The next thing we’re going to review is definitely beneficial especially to gamers when it comes to networking. But what exactly makes this router specifically good for gamers? Nowadays, what makes a peripheral specifically for gamers is just the branding but lacks performance and yet is very costly. It seems that brands put more effort on the aesthetic itself than functionality or the actual performance of the device because it is known that gaming hardware tends to look “different” and otherworldly with many looking alien-like and futuristic. But in reality what really makes a gaming hardware is the performance partnered with comfort with long hours of use. The aesthetics is mostly just a bonus because games would want to be the best in their game and aesthetics isn’t obviously going to provide this.
The Netduma R1 Gaming Router aims to please gamers and give them total control over their router as many routers just do not provide these certain customization and settings that gamers would need. Even port forwarding is lacking in many routers and it is just absurd.
With these control that is given by the Netduma R1 Gaming Router, it can improve experiences and give shortcuts that give gamers quick and easy access to their preferred settings. Not to mention the versatility that it adds is also widely appreciated. What’s the gamer’s main enemy? Hint, it’s not the opposing team. It’s lag. Whether you’re playing PVP or PVE, lag can literally kill you. The R1 Gaming Router eliminates lag that would obviously cost the gamer a potential win. Along that, it also packs a ton more features so I’ll make you wait no long and let’s get started.
Netduma R1 Review – Whats in the Box?
The Netduma R1 comes packaged in a black box that does not overdo it in the visual department which is a nice change. The front of the box contains the company and model name as well as a tagline for the product. At the bottom there are a series of award logos that the router has been presented with. In the background of the box is a nice visual of a pair of animals eyes staring back at you.
Turning to the rear of the box you will find some of the key features of the Netduma R1 listed.
On the sides of the box there is an expanded list of product features as well as a listing of the hardware specifications. There is a QR code printed on the box that takes you across to the Netduma website.
The remaining two sides of the packaging contain the Netduma R1 logo , awards and tagline.
Inside the packaging the Netduma R1 is nicely packed away. Netduma has included a Quick Start guide card that helps show you how to easily setup and configure the router. The router comes with the required power adapter and Ethernet cable.
The hardware of this router is based on the RB951G-2HnD, an 802.11n router. It has five Ethernet ports that are all Gigabit speed. These are 1 WAN, 4 LAN. The dimensions of the router are pretty compact and its exterior is pretty generic. It actually looks like a typical router and not a gaming one that has those weird and unique features that makes it look futuristic or alien-like. The design is nice and simple which wouldn’t stand out in anyone’s home but the best thing about the product design is that it has a very small footprint and does not take up a lot of space.
Brand Name: NETDUMA
Item model number: Netduma-R1
Item Weight: 12.3 ounces
Length: 7.9 inches
Width: 5.9 inches
Height: 2 inches
Hard Drive: 128 mb
Wireless Type: 802.11 bgn
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
1 WAN Gigabit Port
2.4 Ghz Wireless B/G/N/ Compliant with WPA2
600 Mhz Atheros CPU
Can I just say that I love this device? When brands say that their router is for gaming, they just mostly focus on the typical stuff. Decrease the lag, optimize connectivity in a general manner and that’s it but Netduma goes above and beyond to better decrease the lag and optimize creativity using innovation. The bundled software is what makes the Netduma R1 Gaming Router really shine.
Netduma creates innovative software to further increase the fun and lessen the nuisance of one’s gaming experience. So let’s take a look at what really makes this an amazing gaming router not just fit for gaming but also streaming it.
This feature needs to be a feature on all gaming routers. This basically optimizes your home or local network to prioritize your game first. Nowadays, one person can have a multitude of devices that they use. I, myself have a computer, a smartphone and tablet that are all connected to the internet simultaneously and within these devices also exist certain programs and apps that eat away your bandwidth. And most of the time, it’s not just one person who has all these devices. In most households or offices, it is the norm for people to have 2 or more devices.
So if there are a lot of devices that is connected to the internet which is quite common in most households or offices, it is most likely that your game will be in queue in this traffic which can cause lag.
This is a great addition especially if your actual internet speed isn’t the fastest where you would need all the connection for your game or stream, if that’s where you want to prioritize your connection.
This might be similar to Hyper-Traffic but it’s not. Even though this also prioritizes your game or stream, it does it by allocating more bandwidth to it and you can also lessen or take all bandwidth from all other devices as well.
If you have a lot of bandwidth you can set more bandwidth to your games by allocating more to it on this feature.
If you are like me who has to go out of their room, and yell to “not watch videos or download because you’re playing”, you will love this.
You can instantly lessen or cut all bandwidth from other devices eating up your extra bandwidth that should be allocated for your game. Obviously, this would make other members of the household annoyed but that’s not our problem. However, if you must allocate most of your resources to your game or stream and there is excess bandwidth that you do not need, which there most likely will be, you can share the excess to others who aren’t heavy users like you.
