Which Nighthawk to buy


We have been running an Asus RT AC66U with Merlin for many years now but since VPN slows it down dramatically (from 60 Mbs to around 10) we are looking for a new router and it would seem one of the more recent Nighthawks might serve our purpose well, but I am confused about the different models, despite reading several reviews. The reviewers normally only mention the processor (needed for VPN) in passing and are more concerned with WiFi speeds and number of bands. But what interests us is which one can handle VPN encoding best. We are wavering between the AC2600 (X4s) with Dual Core 1,7 Ghz, the AC3200 (X6) with 1.0 GHz Dual Core + 3 Offload Processors (whatever that means), and the AC5300 (X8) with Dual Core 1,4 Ghz. Judging by processor speed alone the (cheapest of these three) AC2600 appears to be the best suited for VPN, but is this right? Also, how well can these processors handle VPN? Will they be able to ensure a 60 Mbs download speed (more or less). If not, should we be looking at the X10 with a quad processor (terribly expensive)?


  • Is there no one out there with a Nighthawk who is willing to share their experience with a PIA setup on the router?
  • Why not save a ton of money and build a proper pfsense router instead (using something like a pcengines board)? Your AC66U is probably fine for WIFI once the real work has been offloaded. 

    It'll be much faster, infinitely more secure, have far greater functionality and be a lot cheaper---all of which probably explains why you're not getting a lot of responses about 'prosumer' grade routers. 
  • Thanks that is helpful. But I am worried that my setup gets more and more complicated. I need the modem of the Internet supplier, I have an Asus router, and I have a Raspberry Pi with Pi-hole to block unwanted DNS access. And now I would have to add another router. That's an awful lot of hardware! I guess the apu2 board could be combined with a wifi board in the same case? What about a replacement for Pi-hole (which runs very well)?
  • I running VPN on a Netgear R8000, and this is fine for VPN internet, mind you I don't have stock firmware, but a DD-WRT firmware. Just remember that the higher the encryption policy the slower the CPU will be due to the higher policy you choose. You want higher performance, then ya going to pay through the nose.
    CPU Model Broadcom BCM4709 
    CPU Cores 2 
    CPU Features EDSP 
    CPU Clock 1000 MHz
Sign In or Register to comment.