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Wireless Reviews

WiFi Router - 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit
At a glance
ProductNETGEAR WiFi Router - 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit (R6300)   [Website]
SummaryBroadcom-based simultaneous dual-band AC1750 class Draft 2.0 802.11ac router
Pros• Has WDS, Client Bridge and AP modes
• Can reach almost 500 Mbps total 11ac throughput
Cons• No site survey in client bridge mode
• Can't adjust transmit power

Typical Price: $128  Shop Amazon  Buy Direct

Introduction

The First Look was based on original V1.0.0.68_1.0.16 firmware, which lacked support for guest networks. NETGEAR has since posted three updates with the lastest V1.0.2.14_1.0.23 firmware including both the missing guest networks and, according to NETGEAR, providing some improvements in draft 11ac mode performance. So this review includes a retest of 5 GHz 80 MHz mode tests as well as 2.4 and 5 GHz testing with our standard Intel 6300 three-stream N client.

NETGEAR has posted the R6300's User Manual, so I was able to grab my usual front and rear panel annotated views shown below.

R6300 front panel callouts

R6300 front panel callouts

As noted in the First Look, the two USB ports are 2.0 and there is no indication on either the front or rear panels of wired or wireless network activity.

R6300 rear panel callouts

R6300 rear panel callouts

Inside

An anonymous donor was kind enough to open up the R6300 and pass along some photos. The photo below shows six antennas—three for each radio.

R6300 inside front

R6300 inside front

Removing the board and flipping it over shows all key components with heatsinks or spreaders. The mini-PCIe module at the left of the photo looks awfully familiar. It's safe to say that it's the same one used in Buffalo's WZR-D1800H router and WLI-H4-D1300 bridge.

R6300 inside rear

R6300 inside rear

Some digging around has confirmed that the components used in the R6300, aside from the 5 GHz radio, are the same as used on the WNDR4500. The component summary below pulls all the details into one handy place. The components are the same used in the Buffalo draft 11ac products except for the switch, which is a BCM53125 in the Buffalos.

  NETGEAR R6300
CPU Broadcom BCM4706
Switch Broadcom BCM53115
RAM 128 MB
Flash 128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - BCM4331
- SiGE SE2594L Dual Band 802.11a/b/g/n
Wireless LAN Front End (x3)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp
w/ Power Detector (x3)
Table 1: Component summary

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