Are you in the market for a budget WiFi router that’s also one of the best wireless routers currently available? Then you cannot go wrong by considering the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router. In this NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 review we will cover reasons for why you should invest in such a router, and the disadvantages it brings.
Getting a balanced overview of the WiFi router will enable you to make an informed decision regarding if this particular router meets your specific requirements. There are a bunch of specifications to consider when buying a WiFi router such as the signal range, whether it’s single or dual band, the number of antennas it has, how tight the security features are and so on.
The perfect purchase would consistent of all the features you need and none of the ones you don’t need. This means you’ll only be paying for what you’re actually going to use, thereby not wasting money on a more expensive product packed full of various unnecessary features.
For any features that you’ve come across here for the first time try to do some research one for a better understanding. Becoming an informed buyer means you’ll need to do the legwork in terms of understanding the terminology and what each feature actually does.
Why you should buy a dual band WiFi Router
There are a number of different reasons why a dual band WiFi router like the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 makes more sense to invest in than a single band. However, before we get into that let’s cover the differences between the two.
A dual band router operates as the name suggests at two different frequencies: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. On the other hand, the single band router will only work on the 2.4Ghz band. This is the only difference between the two routers types, but there are a lot of advantages to opting for the 5GHz version as you’ll learn in the following section
As a side note you should also be aware of newer tri-band routers available in the market today. These consist of a 2.4Ghz band and two 5Ghz bands. For the purposes of this section of the review we will only compare the dual band router with the single band ones.
Related: How to Increase WiFi Signal Strength
Advantages of dual band routers
Faster data transmission
The 5Ghz band transmits data at faster speeds than the 2.4Ghz band. Therefore, if you want to take maximum advantage of your high speed internet then 5Ghz is the only way to go. You’ll be able to stream 4K content using Netflix and other streaming media providers. Additionally, you can watch live sports, play video games and carry out other online activities without the need to worry that the quality of your internet connection is going to handicap you.
However, keep in mind that if your internet connection is not going to be faster just because you have a 5Ghz band, you need to ensure that your internet service provider can offer a fast internet.
As technology advances the number of devices that are compatible with dual band routers is going to improve. For devices to be competitive they must take advantage of the supplementary technology which they utilize. Therefore, you can expect most devices to be compatible, and possibly optimized to take advantage of the 5Ghz band.
The 2.4Ghz band is being used by all sorts of devices, not only the wireless routers in your vicinity. Therefore, this band suffers from a lot of interference, and that’s going to result in a signal quality that is compromised.
On the other hand, the 5Ghz band doesn’t experience much in the way of interference because of the small number of devices utilizing this band. Additionally, the 5GHz band has 23 channels that can be used, whereas the 2.4Ghz band has in total only 11 different channels.
Just keep in mind that at some point in the future the 5GHz band will also become saturated just as the 2.4Ghz band is right now. However, this is probably 10-15 years away, which means you don’t have to worry about it with your current WiFi router purchase.
From this you can conclude that the 5Ghz band is a no brainer to use, but as with all technology it does come with a few disadvantages.
Disadvantages of the 5Ghz band
Shorter signal range
The shorter signal range of the 5Ghz band means that in some pockets of your home you might not have access to it – unless you invest in signal boosters. When the 5Ghz signal is out of range then you’ll automatically be switched over to the 2.4Ghz band.
This can lead to frustration if you have a big home and wish you get coverage over a bigger area. No matter the quality of WiFi router that you buy, no dual band router is able to exceed the limitation of the signal range that comes with the 5Ghz band. Therefore, you’ll need to give careful consideration regarding the placement of the router in your home. With careful placement you’ll be able to make the most of the 5Ghz band in your home.
As with most technology if you want more features or improved functionality then you’re going to have to pay more. So expect to pay more for a dual band router when compared to a single band one. You’ll need to figure out if the 5Ghz band is going to be of benefit to you. Therefore, consider the devices you’ll be using and find out if they are compatible with the 5Ghz band.
