Impressive future-proofing, for sure, but NETGEAR isn’t done just yet. The Nighthawk X10 is equipped with a 10G Ethernet port for ultra-fast data transfers, alongside a further six Ethernet ports supporting Gigabit speeds (check out last week’s run down of ten great 10G networking products for prosumers, published ahead of today’s announcement from NETGEAR). Connectivity is further enhanced with link aggregation (supporting two Gigabit Ethernet ports for faster file transfers) and two USB 3.0 ports for local storage and peripheral sharing.
Furthermore, the X10 is the world’s first router to ship with Plex Media Server integrated. That means you’ll no longer have to run PMS on a PC, Mac or NAS device – simply run the media server software from the router and point Plex towards your locally stored media library. A three-month Plex Pass, offering extended features, is bundled to further sweeten the deal.
Of course, all of this additional work is going to require some horsepower. The X10 is powered by a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU and 1 GB RAM – in theory, that should be sufficient to handle real-time, high-definition transcoding but I’m checking with NETGEAR ahead of us receiving our review unit. Much will depend on the actual processor being used.
As you’d expect from a range-topping router, there’s support for MU-MIMO connections, while NETGEAR’s patent-pending Active Antennas enhance weak signals and reduce interference. How? NETGEAR’s designers have moved the Wi-Fi amplifiers from their usual location, on the router’s motherboard, up to the top of the antennas avoiding any signal loss during transmission between antenna and router board. How this translates into real world performance remains to be seen, but it sounds like an interesting move.
Alongside Plex Media Server, the X10 boasts an extensive range of software features bundled in the company’s NETGEAR Genie platform. They include automated backup (to local devices as well as Amazon Cloud), parental controls, guest networking, plus an integrated FTP server, VPN server and DLNA media server.
If this sounds like the perfect prosumer networking device, then you can expect prosumer pricing. The NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 is priced at a hefty $499 which, admittedly, buys you some exciting features for today as well as tomorrow.
You can purchase the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 today in the USA with other countries yet to be announced. We’ve booked our review model with NETGEAR and hope to share our thoughts very soon. In the meantime, find out more over at the NETGEAR website.