Netgear D6300 review

16 Jul 2013

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

Price when reviewed: 
187(£187 inc VAT)
Buy it now for 
5

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £156
Price inc VAT £187
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 4
WiFi standard 802.11ac
Modem type ADSL/cable

Wireless standards

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

LAN ports

Gigabit LAN ports 4
10/100 LAN ports 0

Features

MAC address cloning yes
Wireless bridge (WDS) yes
Exterior antennae 0
802.11e QoS yes
User-configurable QoS yes
UPnP support yes
Dynamic DNS yes

Security

WEP support yes
WPA support yes
WPA Enterprise support yes
WPS (wireless protected setup) yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ support yes
VPN support yes
Port forwarding/virtual server yes
Web content filtering yes
Email alerts yes
Activity/event logging yes

Dimensions

Dimensions 255 x 67 x 197mm (WDH)

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