In this post, you’ll learn how to optimize Netgear Nighthawk router regardless of if you’re going to be gaming or downloading/uploading content.
The steps above are designed specifically for Netgear Nighthawk routers so if you’ve got one, this guide is for you!
To optimize Netgear Nighthawk as efficiently as possible you’ll need to reduce the MTU value, update the firmware and if using WiFi, alter the network channel. On the other hand, you can always use a wired connection when you want 100% reliability or adjust some settings that might help.
These approaches are beneficial especially if you’re a gamer or your work is related to transferring files.
There are even more methods that can increase the overall and WiFi speed so let’s jump right in!
Since you’re going to be needing the smartphone Nighthawk app to complete some of the steps, let’s take a look at how to acquire it first.
Well, it is actually pretty easy. The Nighthawk app can be found in every app store and is accessible by most smartphone devices.
Once you have downloaded it, you must enter the router name & password which will be given to you by the ISP when your network was first established.
With that said, let’s start with the first step:
Altering the MTU will help you speed up your in-game network packet load which will result in better ping and reduced overall lag. To change the MTU setting, you must have access to the Netgear menu, found in the Nighthawk app.
When you have the Nighthawk app and access to the router’s options, follow these steps to lower the MTU value:
- First, head to the Netgear menu.
- Click on the Advanced section and scroll all the way down.
- Once you find the MTU tab, click on it and you will see that the default value is 1500.
- Reduce the MTU value from 1500 to 1436.
By reducing the MTU value a little bit, you will help optimize not only the in-game ping and latency but also optimize the way VPNs work with your network.
Before you apply any other complex methods of optimizing your router, it is good to make sure it is up to date.
Luckily for you, updating your router might bone from the Nighthawk app as well, so once you have logged in, follow these instructions:
- Go to the options tab in the Nighthawk app.
- Tap on the image of your router.
- Scroll all the way down and click on Check for updates.
- If new firmware comes out as a result of this check, click on Update.
- Wait for several minutes and once it is done, simply Reboot your router.
Once you’ve rebooted your router, compare the results.
By choosing a different wireless channel, you will bypass frequencies that might have more local interference.
You must choose a channel that doesn’t overlap another wireless channel on the frequency Spectrum.
To do that, you can follow these steps:
- Open the Nighthawk app on your smartphone.
- Go to the Wireless settings menu.
- Try channel 1, 6, or 11.
- Test out the performance with each channel and choose the most suitable one.
After choosing a different channel, you can compare the results here as well to follow your progress.
A great way to optimize your Nighthawk router for gaming is to use a wired connection.
Wired connections are created via Ethernet cable and this cable will connect your router and PC you’re gaming on.
To create a wired connection, the steps below:
- Get yourself an Ethernet cable.
- Plug the cable into a yellow output of your Nighthawk router.
- Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable in the LAN input on the back of your PC.
- Follow the on-screen steps to set up an Ethernet connection on your PC.
From now on, your PC will directly receive data from your router, and you no longer have to use the WiFi when your sessions are important.
To learn how to optimize Nighthawk router via establishing MAC filtering, we’ve prepared an easy step-by-step guide.
The MAC filtering (Media Access Control filtering) is a method that will help you with restricting network access and possibly relieving the network from intruder devices.
To turn on the MAC filtering, you can follow these steps:
- Open the Nighthawk app on your smartphone once again.
- Go to the options tab and click on Security.
- Once in, locate the MAC filtering feature and click on the slider once.
This will help to improve network efficiency by removing unwanted devices connected to your network.
It will also make a restriction towards the guest networks, so make sure to always have access to this feature in case you want to create this type of network.
A solution meant for users who’re trying to game on WiFi is to remove unused devices from their network.
More precisely, to remove devices that are already connected to your network but are no longer used by you or other family members.
Simply unlock these devices and turn on the airplane mode for the most efficiency. This will stop network resource consumption and will definitely boost your network connection.
Since internet speed and reliability are extremely important, especially while gaming we’ve prepared a bonus guide on things to do for the gaming experience.
To ensure uninterrupted gaming sessions, it is recommended to perform a simple router restart. It’s not harmful at all, it is even healthy for your router to be regularly restarted.
Once in a while, you should take a vacuum cleaner and suck out any dust build-up inside or around the ventilation openings of Nighthawk’s back panel.
If you feel confident you can disassemble the panel and clean it from the inside.
Position your Router (Wi-Fi)
In case you’re wirelessly connecting to play, you must remove any large and metal objects beneath or under your router. Moreover, you need to make sure that you’re close enough for a strong signal.
Stop any software downloading or uploading content. Disable any active VPN software and disconnect ALL other devices connected to your router.
If you’ve applied everything in this post and your ping/latency is still high, then you should call your internet service provider.
To optimize the Nighthawk router, try enabling the MAC filtering and remove unused devices from your network. Then, try lowering the MTU and changing the wireless channel. If nothing works, look for available firmware updates or check if your router is overheating.
If you have read the entire post, you should know how to optimize Netgear Nighthawk router and improve your work or gaming experience.
If none of the methods made any difference, then your internet delivery might be insufficient, and calling your ISP would be your next step.
If this post was helpful but you’re having another problem with your Netgear router, you will definitely find the solutions in our blog.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.