Netgear Nighthawk X10 7200AD router prepares to take flight

Netgear is stomping all over Linksys' latest MU-MIMO dual-band WRT3200ACM wireless router with its new tri-band Nighthawk X10 AD7200 device. The X10 is Netgear's first 802.11ad device, and offers support for the 60 GHz wireless band, a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU, and an SFP+ port for a NAS or any other high-bandwidth device. Support for Plex Media Server is the software cherry on top of this hardware sundae.

The router's maximum theoretical wireless bandwidth is 7.2 Gbps. The main chunk of 4.6Gbps is handled by a 60-GHz antenna, while a 4×4 array of 5 GHz antennas takes care of 1733Mbps. Finally, there's 800Mbps on tap by way of a 4×4 set of ye olde 2.4 GHz antennas. The front of the X10 is done up in rather subdued styling, turning the page on the F-117-inspired fashion seen on previous Nighthawk routers. The back sports four fin-like antennas, six GbE LAN ports, a seventh GbE port for connection to the outside world, and a single 10 Gb SFP+ port. The inclusion of the SFP+ port is curious, as a quick perusal of Netgear ReadyNAS devices reveals zero units with this type of connection. A pair of USB 3.0 ports reside on the side of the black plastic device.

The Nighthawk X10 can be used as a Plex Media Server (PMS) with transcoding abilities. Netgear claims the device is capable of transcoding 4K files and that the X10 is the first router that can run PMS without the need for a computer. The router comes with a three-month subscription to Plex Pass, an upgrade to the standard Plex service that offers clients extra features like offline syncing and DVR.

Buyers should plan to drop pretty serious coin to join the 60 GHz cool-kids club. The Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 will be available on October 26 for $499.

Comments closed
    • Beahmont
    • 3 years ago

    So I have to ask. All this complaining about price, firmware, and ‘how other solutions are just better’, but I’ve yet to see anyone address the fact that this is a 802.11AD device that uses the 60 GHz band. You know, the band that still has moderate wall penetration and right at 7Gbps transfer speeds. Something that all the proposed alternate solutions lack.

      • dyrdak
      • 3 years ago

      It does not work in 60GHz band. Nothing in this price range does. And this 7Gbps is best case scenario/rfi chamber/middle of nowhere result. My/your crappy Windows tablet won’t sustain 100Mbps across the room (and without occasional disconnections). And if you hog 160 MHz worth of WiFi channels anywhere in metro area you deserve punishment (as even 40MHz is know to cause severe interference problems in such settings).

    • Squuiid
    • 3 years ago

    Given how horribly buggy Netgear firmware tends to be, and how readily they abandon firmware updates for their devices, I wouldn’t touch this thing even if you paid me!

      • Vaughn
      • 3 years ago

      I’m with you on that great hardware terrible firmware.

      That’s why my Netgear R7000 is running Asus-Merlin firmware.

      And I would only consider this one after a few price drops and if someone decides to port Asus-WRT on it.

      As numerous people have pointed out you will get a far better experience and performance going with EdgeRouter Lite or MikroTik setup once you go north of $200 in price.

      • Lemonsquare
      • 3 years ago

      I agree. The experience I had helping a family member with their Nighthawk X8, was terrible, and the firmware was to match (The UI is laughable, too), to the point where they switched from it – a $500 router – to the modem/router combo their ISP provided because of issues. I’m really happy with my ASUS RT-AC 66U, which since I bought it at the end of 2013, still receives firmware updates, and there have been really significant, meaningful ones too. I’ll never purchase a Netgear product. How sad given that their focus is on networking, and yet they can’t even do that well.

    • shank15217
    • 3 years ago

    What as failure, who puts a sfp+ port in a consumer router? Why not provide a 10GB copper port?

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      SFP+ is cheaper for them, but they can still call it 10gb… They also labeled it a 10GB [b<]Fiber[/b<] port in their slides which is odd, yet confirmed to press that, as you'd expect for an SFP port, it'll take copper or fiber modules.

      • Vaughn
      • 3 years ago

      There was an update on the anandtech article.

      “Update: Netgear clarified that the R9000’s 10G SFP+ port is compatible with a wide variety of transceivers (including direct-attached copper ones such as the Netgear AXC761). We were also provided with a list of tested / compatible transceivers (and they will go into a KB article on the Netgear site very soon).”

    • backwoods357
    • 3 years ago

    I’m really tired of the constant stream of devices like these.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      just don’t cross the streams.

