Category: Networking

Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 WiFi 6 AX5400 router announced. Same as the RAX50 but with DumaOS

Netgear has expanded their range of Wi-Fi 6 hardware dramatically this year, offering consumers as much choice as possible at different price points. This has now been extended to include gamers. Netgear claims the  Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 is the worlds first Wi-Fi 6 router for gamers. TP-Link may disagree though, the Archer AX11000 is aimed towards gamers with dedicated gamer accelerator modes. There is also the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 which couldn’t be any more gamer focussed with its RGB lighting. Anyway, this is the first WiFi 6 gaming router Netgear has launched that is running DumaOS. DumaOS...

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Netgear Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Extender Review (EAX80) – Smart roaming support allows you to keep your SSID

The Netgear Nighthawk EAX80 was announced a year ago at IFA, allowing users to extend their home Wi-Fi with the highest performance Wi-Fi possible. Unlike Wi-Fi extenders of yesteryear, this claims to offer mesh support allowing home users to retain their SSID for seamless roaming across the home. Sale NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi 6 Mesh WiFi Extender - Add 2500 sq ft and 30+ Devices with AX6000 Dual-Band Wireless Signal Booster (Up to 6 Gbps Speed), Plus Smart Roaming (EAX80) £265.25 Buy on Amazon Specification and Features AX6000 Wi-Fi speed provides up to 6Gbps performance using Dual-band Wi-Fi technology for...

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EnGenius ECW230 WiFi 6 4×4 Access Point Review – Licence-free cloud-managed WiFi 6 access point

I have reviewed a few EnGenius products now and have been impressed with what they have to offer. Recently they have been shifting to a new licence-free cloud-managed approach, compared to the ezMaster/SkyKey that was used with some of my previous reviews. EnGenius Cloud has some significant advantages over competing brands. This is completely licence free with no features fenced off, unlike Zyxel, and unlike Ubiquiti UniFi there is no need to purchase or set up a cloud controller. The EnGenius ECW230 is their latest and top of the range access point providing Wi-Fi 6 with 4×4 MIMO and 2.5GbE....

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StarTech Intel X550-T2 Dual Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Card Review vs X540 vs Aquantia (ST10GPEXNDPI)

I have recently been featuring more multi-gig networking products on the site. Most of these are aimed at home enthusiast/SOHO users and are as affordable as possible. The StarTech Intel X550-T2 may not quite tick those boxes being priced between £190-280 depending on stock. While this may be pricey for your average home users and their plex server, for a business wanting a dual-port 10GBASE-T card it is one of the best (few) options out there. 44 Reviews StarTech.com Dual Port Network Card - PCIe 10G / NBASE-T - 5 Speed NIC Card - Intel X550 - 10 Gigabit...

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Helium Hotspot Review – An IoT friendly LongFi hub that rewards you with cryptocurrency. Is this a buzzwords filled scam or a innovative piece of technology with the potential to earn money?

I was completely unaware of the Helium Technologies and their hotspot until I was approached for this review. It is an innovative new piece of technology that uses a long list of popular buzzwords to lure you in including blockchain, cryptocurrency, and IoT. I am surprised they don't use AI and do something with 5G. Looking at the website can make it a little difficult to understand what is going on, some of the content appears to be deliberately complex, appealing to a particular kind of audience. Under the LongFi page they have a paragraph stating: Helium LongFi combines...

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QSFPTEK & H!fiber 10G SFP+ to 10Gbase-T Copper Transceiver Module Review

A short and slightly niche review compared to my usual content. Recently I have been covering quite a bit of multi-gig networking including the Zyxel XGS1210-12 switch as well as various multi-gig Wi-Fi 6 routers. Most of the affordable 10Gbps switches use SFP+ ports rather than copper RJ45 meaning you then need to find an affordable SFP+ nic, normally in the form of a used Mellanox ConnectX card. This is normally OK if you are connecting computers in the same room, but less convenient room to room where you may already have laid out CAT cable. I only need...

