Recently we have written quite a few things about the new 802.11ac standard. Not very long ago we published a background article about this new wireless technology, and today it's time for the first review of an 802.11ac router. While there aren't any products out yet that have an 802.11ac adapter, we were still able to gauge the performance of the Netgear R6300.
If you need to refresh your memory about 802.11ac, then we recommend you browse our background article about the new standard. One thing about the new standard you should keep in mind is that 802.11ac only affects the 5 GHz band of dual-band routers. The 2.4 GHz frequency will also still work, but only at the current maximum theoretical speed of 450 mbps.
The Netgear R6300 is the first 802.11ac router we are reviewing. It looks quite different compared to previous Netgear routers. Whether it's a good design decision is a matter of personal taste, but we aren't overly excited by it. It reminds us of the recently reviewed ASUS RT-N66U and ZyXEL NBG5715.
The Netgear R6300 is a pretty large and thick router, and since it needs to stand up it takes up some space. Its eye-catching design along with the illuminated Netgear logo and gold stripe mean that it will be noticeable no matter where you place it.
While we aren't particularly impressed by its looks, what we really care about is performance. Before we move on to the tests, we'll have a look at the hardware hidden inside the relatively large case. While we're at it we'll mention its £188 price tag which is quite high, but routers usually drop in price quite quickly once they hit the market.
Below is an interview with Netgear's Lionel Paris, Marketing Manager Europe, about the Netgear R6300 and the 802.11ac standard.