X6 features an additional 5 GHz band. Typically, routers become bandwidth-limited based on the slowest device on each radio, leading to a precipitous drop in transfer speeds for faster devices connected on the same band. The Nighthawk X6's third radio, along with its dual-core processor, allows the router to intelligently delegate different devices to each of its different bands based on their maximum speeds, which in turn cuts down on the slowing effect older devices can have on a network.


Put simply: the cell phones and tablets in use frequently have slower wireless speeds than dedicated PCs, laptops and video game consoles, and having them all on the same wireless band can slow a network to a fraction of its theoretical maximum. For gamers living alone or with just one other person, this isn't much of an issue. For crowded roommate situations or moderately sized families or larger, though, the Nighthawk X6 may be just the thing.

That particular consumer will be paying a premium for the X6's improved service. The Nighthawk launched at an eye-opening $199.99 USD MSRP, and if that seemed steep, you may want to sit down. The Nighthawk X6 will launch in mid-July with an MSRP of $299.99. In every respect other than its tri-band radio, the X6 looks to be a match for the already-launched Nighthawk, the R7000. Harpalani says that the same performance and range that made the Nighthawk so impressive will be present in the X6. For existing Nighthawk customers, the X6 will likely be an unnecessary upgrade.

But for families with with a horde of wireless devices vying for airtime, it might be just the thing. We'll have hands-on impressions of the Nighthawk X6 next month.

More from Polygon

German and Russian armor clash in Combat Mission: Red Thunder

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

  • Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gameplay trailer

  • Diablo 3 - Xbox One vs. PC comparison

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.