    • danazar
    • 3 years ago

    I’m getting confused and irritated by Plex lately. The most-requested feature for years has been hardware-accelerated transcoding, and they’ve been consistent in claiming they built PMS on an ffmpeg version that doesn’t support HW acceleration. But then they announced PMS support on the Nvidia Shield TV, with HW accelerated transcoding.

    Now it’s starting to look like they’re [i<]selling[/i<] support for HW transcoding to hardware manufacturers. I know this must use HW acceleration, because there's no way a 32-bit ARM A15 CPU can transcode 4K in real time. This uses the exact same ARM CPU as the Synology DS2015xs, which can run PMS but without HW acceleration. Plex customers have even written Synology begging them to help Plex enable HW acceleration, and Synology is telling customers that it'll help if Plex wants it. I'm guessing Nvidia paid up first, and now Netgear is second. I'm pissed off at this because it ignores me as a Plex Pass subscriber. I already paid Plex, I shouldn't have to wait for hardware manufacturers to pay them too before they enable HW acceleration on the devices I use.

      • hansmuff
      • 3 years ago

      I would argue in a slightly different direction and say if Plex is willing to go this route, they might as well do a pay-to-play for feature voting. At least I’d have a chance to get features I actually want in, plus support the devs further.

      I have a lifetime pass as well, have had it for 2 years now, and I have been wondering how they keep development up when people like me just make one-time purchases.

      • techguy
      • 3 years ago

      While I sympathize with your espressed concerns, my personal usage of Plex involves a local Plex server using local storage with plenty of processing power on tap. I see the benefit to what you are saying, but I overbuilt so I have plenty of headroom to grow into for the future.

    • MrDweezil
    • 3 years ago

    I’m a hardware geek and all, but who’s buying a $500 router?

      • adampk17
      • 3 years ago

      It’s gotta be a pretty dang small crowd. I thought $300 for a home router was pushing absurd.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Hey, if it’s good enough for Lord Vader, it’s good enough for me. The Empire always wants gear with the right look and performance.

      • LostCat
      • 3 years ago

      I’m seriously considering Google Wifi, don’t ask me.

      • yokem55
      • 3 years ago

      Seriously, if you are spending that kind of money, you are far better off buying/building a PC based router, a real switch, and a few ubiquity AP’s. These things are the Alienware of routers.

        • Redocbew
        • 3 years ago

        I bought a pre-made pfsense box and an 8port switch, then kept my RT-AC66U as an AP and still spent less overall than I would have on this.

        • DragonDaddyBear
        • 3 years ago

        Been there, done that. Don’t regret it a bit!

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 3 years ago

      Me? My server and access point were about that much. OK, that’s more of an apples to orchard comparison ^_^

      • thor84no
      • 3 years ago

      If it can legitimately be a Plex Media Server with 4k transcoding in addition to being a great router, that’s actually not a bad price. I already have a separate machine I use for this that cost in the region of $400 (UK prices though so it’d likely be cheaper over there) and it can barely keep up with an uncompressed blu-ray rip at 1080p. Forget one of those in addition to a normal 1080p as my wife streams something else.

        • Waco
        • 3 years ago

        It can be a Plex Media Server, but you can’t store things locally (it has to be on a NAS). If you have a NAS…why pay for such an obscene router? Just build a good NAS to start with.

          • PBCrunch
          • 3 years ago

          It has a pair of USB 3.0 ports, so I suspect you can store files on attached USB hard drives.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            Which is a totally unsafe way to store media without redundancy.

      • Jikie
      • 3 years ago

      Who will buy a $500 router that made in China?!

        • Vaughn
        • 3 years ago

        Everything is made in china whats your point?

          • Jikie
          • 3 years ago

          Everything is made in china?! Where do you live?

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      Probably the same people who buy $500 video cards.

        • Vaughn
        • 3 years ago

        You mean adults with jobs?

          • DoomGuy64
          • 3 years ago

          No, idiot fanboys who waste money on blinky leds. Now go buy your new router.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      SMB-types

      This guy is really a SMB-tier router.

      • ptsant
      • 3 years ago

      Who’s buying a [i<]consumer grade[/i<] $500 router? Doesn't make sense. You can buy a pro router + pro AC access point for about $300. It won't transcode, it won't serve media, it won't claim nominal "X" Gbps, it won't make coffee but also, it will never crash and will serve you long after you have forgotten its existence. I've had enough with consumer-quality routers from netgear or (even worse) other less reputable firms. They hang and need to be rebooted, they have weird bugs and the features are much less than polished. Plus the joke with Wifi being "X" Gbps is getting really old, especially compared with wired protocols that actually stand up to their claims. Even in physical contact with an access point you'll never get 100% theoretical bandwidth, so just call it like it truly is for a change.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This