As with any purchase the cost to value ratio is what’s most important. Therefore, if you feel that then 5GHz band is going to be heavily utilized in your household then the extra price of the 5Ghz band is worth the investment.
2.4Ghz or 5Ghz router?
You might be thinking that you can get away with buying a WiFi router that only has the 5Ghz band, after all it’s faster and there is far less interference from surrounding networks. However, the truth of the matter is that the 2.4Ghz is still worth having as a backup when the 5Ghz band cannot be accessed for any reason. This might be due to being out of range or simply not having the right compatibility with your device.
Therefore, the conclusion that can be drawn is that a dual band router is the best way to go when buying a new WiFi router. Even if you feel that a single band router is all you need, having both bands at your disposal ensures that you have a sense of freedom down the line. You never know how your requirements can change down the line. For example, let’s say that you move home to one that’s bigger. In such a scenario the 5Ghz band might not have enough signal range for complete coverage, whereas the 2.4Ghz might do so.
Review of the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router
Are you searching for a WiFi router that has an affordable price point, is ideal for larger homes and provides plenty of functionality? Then the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is an excellent choice as the range of features matches the needs of most modern homeowner. Whether you’re a student in a house-share or a large family the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 has the essentials to provide everything you’ll expect of a modern dual band WiFi router.
- Compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Assistant
- Control your home network using voice commands
- Circle Smart Parental Controls
- Limit daily internet time for websites, apps, and more
- AC1900 WiFi—600+1300 Mbps speeds
- 1GHz Dual Core Processor
- Dynamic QoS prioritizes bandwidth by application and device for the best gaming and streaming experience
- Beamforming+ improves range and performance
- High powered amplifiers & antennas to extend your WiFi coverage
The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is black and has a minimalist sleek design – you’ll instantly recognise that it looks like a WiFi router. It weighs 3 pounds and the dimensions are: 13.7 x 10.1 x 3.1 inches. Therefore, it takes up no more room than the average WiFi router and you can easily find a place for it in your home or apartment.
There is 1 USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port for storage, and this can also be used to connect a number of peripherals such as printers and so on. This enables the entire network of your home to be connected to this peripheral.
Furthermore, there are 3 antennas allowing for multiple connections to be made which is perfect for households with many family members. Let’s say that in the evening you’re playing online video games in the living room, someone else is doing the same upstairs in their bedroom, and others are watching YouTube videos via their smartphones. Having the freedom to achieve that without it being a laggy experience for anyone requires multiple antennas to be utilized.
There is a dual core processor that comes with the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 and advanced QoS for lag-free gameplay. Parental controls also make the router safer to use for younger members of the household. You can take advantage of the parent controls to limit what your child is exposed to.
Pros of the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900
The big advantage of this WiFi router is that it operates both at the 2.4Ghz band and also the faster 5Ghz band. The 2.4Ghz band is not only slower but can also be congested as other wireless devices utilize this band for the most part. On the other hand, the 5Ghz band will have much better availability in your local area of use.
Additionally, the 5Ghz band has more channels that can be utilized than the 2.4Ghz band. This means you’ll be able to connect in an unrestricted manner. In the future, when the 5Ghz band might potentially become more congested, having more channels is ideal.
Do you plan on using your smartphone around the house, and want a reliable internet connection? Then you’ll benefit from the beamforming technology that comes with this WiFi router. This technology means the signal will be focused on the precise location of the user, and if the user is on the move then so will the signal. It might not make a huge difference, but it can improve the usability if you want a mobile-friendly experience.
There is a USB 2.0 and also a 3.0 version allowing for up to 10x the speed. The availability of a USB port means that media storage can be centralized in the household. If there are files that you want to store and others to have easy access to then it is possible.
Additionally, peripherals such as a printer can be connected and used by all members of the household. This means you don’t have to go knocking on the door on off the member of the household who has the printer.
3x external antennas
The 3 external antennas that come with this WiFi router is another positive aspect. It enables the range of the WiFi router to be relatively large, which means that a large home can buy this product knowing the coverage is going to be excellent. In the event that there are a few pockets of your large home that do not receive excellent coverage then you can invest in a few WiFi boosters.