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Zyxel XGS1210-12 & XGS1010 Review – Affordable multi-gig managed & unmanaged switches (10Gb SFP & 2.5Gb RJ45 ethernet)

Multi-gig networking has become a strange obsession for me, it is something I very rarely need to use, but I am willing to pay a disproportionate amount of money to get. However, my willingness to spend money is always within reason, and spending several hundred on a multi-gig switch is not what I would call reasonable. It has to be one of the slowest pieces of technology ever to drop in price and become affordable to the consumer.   But things are moving in the right direction, slowly. Possibly spurred on by the increased speeds Wi-Fi 6 offers, with...

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Netgear Orbi 4G LTE Advanced WiFi Router (LBR20) Launched – First tri-band mesh WiFi with 4G LTE connectivity

In the UK, mobile data has been improving faster than our wired connections. The average speed of the Internet in the UK is 22.37MB/s placing us 34th in the world, behind economic powerhouses such as Madagascar, Portugal, Malaysia and Andorra. As of 2019, the split for technologies connecting to the 24.8% using ADSL/ADSL2+, FTTC (54.5%), G.fast (0.1%), Cable (17.2%), FTTP (3.1%) and wireless (0.3%). ADSL2+ caps out at around 24Mb/s quickly dropping down to close to 8Mb/s if you are 3km away from the exchange. So it is not unusual for people in the centre of London to be...

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TerraMaster Duple Backup application launched with scheduled backup, incremental backup, and multi-version backup

I have been using the TerraMaster F4-422 as my primary NAS for over a month now and it has been faultless, offering 4-bays and 10GbE with a quad-core Intel J3455 at a lower price than you would expect from other brands. TerraMaster continues to improve its affordable NAS devices with OS updates and new software. One of the main uses of a NAS is for backups and the company have now just launched the Duple Backup Application. The Duple Backup application is independently developed by TerraMaster, exclusive for TerraMaster storage devices. It supports scheduled backup, incremental backup, and multi-version...

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Netgear WAX610 Insight vs Zyxel NWA110AX Nebula vs Ubiquiti UniFi 6 Lite Access Point – Wi-Fi 6 access points become affordable

Wi-Fi 6 is starting to become affordable for SMB cloud-managed installations. In July last year, I reviewed the EnGenius EWS357AP, which at the time was one of the first Wi-Fi 6 access points to the market and the cheapest at around £250. I subsequently reviewed the Zyxel WAX650S offering one of the highest specs for an AP but with a price of around £650. That being said, it was still cheaper than both Cisco and Meraki solutions. Now both Netgear and Zyxel have launched new products at much more attractive prices. As I wrote this, I realised that Ubiquiti...

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ASUS XG-C100C 10 Gbps Ethernet PCI-E Network Interface Card Review – Why so cheap?

The ASUS XG-C100C 10GbE nic has been around for a while now. Amazon had it for £99 back in 2017, the price hasn’t dropped much since then, you can pick it up for £80.99 currently, but at this price, it easily the cheapest 10Gbps Ethernet option on the market. If you don’t mind using used parts and going down the SFP connection route, 10Gbps networking can be a lot cheaper, but it is less convenient to implement. You can pick up a Mikrotik Cloud Smart Switch for just £120 and used Mellanox Connectx cards for £30-50. Sale ASUS XG-C100C...

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The cheapest multi-gigabit switches (2.5G, 5, & 10Gbps) you can buy now – Affordable 10GbE & 2.5GbE networking

10GBASE-T was defined back in 2006, I am not sure when switches and network cards became available, but they have been around for years. While most technology becomes affordable for the consumer in a short period of time, 10GbE has been glacially slow to drop in price. To put it into context, the first iPhone launched on 29th June 2007; this was followed up a year later with the first Android phone, the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1. Back then, most of us were still on using Nokia, and the iconic Nokia N95 launched in 2007. Wi-Fi 6 driving the need...

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