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Wireless Reviews

Smart WiFi Router
At a glance
ProductNETGEAR Smart WiFi Router (R6300v2)   [Website]
SummaryUpdated version of NETGEAR's first AC1750 router with second gen Broadcom processor and USB 3.0 port
Pros• Has WDS, Client Bridge and AP modes
• USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports
• Improved storage throughput vs. original version
Cons• No site survey in client bridge mode
• Can't adjust transmit power
• Relatively expensive for performance delivered

Typical Price: $90  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

Updated 8/23/15: Corrected 2.4 GHz component information

This is our fourth NETGEAR R6300 router review. The First Look and full review, published in June of 2012, was for the original 802.11ac Draft 2.0 product. The R6300 was retested in May 2013 with a new test method when a firmware upgrade added beamforming support to the router.

Which brings us to the R6300 v2. As you've probably guessed, the "v2" has upgraded hardware. The product was also tested with the latest wireless testing method (Revision 8) introduced at the end of July 2014. The features and the user interface remain unchanged for the v2, so you can continue to refer to the original review for that information.

Inside

The v2 uses a completely redesigned board, which is evident from the board photos below.

NETGEAR R6300 PCB front

NETGEAR R6300 PCB front

The image above is the front of the original R6300, the one below is the v2.

NETGEAR R6300V2 PCB front

NETGEAR R6300v2 PCB front

Similarly, the rear of the PCB has changed as well.

NETGEAR R6300 PCB rear

NETGEAR R6300 PCB rear

While there are still six antennas (three for each band), you'll note that the antennas are located in different locations in the v2 layout.

NETGEAR R6300V2 PCB rear

NETGEAR R6300v2 PCB rear
Updated 8/23/15

The biggest difference in the v2 hardware is the upgrade of the main CPU from a Broadcom BCM4706 to a Broadcom BCM4708. The BCM4708 has the Gigabit Ethernet switch built in, so there's no need for an external Ethernet controller. Another major difference is that the v2 has 256 MB of RAM compared to the original 128 MB. Finally, the R6300V2 picks up the USB 3.0 port that's built into the BCM4708. The radios and amplifiers appear to be the same for both models. Both 2.4 and 5 GHz amplifiers have been changed. The table below summarizes the major components in both versions.

  NETGEAR R6300 v2 NETGEAR R6300
CPU Broadcom BCM4708A0KFEBG Broadcom BCM4706
Switch In BCM4708 Broadcom BCM53115
RAM 256 MB 128 MB
Flash 128 MB 128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - BCM4331
- SiGE SE2528L 2.4 GHz Power Amplifier with Power Detector (x3)
- BCM4331
- SiGE SE2594L Dual Band 802.11a/b/g/n
Wireless LAN Front End (x3)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L1 5 GHz +19 dBm Power Amp
w/ Power Detector (x3)
- Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp
w/ Power Detector (x3)
Table 1: Component summary

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