I’ve got to hand it to Netgear. Sexing up an essential but rather mundane bit of kit like a router is a bit of an art, and something they did very well at the Sydney launch of their Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 router.
Over my time messing with computers I’ve seen operating systems change from dry DOS prompts to impeccably user-friendly customer experiences. More recently, even PC bios interfaces, the hard-coded instructions that tell you motherboard what to do when you switch your PC on, go from very intimidating keyboard-controlled menus to friendly mouse-drive user interfaces.
Whilst networking has gone from being an esoteric black art, navigating a router IU has often been like stepping back in time. Often essential option are hidden under layer upon layer of unintuitive headings and terminology. The devices, themselves, also offer little or no feedback as to the overall health of your network.
Once upon a time, if my ISP’s tech person asked my how many devices I had connected to the internet, the answer would have been easy. The last time I was asked that question by my ISP I just laughed at them. I have no idea how many devices are connected to my home network.
There is, however, new breed of router, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 being one of them, designed for modern households full of net-enabled devices. David Henry, Senior Vice President of Netgear Consumer Home Products was on hand at the XR500 launch to talk the attendees through the features of the rather stylish-looking router.
With the XR500 you know exactly how many devices are connected to your network. You can also adjust the bandwidth and prioritise devices. This allows the type of control you need to make sure your gaming PC or console isn’t playing second fiddle to the Netflex streaming going on in the lounge.
It’s this level of control that makes the XR500 a gaming router. Serious gamers need to make sure that the family’s non-latency-critical applications are not interfering with that all important low ping.
The Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 is a nice-looking device and looks to be a bit of a game changer when in comes to setting up and maintaining an optimum home network for competitive online gaming.