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Netgear D6300 review

Verdict

A seriously fast router and packed with features, but tarnished by a high price

Review Date: 16 Jul 2013

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £156 (£187 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £150
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

The Netgear R6300 was the first 802.11ac router we tested, and we were impressed with its performance. The Netgear D6300 adds ADSL to the mix (so it can be used with both BT and, with the appropriate modem, Virgin connections), and we've now tested the router with its own-brand 802.11ac USB adapter. When we first tested the R6300, we had to use a pair of the routers in bridge mode.

The D6300's maximum nominal throughput over its 802.11ac 5GHz link is 1,300Mbits/sec, dropping to 300Mbits/sec over 2.4GHz. Yet, with the £60 Netgear A6200 USB adapter plugged into a free port on our test laptop, we saw an average speed at close range of 25.1MB/sec. That's good, but not as fast as we had expected.

Netgear D6300

In fact, with the 802.11ac USB adapter it was a touch slower than the results we saw with our test laptop's integrated 802.11n Intel WiFi Link 5300 adapter, which peaked at 35MB/sec and averaged at an impressive 26.6MB/sec with this router.

If we examine the results more closely, we can see where the problem lies. The speed actually peaks at 31.2MB/sec, which is around the same speed at which we'd expect a USB 2 external disk drive to run. It's no coincidence that the Netgear A6200 USB adapter is a USB 2 device, too.
If you already have a fast 3x3 Intel adapter, then, there isn't any advantage to buying the D6300 for its 802.11ac capabilities. If you don't, £220 is still an awful lot of cash to fork out.

Netgear D6300

The D6300 shouldn't be discounted, though. Over 5GHz, it produced the fastest speeds in our long-range test of any router in the Labs, and it was nippy over 2.4GHz at long range as well. At close range over 2.4GHz, however, it refused to channel bond, resulting in an average speed of only 9MB/sec.

Even without channel-bonded results, the D6300 is the fastest all-round router we've seen, especially if you take into account its fast USB storage transfer rates (we measured it at an average of 17.8MB/sec over a wired connection). It's also packed with more useful features than most. However, its failure to deliver 2.4GHz channel bonding and a high price deprives it of an award.

Author: Jonathan Bray

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User comments

It's a router?

Getting fed up with the router reviews. You seem to spend way too much time on the Wireless aspect instead of the actual router funtionality. Firewall throughput? You also state it can do ADSL & Cable. Are you sure? I think you will find it can do ADSL or Cable - not both.

By drummerbod on 16 Jul 2013

Verdict: A seriously fast router

Your testing only indicates the AP is fast - not the router.

By drummerbod on 16 Jul 2013

@drummerbod
It looks to me like it can do ADSL and Cable fine.
It has an ADSL modem with the required input, but should you move away from ADSL and go for a service which provides it's own modem (such as Cable or Fibre) then it also has a WAN port. I have a Billion BiPac7800N which offers the same functionality.

By Chappers2000 on 23 Jul 2013

...but yes, I would agree the review does seem a little scant on details other than the wireless aspect.

By Chappers2000 on 23 Jul 2013

Maybe he just didn't find anything new to talk about except that it runs 802.11 ac?

By techman05 on 23 Aug 2013

This is driving me mad. please help

I bought this router and installed it in the home, the wifi work great , in fact super great, however once connected to the splitter in the loft that serves all the PCs in the rooms of the house , nothing , not a single connection , total blank, so i bought a new splitter , a gigabit, again nothing, no IPs are being issued to the router... would any one happen to know what the problem is? the router is replacing my old BT slow one. No one seems to have a clue, oh firewall is off too. (windows) .

By Garfish3 on 11 May 2014

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