NETGEAR partnered up with Netduma roughly two years ago in an effort to create the best router operating system for gamers. This month, KitGuru had the chance to catch up with Netduma CEO, Luke Barlow, who ran us through the new cutting edge features debuting this year.
Watch on Vimeo below:
Netduma is the company behind DumaOS, which we've previously analysed running on the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 router. This month, Netduma announced 11 new features for DumaOS, which will show up on Netgear's Nighthawk Pro Gaming series of routers in the future.
With the new version of DumaOS, an app store is being introduced, so you can easily add new features to your router, from connection speed tests to VPNs and device managers.
For gamers, a pair of new features are on the way, one called ‘Geo-Fencing' and another being the ‘Ping Heatmap'. These are designed to work together, so you would start with the Ping Heatmap, select your game and figure out where the servers are located. You will get readings for your ping on each possible server connection for that game, you can then use ‘Geo-Fencing' to ensure that you can only be connected to the servers offering you the best performance.
Application QoS is a feature that you may already be used to, allowing you to allocate network bandwidth based on specific applications or devices. For instance, you can prioritise gaming traffic over general browsing, or streaming traffic if you don't want other people in your house hogging all the bandwidth. You can also set bandwidth on a per device basis, so you could set an iPad or smartphone as a lower priority and your PC as a high priority, the router will then balance things out accordingly.
Smart QoS uses deep packet inspection to monitor where traffic is coming from, so you can set a hierarchy and have the router balance things out that way. In the video above, one example given is Google Stadia, which would need more bandwidth than a Netflix stream on the same connection. You set the priority and the router balances things out for optimal performance.
The Connection Benchmark gives you a pure speed test from the router, rather than from another device connected to the router. This feature also gives you more information in the form of graphs, including throughput speed, latency, and how well your network can handle multiple users at once.
The Data History feature allows you to track how much traffic each device in your home uses, so you can build up a history of which devices are using the most bandwidth and how much data you use on a month to month basis. If you have a data cap with your ISP, you can use this to set a limit and avoid potential fees.
The Traffic Controller is essentially a built-in Firewall, so if you are a parent, you can set up specific times that your children can access the internet, as well as the content they get access to. So if its homework time, you can block access to games or Netflix but allow general browsing to continue.
Diagnostic tests can be run to find and fix common network issues, so you can easily fix NAT issues when trying to connect to online services or other small but common problems. Finally, DumaOS began life as a ‘gaming' oriented OS for routers and as such, has a mostly red colour scheme. With DumaOS 3.0, themes are being added, so you can change the UI to something more in line with your own tastes.
KitGuru Says: DumaOS can be found across the whole Nighthawk Pro Gaming range, with new improvements even coming to older models, like the XR500, which we reviewed in 2018. If this is a feature set that grabs your attention, then be sure to take a look at the Nighthawk range and if you have a Nighthawk router already, you may already be able to install the latest version of DumaOS with new features intact.