If someone uses their device just for Facebook to browse, this is perfect and if they ever go over the bandwidth because they saw a cute cat video on their feed, you won’t have to worry because Device Prioritization ensures that they will not go overboard on what you have allotted for them. The downside is they’ll probably be annoyed as to why the connection is “slower” than usual.
This feature focuses more on your ping than anything else. If there is a lot of activity in your household, this will most likely decrease your ping in the game and therefore making your game unplayable or to say the least, give you a hard time winning.
Even if your mom is uploading pictures on Facebook, your sister is watching videos and your dad is torrenting something, once you turn this feature on, you will have a decent and consistent ping all throughout your game without having adverse effects on the activity on other people in your household.
This is similar to QoS or Quality of Service however QoS focuses more on download speeds more than upload so if you are streaming your game, it will still suffer. Anti-Flood balances both download and upload so even your upload speed will not have to suffer.
We have said that Netduma is innovating right? Well Geo-Filter is one definitely one of a kind. No other brand has this feature at least back when Netduma initially released their R1 Gaming Router.
What this does is pretty simple. It basically just filters out servers for your game to connect to. Usually when we connect to servers, the game finds servers for us and if you’re on steam, yes you can also look for servers manually. That feature is accurate since you basically have an idea on where the server is, if you are in the United States, if you choose a server that says North America or something similar, you will know that it is within North America. However, that is pretty much it. Sometimes the server says what state is and you get lucky but most of the time, they do not state a lot more specifically where they are. This is where Geo-Filter comes in, this basically creates a radius around where you are and you can set how big or small this radius is. The bigger the radius, the more servers you can connect to but the farther ones also will have a slower connection. So basically if you want optimum and fast connection, you can set the radius smaller and the game will be forced to connect to servers within that radius thus allowing you to “choose” what servers you can connect to as some games do not allow this feature.
When the Netduma R1 Gaming Router was released, this was the first of its kind which makes Netduma an innovator of this kind of technology.
Deny & Allow
Deny and Allow does exactly what its name suggests. What this does is basically deny or allow certain players or servers from connecting to you or vice versa. Why would anyone do this? A number of reasons, one could be that they don’t like server/player for that matter because they might be griefing (where a player purposely trolls others to piss off other players) or the server is very laggy. Now as I’ve said earlier there are some games where you can choose what servers to connect to and also which players you can play with, some games don’t. And this could be a problem as sometimes the game will think that the most “optimum” server to connect to is this one that you do not like. Or maybe the server is fast but for some other reasons; you just don’t like playing there. That’s a valid reason but the game doesn’t know or care about this.
This is where Deny & Allow will come in. You can blacklist certain servers or players to prevent you or them from connecting to each other. Now besides denying players or servers, this feature also whitelists players or servers despite them being far away from you which the Geo-filter can react to. So this also goes hand in hand with the Geo-filter which is amazing as some of these features can really clash against each other.
However, you can’t use this feature to abuse and kick people, as it will only take effect after two minutes when your game has finished. This means that you can’t “kick” people using this feature while you are in the game with them either. And once the game is over, this will then take effect and you won’t have to endure an awful gaming experience again with a certain server or player.
Also, this will also not prevent you from playing with a certain player at all occasions. Though this feature prevents you or them from connecting to the other person, you can still meet if you both play on a server that you did not block or deny.
This however, still does not tarnish how amazing this feature is and how well it goes with Netduma R1 Gaming Router’s other features.
So for the past few features, we have talked about how these features will help you have a better connection and battle in-game lag. For this feature however, it focuses more on giving the user information.
Ping Stats will show real time information to the user their actual ping while in the middle of a game (or outside of it if you want). For us gamers, especially competitive ones who do experience lag every now and then maybe because of ISP problems or people using our bandwidth, we want to know exact information about our in-game ping in real-time whilst we play.
But why would anyone want to constantly monitor their ping? You ask. Maybe for some, it’s just a peace of mind, especially when you’re in a ranked game. And if you have a stable and constantly fast internet connection this might not be an issue. However, for some people out there would experience immense lag every now and then, this is a real and recurring issue I used to face back when I had a slow internet connection. It is slow that a simple video stream could cause my game to lag. Besides that, I would not have problems as long as no one else is using my internet but this is not always the case if you’re with roommates or family. You also can’t hog the internet all the time. So with my case, I had to constantly monitor my ping and adjust my play style if I know I might get a lag spike. I would play defensively if I’m getting lag spikes and this would at least help me in game and not get me completely wrecked. This is where this feature gets really handy in situations like these.
