Netgear D6200 Review - Performance, Value & Verdict Review

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Netgear D6200 – Performance

Netgear D6200 acGiven its midrange wireless configuration we expected steady, unspectacular performance for the D6200, but it actually turned out to be a mixture of great disappointment and pleasant surprises.

On the disappointing side is 802.11ac. At our test distances of 2m and 10m line of sight and 15m behind two standing walls, the D6200 achieved speeds of 35.3MBps (282.4Mbps), 30.4MBps, (243.2Mbps) and 11MBps (88Mbps).

These are 50-60 per cent down on the best AC1750 and AC1900 routers and 30 per cent down on where we’d expect the D6200 to perform. In fact Netgear’s own R6250 is the fastest performing AC1200 router we’ve tested and it manages speeds of nearly 70MBps at 2m and 34MBps at 15m.

Netgear D6200 2.4And yet the D6200’s 802.11n 5GHz performance was superb. At 2m and 10m it achieved 34.6MBps (276.8Mbps) and 28.4Mbps (227.2Mbps) respectively while it hit 14.9MBps (119.2Mbps) at 15m. This is actually faster than the R6250 and puts the D6200 in the top bracket of 802.11n 5GHz routers.

802.11n 5GHz graphs in the ‘Photos’ tab at the top of the page

But having got our hopes up the D6200 quickly dashed them with some, quite frankly, dismal 802.11n 2.4GHz results. At 2m all looked well with a respectable 11.4MBps (91.2Mbps) but it crashed to just 3.92MBps (31.36Mbps) at 10m and a near unusable 355Kbps (2.84Mbps) at 15m with plenty of drop-outs along the way. At 10m and 15m these are some of the worst results we’ve seen, behind even many cheap 802.11n 2.4GHz-only modems given away by ISPs like the hateful Sky Hub.

As for the D6200’s USB performance, it ended a topsy turvy series of results with a thoroughly unremarkable 5.93MBps (47.44Mbps) when most rivals are reaching for double figures. This will stream some 720p video, but don’t expect much else.

Netgear D6200 2

Should I buy the Netgear D6200?

After such a bashing the answer is quite obviously ‘no’, but it does come with come with one caveat: price. At £129.99 the D6200 is cheap for an 802.11ac router with integrated modem and if you aren’t in a fibre area and determined to have a single box upgrade to your existing, ageing ISP router it should do the job.

That said BT is giving away its Home Hub 5 for free with new contracts and it has both much faster wireless performance and a VDSL modem. Similarly TalkTalk’s Super Router is no great shakes, but it is also free on contract, packs VDSL and just about surpasses the D6200’s wireless performance. In fairness to the D6200 it is a current but not brand new model and it goes to show how quickly the router market is moving.

Our advice: spend £129.50 instead on the AC1900 rated D-Link DIR-880L, one of the fastest routers we’ve ever tested with incredible range and stomach having a separate modem.

Verdict

On paper the Netgear D6200 is a sensible option: wireless AC and a modem all-in-one for an affordable price. But on closer inspection the modem doesn’t support fibre and the AC1200 wireless implementation is weak. 802.11n 5GHz performance is a highlight, but over 2.4GHz it is woeful. Looks and ease of use are also somewhat mediocre making for a product which is old before its time. Better options are out there.

Next, read our pick of the Best Routers

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Performance 5
  • Value 6
  • Features 6
  • Build Quality 6
  • Usability 7
  • Design 6

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