Netgear's newly released R6400 AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is the successor to the R6300v2 which was released back in 2013. The R6400 is a mid-range router that supports up to 450Mbps on the 2.4Ghz frequency band and up to 1300Mbps on the 5Ghz frequency band.
Netgear has decided to use the same exterior design as the popular R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk in the R6400 but they have left the internal hardware componenets relatively the same as the R6300v2. The Netgear R6400 AC1750 is not part of the Nighthawk series and simply replaces the R6300v2 at the same price but with better performance.
Netgear's R6300v2 router used six internal antennas but the R6400 router uses three external antennas and Beamforming+ to improve range, extend coverage and reduce dead spots for large homes. The antennas on the R6400 are longer than the R7000's antennas and they are also adjustable but non-removable and the reason for that is to keep the cost down. Netgear says a combination of better transmit power amplifiers and external antennas boosts this router’s WiFi performance by up to 80 percent.
Since the R6400 is using the same physical design as the R7000, the ports are also the same. There are two USB ports - one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port and five (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports. On the front of the router, there's the Wi-Fi and WPS buttons which can be turned on and off and right below the light indicaters, you have the USB 3.0 port.
The R6400 comes with the same Broadcom BCM4708 dual core 800Mhz processor that was used on the R6300v2 and it's still using 256MB RAM and 128MB flash. Since it's using the same housing as the R7000, it stays relatively cool thanks to the ventilation holes on the back and the sides. The dimensions for the R6400 come in at (L) 7.5 x (W) 7.79 x (H) 2.55 inches and weighs about 1.2lbs. The router is large but it can be mounted on the wall if you don't have the space.
Netgear's Genie app lets users easily monitor, connect and control their home network from a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. You can share and stream music or videos and set up parental controls and more. The genie app doesn't work when connected to the guest network and doesn't work with wireless extender or repeater. It's a useful app if you want to monitor and perform maintenance and troubleshooting the router.
|Netgear R6400 AC1750 Specifications|
|Wi-Fi Technology:||802.11ac||Wi-Fi Performance:||AC1750 (450+1300 Mbps)||Wi-Fi Range:||Large Homes||Wi-Fi Band:||Simultaneous dual band 2.4 & 5GHz|
|Beamforming:||Beamforming+ — Smart, signal-focusing technology boosts the speed, reliability, and range of your WiFi connections||Number of Ethernet Ports:||Five (5) 10/100/1000 (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology|
|Number of USB Ports:||Two (2) USB ports—one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port|
|Key Features:||- Simultaneous Dual Band WiFi—2.4 & 5GHz|
- Two (2) USB ports—one (1) USB 3.0 and one (1) USB 2.0
- Implicit & Explicit Beamforming for 5GHz—Smart, signal-focusing technology boosts the speed, reliability, and range of your WiFi connections
- READYSHARE® USB—Wirelessly share and access USB storage
- ReadyCLOUD® USB Access allows you to enjoy personal and secure cloud access to USB storage anytime, anywhere
- Push ‘N’ Connect—Easy push button WiFi connections (WPS)
- WiFi Boost with high-powered radio amplifiers
- Memory: 128 MB flash and 256 MB RAM
- Advanced Quality of Service (QoS)
- Custom URL—Netgear DNS service - Airtime fairness prevents network lag when slower devices connect
- Now with NETGEAR genie® with remote access
- Wall Mountable
- IPv6 support (Internet Protocol Version 6)
|Security:||- Customized free URL to set up personal FTP server|
- VPN support—secure remote access
- WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK)
- Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT firewall)
- Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention
|Physical Specifications:||- Dimensions: 7.2 x 11.2 x 2.4 in (183 x 285 x 62 mm)|
- Net weight: 1.56 lb (709 g)
|Package Contents:||- AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (R6400)|
- Ethernet cable
- Quick install guide
- Power adapter, localized to country of sale
|Standards:||- Two (2) USB ports—one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port|
- IEEE® 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
- IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz
- Five (5) 10/100/1000 (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology
The comparison below shows the hardware differences between the R6400 and R6300v2. As you can see, Netgear has added a Low Noise Amplifier to both bands and they've replaced the 2.4Ghz power amplifier.
|Netgear Wireless Routers|
|Model||R6400 AC1750||R6300v2 AC1750||Release Date:||5 May 2015||26 March 2013||Price:||$150||$125||CPU:||Broadcom BCM4708A0 (KFEBG)||Broadcom BCM4708A0 (KFEBG)||Frequency:||800 MHz, 2 cores||800 MHz, 2 cores|
|RAM:||256 MB||256 MB||Flash:||128 MB (Samsung K9F1G08U0D)||128 MB (Samsung K9F1G08U0D)|
|2.4 Ghz:||- Broadcom BCM4331|
- SiGE SE2604L 2.4 GHz Power Amplifier (x3)
- Skyworks SKY13377 6 GHz SPDT switch (x3)
- Skyworks SKY65405-21 2.4 GHz LNA (x3)
|- Broadcom BCM4331|
- SiGE SE2528L 2.4 GHz Power Amplifier with Power Detector (x3)
|5 Ghz:||- Broadcom BCM4360|
- Skyworks SE5003L1 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amplifier with Power Detector (x3)
- Skyworks SKY13370 6 GHz SPDT switch (x3)
- Skyworks Unidentified 5 GHz LNA (x3)
|- Broadcom BCM4360|
- Skyworks SE5003L1 5 GHz, +19dBm Power Amp w/ Power Detector (x3)
|Antennas:||Three External||Six Internal|
Spec-wise, very little has changed with the R6400. Overall, the biggest improvement that Netgear has made to the R6400 is the external antennas and a few small changes here and there but other than that, it's pretty much the same as the R6300v2. We are going to benchmark the R6400 against the R6300v2 and TP-Link Archer C8 in NAS performance, Wi-Fi performance and storage performance.
The R6400 was tested using the lastest firmware version which at the time of writing this review is the 126.96.36.199 version. I've benchmarked the storage performance of the R6400 using the USB 3.0 connection for FAT32 and NTFS formats. All three routers performed similarly the same but the TP-Link Archer C8 router showed very good FAT32 read and write speeds, 36.9 Mb/s and 22.3 Mb/s respectively. Since the R6300v2 and R6400 are basically the same router, the performance I recorded was also very similar.
Next, I’m using a dedicated NAS to benchmark a single 5GB file to the R6400. Some poeple attach an external HDD to the USB 3.0 port but that can be a lot of stress for the CPU in the router and can limit performance. Overall, all three of the routers performed well but the TP-Link Archer C8 fell a little bit behind against the R6300v2 and R6400 in read speed but managed to pull ahead in write speed.
I'm using a laptop equipped with Intel AC-7265 (2x2 802.11ac) Wi-Fi adapter to measure the 5Ghz throughput speed. TP-Link's Archer C8 router performed better than both Netgear routers at 10 and 25 feet away from the router. At 10 feet away from the router, the R6400 performed slightly better than the R6300v2 but the TP-Link Archer C8 managed to outperform both of them at both distances.
The external antennas help the R6400 perform better at long range than the R6300v2 but it still gets beaten by the Archer C8 which is $30 cheaper. The R6400 is a decent mid-range 802.11ac router but at $150, there are cheaper routers out there that outperform it. With that being said, the R6400 isn't the fastest 802.11ac router out there but it provides good 5Ghz speeds and NAS/storage performance.
+ Good NAS/Storage Performance
+ Attractive Design
+ Decent 802.11ac Speeds
Final Score 8.8