Ping Stats also shows a lot of information besides ping. Unlike most games that show ping in numbers, Ping Stats not only shows the numbers but also shows a real-time graph that you can use to asses that status of your internet connection. But it does not just show ping. It also shows jitter, packet loss, send rate, receive rate, client tick rate and server tick rate. If you’re lazy to look at other information, it also shows the general quality of the host or server. This information would provide immense information about your connection of your internet and to the server. Besides the reason I’ve stated above, this feature is also another useful way in determining what is really causing your lag so you can easily and quickly fix it because I, myself sometimes have to troubleshoot and test my router, ISP and even unplug cables just to determine what is really causing my lag. With this feature, it will give clues as to what is really causing the lag. And even though, it won’t pinpoint it directly, it’s a start.
Besides these other information, you can also extract past information in a specific manner and see information in the last 10 secs, 30 secs, etc. to further assess your connection status.
You can also view this information in another laptop, tablet, smartphone or any mobile device for that matter if you do not have a second monitor.
Network Monitor is another feature to monitor your whole network and essentially play as “Big Brother”. Other routers have already implemented this helpful feature but I still applaud Netduma for adding a very helpful feature like this.
As I’ve said earlier, I’ve had my fair share of in-game lag for various reasons and this unfortunately includes people I live with. Network Monitor essentially lets you know who is using your internet and how much they are using. Besides knowing and pinpointing the exact devices causing the lag, it also shows exactly what applications or programs are eating at your connection. So your little sister may not be watching videos but she might still be unknowingly causing lag because she still has other applications or programs open that is eating up the bandwidth. I’ve personally experienced this. Though people in my household were not really doing anything that will cause lag, I still was lagging so I had to look at their programs and determine what programs were causing it and I was right, some applications were downloading, updating, streaming or even uploading in the background without them knowing. Now if you’re not in a game, this might not be an issue but if you’re in a game, where you can’t just pause, standing up, looking up at their device and searching for the specific culprit of a program will definitely have an immense effect in your game.
Having Network monitor will tremendously speed up the time in determining the culprit of the lag so you can focus more on gaming.
We’ve heard VPN before but what does it actually do? VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. What this does is essentially create a blanket of protection with another IP address that hides your true one. Anyone knowing your actual IP address poses a great threat not just to your private network but also to your life. Having access to your IP address puts your files and even identity at risk.
Now there are a lot of VPN solutions out there but Netduma providing its own VPN is very much a welcome feature. Also because it is very to setup that requires no added installation which I essentially dislike whenever I install these programs because a lot of these VPNs or other programs would sometimes bundle other software that I don’t even need to their software. It is also frequent that these people would also bundle actual malware which ironically puts your computer at risk even further.
This feature can also be used by your other devices, not just your computer which basically protects your whole network.
While VPN is a common solution for protection, Netduma’s VPN-Hybrid is a bit different. Thought it basically still uses a VPN. It also uses your actual connection.
As I’ve said earlier, VPN is a blanket of protection for you. However, this protection has its downsides. Since VPNs are public, you share it with a lot of users and it also usually has low bandwidth. This means that your connection will be slow causing your stream or game to lag…tremendously. I’ve experienced this myself. Once I’ve used my VPN and I’m done with it, I always turn it off because it makes my game unplayable.
However, if you require a constant VPN connection, how would you be able to play your game? With VPN-Hybrid, you can put untrusted programs and applications like Skype that has the potential of being compromised on your VPN-Hybrid connection while putting your game and other trusted programs on your actual connection without the VPN.
This is such a clever solution for something complicated and Netduma is indeed innovating and continuously pushing the envelope for gaming routers.
Profiles is such a common feature so this is nothing special but is indeed quite helpful considering the amount of settings you can tinker in this router.
Profiles allow you to save various settings for specific occasions so you won’t have to set them up again which are an immense hassle.
Netduma’s profiles also have pre-set profiles that are fixed to accommodate specific games such as CoD, Destiny, Halo, General settings and non-gaming settings.
Device manager allows you to easily view and manage all devices that are connected to your network. This is a great view when you want to see who is currently connected or when you want to troubleshoot device specific issues.
Host Analysis allows you to see a history of hosts that you have connected to for your online gaming. The feature only works for PC games such as CS:GO, TF2 and DOTA1 however it allows you to see detailed connection information for recent games that you have played, providing you with an insight into which hosts are best suited for you.
The settings section of the Netduma software is where you configure your common router options for the Netduma. It is here where you set your connection settings, ISP details, Port Forwarding. UPnP, LAN, DHCP, DNS, IPv6 and MTU etc.
Upgrading the Netduma R1 is a piece of cake. Simple head over to the Update section of the router software and you can check the current firmware version and upgrade the router with ease.
In conclusion, the Netduma R1 Gaming Router goes above and beyond as a dedicated gaming router. Although it may look generic, it’s extensive and well thought of software more than makes up for it. And if you’re like me where function should be prioritized, this router does deliver, especially for gaming.
The other features are also very useful outside of gaming since you can also detect which devices are connected and eating up your bandwidth. And with that information, you can also lessen or even block their connection in a simple and easy-to-understand UI.