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The Nighthawk X10 Smart WiFi Router: A Streaming Oasis

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The Nighthawk X10 Smart WiFi Router: A Comprehensive Breakdown

Experience lightning-fast WIFI on 4 devices without dropouts or the need for wireless extenders:

8 months in my apartment made me bemoan the state of Ethernet service in my native Buffalo, NY. While my subscription is for 60mbps internet through Time Warner, I have experienced terrible buffering issues with my Apple Airport Extreme Base Station Dual Band AC WiFi router while watching Netflix—causing me greater anxiety on dates—and horrible waits while starting games on Steam and Xbox One. While the Nighthawk X10 lacks the capacity to make your romantic life perfect, this router transformed my living space into an oasis for streaming. I used Netgear’s 4-band router, and that has made all of the difference.

Huge and Powerful:

The X10 has the largest footprint of any router that I’ve ever seen. It fits the bottom of 5 Apple Airport Extreme Base Station Dual Band AC WIFI modules atop its footprint. The 1.7 GHz 4 core processor is similar to the specifications of some early Intel i5 laptop processors, which is incredible for a router.

Setup is Faster than with Apple AirPort Express Base Station:

Routers have progressed a lot in the past decade. The Apple AirPort Express Base Station (802.11n, $76) from 2008 was one of the easiest routers to configure at that time. The set-up for a new WIFI network took about 30 minutes within the Airport Utility. The Apple Airport Extreme Base Station Dual Band ac Wi-Fi router is fast too, but not 5 minutes fast. Fast forward to now. I created a new WIFI network on the Nighthawk X10 in less than 5 minutes when I downloaded the Netgear Up app over 4G LTE on my LG V20 phone on the T-Mobile Network. You can reduce your set-up time to 3 or 4 minutes by downloading the Netgear Up app on your phone over WIFI before unplugging your Ethernet cable into your existing router, and re-plugging your Ethernet into the X10 to begin the setup of your new network. Since the Android app is only 37MB, the time savings of WIFI versus 4GLTE irrelevant. The WIFI download versus the 4G LTE download on T-Mobile’s network saves a negligible amount of time–30 seconds to 1 minute.

Once your Ethernet is plugged into the X10, open the WIFI menu on your device and select NETGEAR 62 for your network name, then plug in the password that is written on your router. Then log into the Neatgear Up app and let the app finish configuring your router. Then give the new network a name and a password. Once your name and password are configured, log out of that WIFI network. Search for “your network name” and 5G. My network is called Mancave, and I chose to log into the 5Ghz band of the network “Mancave 5G” on all of my devices—laptop, desktop, smartphone, and tablet. I would then sign out of one of my devices, and use my Xbox One on the 5Ghz band when I played games.

Skip the Netgear Genie PC app and Plex Media Server PC app. Get the Netgear Genie app and Plex app for Android:

The tutorial to set-up Plex Media Server recommends installing the PC version of the Netgear Genie app ( I did not need the PC Netgear Genie app to manage my media content. I just set-up a Plex account ( and installed the Plex Media Server Setup for Windows which is useful for uploading your media ( I skipped this step and uploaded my content directly through the Plex website.

Interestingly, the Netgear Up app is useful for a quick install of the router, but the Netgear Genie app gives you more comprehensive information about your router, including network analytics and the ability to reboot your router. I prefer to listen to music that I’ve put into the cloud from my desktop through the Plex app on my phone, but you can listen to your music that’s on your desktop through the Genie app too.

The ability to listen to podcasts, music, and watch movies from your desktop on your laptop or phone is incredible:

The Plex website recognized my X10 server automatically. It’s amazing to have the capacity to add media from your desktop to your Plex cloud account from your laptop. When I added my music library to Plex, it scanned for metadata and found relevant photos for my artists, including a cover photo for popular artists including Lana Del Ray and classic artists including The Eagles, and automatically created a photo cover for my favorite podcast with James Kunstler and Duncan Crary.

You need to pay for Plex to get much functionality out of the service:

There’s pressure to purchase a Plex subscription for $4.99 monthly, $39.99 yearly, or $119.99 lifetime. The Plex Android app is useful for consuming your media. Without the subscription, you can only listen to 1 minute increments of your music, which I did with Thievery Corporation’s “Feel” Remix.

The Nighthawk X10 makes managing external storage and printers easy through your network:

If you want to back-up your files remotely from your laptop or desktop, you can also install the ReadySHARE Vault desktop app. You can attach an external hard-drive or NAS to your X10 and click Start Smart Backup Now.

You can also convert a USB-only printer into a wireless printer by plugging your printer into the X10, or add an existing WIFI printer to your X10’s list of devices. You can print documents to your house while you are at work.

The ease-of set-up and use, fast speed on 4 devices simultaneously, and 5h3 ability to manage every aspect of your network’s functionality remotely—external storage, printers, and media make this router a coveted solution for the WIFI needs of any gamer or mediaphile. Highly recommended.