Boost your network’s bandwidth
£270 Manufacturer Netgear, netgear.co.uk Connectivity Dual-band 802.11ac ADSL modem-router Ports 2x USB 3.0, 4x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x Gigabit WAN (for cable modem) Features Printer and storage sharing, Time Machine, iTunes server, AirPrint
Most Apple products now support 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but many of us still have older routers that use the slower 802.11n standard. That’s fine for basic web browsing and streaming video, but for bandwidth-intensive activities such as streaming HD video, you’ll want the fastest network possible.
Netgear’s Nighthawk X4S router has a hefty price tag, but it’s packed with all the latest tech to provide maximum performance for your network. Along with dual-band 802.11ac, four separate aerials enable the Nighthawk to transmit ‘quadstream Wi-Fi’ with four separate signals that provide a total speed of 2.5 gigabits per second. That’s a theoretical maximum, but even 4K video only requires speeds of 13-15Mbps, so – as long as your broadband is fast enough – the Nighthawk should cope with 4K video from Netflix or BT’s Sport Ultra service without breaking a sweat.
Netgear’s cross-platform Genie app provides simple options for monitoring your network, parental controls, and sharing printers or storage on your network. It even supports Apple’s AirPrint, so you can print from your iOS devices to old printers that lack this technology.
Not everyone will need such a high-end router, yet the Nighthawk’s sheer speed and its well-designed Genie app make it ideal for gaming and streaming HD video, or simply for households that have lots of different devices connected to the internet at once. Cliff Joseph
There are cheaper routers available, but the Nighthawk X4S can handle even 4K video streaming with ease.
Built-in ADSL/VDSL modem
Genie app for OS X and iOS
It may not look elegant, but the Nighthawk is one of the fastest routers you can buy.