The Buffalo AirStation 1750 was easy to dismiss, with its uninspiring 802.11ac performance. This Netgear R6300 is an entirely different beast, since it's actually delivering much of the speed you'd expect from a next-gen wireless standard.
Upstream peaks of 54MB/s are nearing half those of wired Gigabit LAN, and more impressive is that at the middle distance with a solid wall to contend with, these speeds remain high.
The issues remain, though, that downstream speeds still aren't as high as we'd expect or like. The issue is compounded by the price of the Netgear R6300 - the RRP of £200 in the UK or $200 in the US makes it one of the most expensive routers we've ever seen, plus you'll need two just to use the 802.11ac. Is £400/$400 worth the outlay for a draft standard? We say no.
The turn of speed 802.11ac is starting to raise eyebrows. Of more use and even better is the 5GHz performance the Netgear R6300 puts in - it's among the fastest we've tested, and at distance is only out-performed by the Netgear DGND 3700.
We also think Netgear has done a sterling job redesigning the web-based interface - while it's not as flash as others, the feature set is excellent. It's easy to use, is fast, but doesn't compromise on information. The same goes for the included ports - we wouldn't expect less than the four Gigabit LANs, two USB ports and the WAN.
The physical design does nothing for us, and its size is a actually restrictive, while port positioning is rather poor because of this. Despite its 5GHz performance, at 2.4GHz the Netgear R6300 does little to impress, not going beyond a mediocre performance, which at this price isn't what we'd expect at all.
Despite our praise for the interface, it could still do with some refining in the looks department, and it's not entirely clear where some settings are to be found, since they're split between Basic and Advanced sections.
As a 5GHz router, the Netgear R6300 excels. It provides a comprehensive feature set and easy installation. Problematically, it's very expensive, and frankly, even if it's compatible with future 802.11ac hardware, we wouldn't recommend investing in any such hardware at this time just on the back of that.