Linksys and Netgear are two of the biggest brands out there when it comes to internet routers. With the advent of 4×4 data streaming, both of these brands threw their hats in the ring, Linksys with their AC2400 and Netgear with their Nighthawk X4 AC2350. But which of these routers is the best?
The Linksys AC2400 and the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 each outperform each other in different categories. The Linksys has faster connections both close and far away from the router, while the Nighthawk has better features and is generally found cheaper.
When determining which of these routers is the right one for you, you need to go through the many different factors that these routers have, as well as how important these factors are to you. So let’s go through these factors in much more detail to help you pick the right router for your home.
Linksys AC2400 vs. Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350: Which is Better?
The Linksys AC2400 and the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 (both on Amazon) stand out as the first wave of 802.11ac routers with 4×4 data streaming technology for both brands. However, a significant problem many potential users have is which router they should use. They both promise remarkably similar specs, after all.
One of the best ways to determine which router is best is to consider many different factors. To compare these two routers, we have split these factors into four different categories. These categories include Features, Design, Performance, and Price.
Features are the things that the routers are likely to put on the front of the box to advertise their router. This will include the number and kind of ports the router consists of and any quality-of-life features the router has.
Design is an important feature to consider when picking out your router. This includes not only the router’s physical design but also the router’s setup process and interface.
Performance is possibly the most critical aspect of the router for most consumers. This is how well the router performs, the speeds you will receive, and the consistency of your speed.
Price may be the simplest value of a router to consider, but for a large number of people, this one factor is the one that will make or break the router for them. How much it costs to purchase a router will even outweigh the performance of that router for some people.
The Linksys AC2400 includes 4-gigabit ethernet ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0/eSATA port. It also includes four external antennas that you can adjust as needed. It also has a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and can communicate on the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz frequency bands.
One prominent feature the Linksys AC2400 is missing is the lack of LED status lights on the front of the router. Instead, these status lights are located on the back, meaning you need to turn the router around to see if it’s properly connected. This is a minor inconvenience but will bother most users.
The Linksys AC2400 also includes a series of security options. These include IPv6 and IPv4 firewall protection and Parental Controls that can let you limit certain websites on specific devices.
The Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 includes USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. It also has a WAN port and four different LAN ports. It also features a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 128MB of flash memory, and 257MB of RAM.
Now, unlike the Linksys AC2400, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 does have status lights on top of the router, meaning you don’t have to fight cords to turn the router around and check whether you have a proper connection or not.
The Linksys AC2400 and the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 look pretty similar physically. They are both black boxes with four antennae from the top of the box.
The Linksys AC2400 measures 2.2 by 10.1 by 7.2 inches (height, width, and diameter, respectively). The Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 measures 1.97 by 11.22 by 7.26 inches.
Essentially, the Netgear Nighthawk is slightly smaller than the Linksys vertically, but the Linksys is marginally smaller than the Netgear Nighthawk horizontally. However, they’re so similar dimensions-wise that this shouldn’t be a determining factor.
As for setup, setting up the Linksys takes about 10 minutes. First, you connect the router to your PC and the modem, insert the setup disk, follow the basic setup steps (naming the router and creating a password), and your router should be set up.
Despite the Linksys having a straightforward setup process, the Netgear Nighthawk’s setup is somehow even easier. Just plug the router into your computer using an ethernet cable, and your computer should automatically open up a browser window. This will prompt you to download an installer that automatically sets up your router.
As we said before, for many consumers, performance is the most important thing they consider before buying a router. After all, price and setup are things you only have to consider the moment you buy the router. However, performance is the aspect of the router you’ll be reminded of every time you use it.
While design was a category without a clear winner, performance was a pretty one-sided battle. The Linksys AC2400 blows the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 out of the water.
The Linksys AC2400 reaches speeds of 204 Mbps at a distance of 5 feet from the device. Meanwhile, Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 only reached speeds of 130.2 Mbps at the same distance of 5 feet.
The Linksys AC2400 also keeps a higher speed than the Netgear Nighthawk at a distance. The Linksys reached speeds of 142 Mbps at a distance of 30 feet away, while the Netgear Nighthawk only returned speeds of 118 Mbps at 30 feet.
The Linksys AC2400 is the clear winner if you only care about performance. It reaches higher speeds both closer and further from the device than the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350.
As we stated before, even though it is the most superficial aspect to consider between the Linksys AC2400 and the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350, price is often one of the most important factors to many potential buyers.
Therefore, even if the Linksys performs much better than the Nighthawk, some people may get the Nighthawk if it is the cheaper option.
As you can see, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 is slightly cheaper than the Linksys AC2400, but only by around $30. This is a small enough price difference that price may not be a factor in this debate for many people.
When looking at advertised specs, it can be challenging to trust whether or not the manufacturer’s claims are legitimate. For example, every router sounds like the best if you only look at the back of the packaging. One of the best ways to determine whether a router is good is to look at reviews from people that own the router.
The Linksys AC2400 has 3.8 out of 5 stars on its Amazon listing with 206 different reviews. Some positive reviews report the router is “blazing fast.” The more negative reviews for the Linksys AC2400 report Linksys having “poor customer service and tech support.”
Meanwhile, on its Amazon listing, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 has 3.8 stars out of 5, but it has more than three times the reviews with over 660 reviews. Positive reviews for the Nighthawk report it has “great speed and performance.” One of the more negative reviews reports that their Nighthawk only worked for around three months before it started failing.
Essentially, these two routers have almost the same reviews from the general public. Both of them have 3.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon. However, the Nighthawk slightly wins this category because its 3.8-star review is made up of 600 reviews rather than the Linksys’ 200.
After reading all this, let’s say you’re still not sold on either the Linksys AC2400 or the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350. However, you have more than two options in the router market. So let’s go through a few different options that you have to choose from.
The Linksys Velop (on Amazon) is the Linksys brand’s first entry into the market of mesh routers. A mesh router is a relatively new kind that uses nodes to spread the internet signal over a more considerable distance, making it perfect for people with internet dead zones in their homes.
This router can be bought in packs of 1, 2, or 3, depending on how much area you need to cover with your router. This model has three ethernet ports, WPA3 security, Bluetooth setup, and Alexa integration.
One potential problem with this router is that you need to have a subscription through their app to control the parental controls for the router.
This model is Netgear’s answer to the mesh internet craze. The Netgear Orbi (on Amazon) has one of the more unique designs of any router; an almost candle shape rather than the standard router shape.
Also, rather than coming with multiple routers like the Linksys Velop, this model comes with one big router and multiple smaller “satellites” that expand the bigger router’s signal.
The Netgear Orbi comes with Tri-band AX4200, 4 Ethernet ports, an App-based setup, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, and WPA2 security.
It also comes with enhanced security options, but once again, these are only available with a subscription to their app. It also has no parental controls, which may be a deal breaker for some.
When picking out the perfect router for yourself, you need to determine all the different factors that go into owning a router and the importance of these factors to yourself. Of course, price, performance, and features are the most critical factors.
If you value price above all, look for routers within your desired price range. If you value performance, look into the best routers on the market. If you value features, look into the many different features a router can contain, then search for the routers with those features.
Some other less important factors you may want to consider are setup difficulty and customer service. Setup difficulty is crucial as you can’t use a router you can’t set up, and customer service is vital if you ever have problems with your router; the customer service reps are likely the ones who will attempt to help you.