Netgear has added a new router to its Nighthawk Pro Gaming (NPG) series that is designed to reduce lag and minimize ping when playing games. The new XR300 (opens in new tab) is also the least expensive option in the NPG series, though at $199.99, it's not exactly a budget option.
You may recall that the XR500 debuted around a year ago as Netgear's first router purpose-built for gaming, or at least it was advertised that way. At the time, we said it was the fastest router we had tested, and it remains one of the best gaming routers (second in our opinion to Asus's RT-AX88U).
The new XR300 is similar to that model, though toned down in appearance and specs. For example, it has three external antennas instead of four, and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor instead of the 1.7GHz dual-core chip found inside the XR500.
It's also slower, though not slow—it's rated to deliver up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band, whereas the XR500 is rated to hit 800Mbps and 1733Mbps on those respective bands.
"The XR300 leverages a purpose-built gaming dashboard powered by DumaOS, critical for an enhanced online gaming experience," Netgear says (opens in new tab).
Netgear is leveraging quality of service (QoS) controls to prioritize certain traffic (gaming packets, in this case), as is common in routers. However, the XR300 also uses geo filtering to control lag by limited the distance to game servers or other players.
As with many routers, the XR300 has a built-in switch, which serves wired connections through four GbE LAN ports in the back. It also features a USB port (presumably 3.0) on the front for connecting external devices, such as a storage drive or printer.
We have not tested this router yet, but for anyone who is interested, it is available to preorder (opens in new tab) now. It releases on April 14.