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Do you game?

NETGEAR has long been recognized by gamers throughout the world for our high-performance Nighthawk line of networking hardware.  With the recent introduction of Nighthawk Pro Gaming, we have now taken it a step further by officially entering into the gaming arena by evolving Nighthawk to include the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 WiFi router and our Nighthawk Pro Gaming SX10 Switch.  These latest additions to the Nighthawk family have been designed to address the specific needs of all gamers on console, PC and even mobile.  To further showcase our support for the gaming community, NETGEAR has also joined into an exciting new eSports partnership with the Overwatch League with the sponsorship of Seoul Dynasty.

NETGEAR is fully committed to making high performance networking products that help to improve your online gaming experience. Recently joining NETGEAR as the Gaming Brand Manager, I have been excited about this latest area of focus for the company.  Let me share with you my own personal experience with using the Nighthawk Pro Gaming (NPG) XR500 Router for the first time.

I have been a gamer for as many years as I can remember, routinely moving from console to console, PC rig to PC rig, and game to game, as I search for the perfect combinations.  Lately, I can be found regularly playing Overwatch, Battlefield 1 and PUBG with my gamer group on Fridays and Saturdays on Xbox.

Upon joining the NETGEAR team, I was given the special opportunity to be one of the first to take the new Nighthawk Pro Gaming products for a spin. I anxiously took the new NPG XR500 WiFi Router home during my first week in this new role, unboxed it, connected it a matter of minutes, and followed the easy to use instructions to update the firmware, plugged in my WAN, wired my Xbox and fired it up.

The first thing I noticed was that the DumaOS GUI made it easy to see how my network and devices were performing in real-time. The ability to customize and keep information I want visible on the dashboard is great, it gives me an at-a-glance overview of my network’s performance. The DumaOS dashboard was very easy to configure to my needs. I geo-filtered for the West Coast of the United States, because this would reduce the main cause of lag, distance. I then switched my Anti-buffering bloat setting to 88%, to limit the amount of bandwidth other devices on my network can have for uploading and downloading, and I prioritized my Xbox slightly above all the other devices. My Xbox is wired, and all my tablets, Chrome Cast, Sonos, printer, phones and other gadgets are connected to my SX10 gaming switch. I set the prioritization to slightly favor my Xbox.

Like I mentioned, the number one issue affecting game performance is normally lag. Lag kills your competitive edge and your experience with the game. Players are put at a huge disadvantage with even a 200 millisecond (ms) ping. Common gaming wisdom says if you can have an Open NAT with 30-60ms ping, you should be tearing it up.  My usual ping normally hovers around the 80-90ms range. After I started using the NPG XR500, I checked the Detailed Network Statistics and my ping was 16ms. I couldn’t believe it. I decided to test it out on Overwatch. I play as a flanker with Reaper as my main. My game and performance vastly improved, as I started regularly gold medaling on eliminations, objective kills and damage. I usually have a 2:1 average elimination/death ratio, but on my first match using the XR500 router, it became 11:1. I know that part of that was due to the great team I was on, but it was obvious how much more consistent my playing had become overnight. I was getting 4:1 ratios and was a key member of the team participating in a good portion of the eliminations. I have attached a quick clip of in game footage where I knocked out a quick triple kill and an additional elimination of opportunity.

NETGEAR, with its introduction of the Nighthawk Pro Gaming product line, has clearly designed a solution to the problems commonly facing all gamers.  Using the NPG XR500, I had the peace of mind of knowing that I don’t have to worry about my connection or lag, and was able to simply focus on my game play. I was impressed with the advantage I had knowing that my shots were on target. My accuracy improved and I just had the best Overwatch session of my life.  Couldn’t ask for much more. I’m excited to continue to improve my game in 2018, now that I have this huge advantage I didn’t have before!

Keep gaming!

Ben Acevedo

Gaming Brand Manager

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