The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a powerful, dual-band WiFi router designed to meet the requirements of a modern household. With its impressive range, speed, and reliability, it is a great choice for homes with multiple devices and heavy internet usage. It is one of the best routers currently available for gaming and streaming. Today, we’ll rank it based on 5 categories: performance, coverage, ease of use, MU-MIMO technology, and price.
- Fast wifi performance: Get up to 2500 square feet wireless coverage with AC2600 speed (Dual band up to 800 + 1733 Mbps). WiFi Band-Simultaneous Dual Band WiFi – Tx/Rx 4×4 (2.4GHz)+ 4×4 (5GHz)
- Recommended for up to 45 devices: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices.
- Wired Ethernet ports: plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 gigabit Ethernet ports.
- Loaded with advanced technology: Designed with a 1.7GHz dual core processor, 4 amplified antennas, Beamforming, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, Amazon Alexa Voice Controls, and more.
- USB connections: Share a storage drive and printer with any connected device, and create a personal cloud storage to access from anywhere, using the 2 x 3.0 USB and 1 x eSATA ports.
- Smart parental controls: The Nighthawk app lets you manage device internet access and filter websites.
- Safe & secure: Supports WPA2 wireless security protocols. Includes Guest WiFi access, DoS, Firewall, VPN, and more.
In terms of performance, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S is an impressive router. During our testing, we found that it provided excellent coverage throughout our home, even in areas that were previously dead zones. It also provided fast and reliable wireless speeds, even when multiple devices were connected.
We tested the router’s speeds using both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and found that it consistently delivered speeds close to the advertised maximums. We were able to stream high-definition video without any buffering, and online gaming was smooth and lag-free.
We also tested the router’s wired performance using the Gigabit Ethernet ports. We found that file transfers were fast and reliable, and there were no slowdowns or drops in connection. The USB 3.0 ports also performed well, allowing us to connect external hard drives and printers without any issues.
Overall, we were very impressed with the performance of the Netgear Nighthawk X4S. It provided fast and reliable wireless speeds, excellent coverage, and strong wired performance. We give it 8.5/10 in the performance department.
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S provides excellent coverage throughout a home, even in areas that were previously dead zones. This is thanks to its four high-performance external antennas and Beamforming technology that focuses the wireless signal in the direction of your devices, improving speed and range.
During our testing, we found that the Netgear Nighthawk X4S provided strong and consistent wireless coverage throughout our home, including in areas that were previously difficult to reach. We were able to stream high-definition video without any buffering, and online gaming was smooth and lag-free.
The router’s range was also impressive, allowing us to connect to the network from outside of our home, such as in our backyard. We found that the router’s range was particularly strong in the 5 GHz band, which is less crowded than the 2.4 GHz band and provides faster speeds over shorter distances.
Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S provides excellent coverage and range, making it a great choice for homes with multiple devices and large living spaces. Its powerful antennas and Beamforming technology ensure that wireless signals are strong and consistent throughout your home, reducing the need for additional range extenders or access points. The Nighthawk X4S gets 8/10 in the coverage department.
Ease of Use
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is incredibly easy to use, with a simple setup process and intuitive management interface that can be accessed via the Netgear Nighthawk app or web browser.
Setting up the router is straightforward, with clear instructions provided in the user manual and the Netgear Nighthawk app guiding you through the process step-by-step. The app also allows you to customize your network settings, such as your SSID and password, as well as set up parental controls and guest access.
The management interface is also user-friendly, with a clean and modern design that makes it easy to navigate and find the settings you need. The interface is organized into sections, such as Basic and Advanced, making it easy to find the settings you need.
The Netgear Nighthawk app also provides real-time monitoring of your network, allowing you to view connected devices, check your internet speed, and manage your network remotely. This is particularly useful if you need to troubleshoot issues or make changes to your network while you’re away from home.
Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S is incredibly easy to use, with a user-friendly setup process and management interface that makes it easy to customize your network settings and monitor your network performance. Whether you’re a novice or a more experienced user, you’ll find the Nighthawk X4S easy to set up and manage. The Netgear Nighthawk X4S gets 8.5/10 in the ease of use department.
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S features advanced MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology, which allows multiple devices to connect to the router simultaneously, without sacrificing speed or performance.
With traditional single-user MIMO technology, a router can only communicate with one device at a time, even if multiple devices are connected. This can lead to slower speeds and reduced performance, particularly in households with multiple devices competing for bandwidth.
MU-MIMO technology solves this problem by allowing the router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, using multiple antennas to send and receive data. This means that devices can connect to the router at the same time, without experiencing a reduction in speed or performance.
During our testing, we found that the Netgear Nighthawk X4S performed exceptionally well with MU-MIMO technology enabled. Multiple devices were able to connect to the router at the same time, without any noticeable reduction in speed or performance.
We were able to stream high-definition video on multiple devices simultaneously, without experiencing buffering or interruptions. Online gaming was also smooth and lag-free, even with multiple devices connected to the network.
Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S’s MU-MIMO technology is a powerful feature that allows multiple devices to connect to the router at the same time, without sacrificing speed or performance. If you have a household with multiple devices that need to be connected to the internet at the same time, the Nighthawk X4S’s MU-MIMO technology is a valuable addition that will ensure smooth and reliable wireless connectivity for everyone. The MU-MIMO technology gets 9/10.
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is priced at the upper end of the market for consumer routers, with a retail price of around $200. While this may seem like a steep price, it’s important to note that the Nighthawk X4S offers a range of advanced features and high-performance capabilities that make it well worth the investment.
When compared to other routers in the market, the Nighthawk X4S holds its own against similarly priced options such as the Asus RT-AC88U and the TP-Link Archer C5400. All three routers offer dual-band wireless connectivity with speeds of up to 2.53 Gbps, and they all feature four external antennas for improved range and coverage.
However, the Nighthawk X4S pulls ahead in terms of its advanced QoS capabilities, which allow you to prioritize traffic to specific devices or applications. It also features a sleek and modern design, which may be an important consideration for those looking for a router that won’t look out of place in a living room or home office.
When compared to more affordable options such as the TP-Link Archer C7 or the Netgear R6700, the Nighthawk X4S may seem expensive. However, the advanced features and high-performance capabilities of the Nighthawk X4S make it a worthwhile investment for those who need a router that can handle multiple devices and high-bandwidth activities such as streaming and online gaming.
Overall, while the Netgear Nighthawk X4S is priced at the higher end of the market for consumer routers, its advanced features, high-performance capabilities, and sleek design make it a worthwhile investment for those who need a router that can handle demanding applications and provide reliable, high-speed wireless connectivity throughout their home. However, due to being a tad more expensive than other available options, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S gets 7/10 in the price department.
W. Newberry via Amazon
Ian MacMillan via Amazon
Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a beast of a router, which can more than hold its own against similar options like the Asus RT-AC88U and the TP-Link Archer C5400. It offers exceptionally large coverage, high performance, the latest MU-MIMO, and is designed to be user-friendly. However, it does burn a hole in your pocket, and for this, we feel that an overall rating of 8.5/10 is justified.
If you are looking to spend around $200, the Netgear Nighthawk X4S may be the best choice for you. However, there are certainly cheaper options available too.
We also recommend checking out our take on the top 6 routers for gaming, featuring the Netgear Nighthawk X4S.