External antennas means that the clarity of the signal will be excellent, and since there are 3 of them you can expect good quality connectivity to a number of devices at the same time.
This product is aimed for the larger household, and if a family is buying then children or teenagers are probably involved. NETGEAR has therefore added great parent controls to enable parents to protect their kids from the dark places of the web.
Nowadays there are a variety of places where kids and teenagers can go and be put in a dangerous position. The safer web experience will put your mind at rest knowing that you have done your bit in the safety of the online experience.
Perfect for gaming
The speed of the WiFi router goes up to 1900 Mbps, which is more than enough for most modern online-based applications. This includes not only viewing your favourite media at 4K, but also online gaming.
You’ll receive an experience that’s not only lag-free but also capable of delivering a high speed connection. Even if there are other members of the home downloading a movie you can connect to your online gaming server in an effective manner.
You can make use of the 4 LAN ports to connect via a wired connection to ensure that your connection is not compromised. The wireless connectivity of this WiFi router is excellent, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good quality wired connection. With 4 different LAN ports here you can get the connection that’s needed even if you’re sharing with others.
Excellent control via the NETGEAR genie App
For those of you that want excellent control over your wireless network should take full advantage of the NETGEAR genie app. It can be used on your desktop, mobile or tablet to control all aspects of your network.
It allows for the management of files and peripherals across your network, and let’s you manage the security of your network. You can change the password and the users that have access to the network. You can also give users restricted access if you wish. Since you can access the app from the comfort of your smartphone you can manage this network even while you’re at work or at the other side of the world.
NETGEAR has multiple years of experience with regards to releasing industry leading WiFi routers to the market. Therefore, you can expect great reliability from their products. Don’t expect signal strength and range to drop-off after just a few months of use. Additionally, NETGEAR support for their products is excellent. You can get help with anything from troubleshooting to the setup of your WiFi router.
Cons of the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900
Overkill for smaller homes and apartments
If you live in a small home or apartment then the extended range of this WiFi router means that you have more power than you actually need. You might get better value for money by taking a look at an entry level product. However, you can future-proof yourself by investing in this NETGEAR router. Let’s say that you move into a bigger home in the future, and need the extra range. By purchasing this WiFi router now you’ll ensure that when you need extra range down the line it will be available.
You might buy this dual band router expecting greater speeds as a result of the 5Ghz band, but upon use you’ll discover that your device is not compatible with the 5Ghz band. Therefore, you’ll feel compelled to upgrade in order to make use of your dual band router.
Consequently, you’ll end up spending a lot more money as a result of buying this WiFi router than you might have expected. This could be an inconvenience if you’re happy with the electronics you already have, or you might want to upgrade anyway.
5Ghz has short range
You might also be disappointed if you want to make use of the 5Ghz faster band across your entire household. That’s because the 5GHz has a relatively short range, so you’ll need to place your WiFi router very carefully to ensure you get 5Ghz coverage in the most desired spots of your home.
The great thing about a dual band router is that there is also a 2.4Ghz band. Therefore, when you’re out of range of the 5Ghz band then you can fall back on the 2.4Ghz one. When you have this sense of flexibility it means you can use the WiFi router in a way that matches your requirements.
Does not offer tri-band
For maximum performance now and in the future you need to buy a tri-band router. The tri means that there is a 2.4Ghz and two 5Ghz bands. Therefore, when you are experiencing a lot of congestion on the 5Ghz band in your local area you have an extra band to receive your high-speed connection.
If you’re the type of buyer that likes to future-proof your purchases then you might be disappointed with the lack of tri-band in this particular router. Having said that, for the average user a dual band router is more than enough to get the job done.
The style of the router
You might feel that visually the look of the WiFi router isn’t what fits in with the interior décor of your home. Other routers on the market have an orb like appearance and differ in color, so if that’s a consideration then the bland look of this router might be a disadvantage.
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