Playing in an online competitive match requires rigid practice, a powerful computer, accurate mouse precision, low-latency keyboards, and a fast refresh-rate monitor. Sometimes, we forget one important ingredient which takes your gaming performance to the next level, which is maximizing the in-game network performance. This is where the gaming router comes in. There are lots of gaming routers in the market and one of the robust and capable devices that you can try is the Netduma R2 Gaming router. It has a powerful router OS that allows gamers to automate network optimization, isolate servers that you want to play, one place to benchmark speed tests of their favorite game, and other more gaming capabilities. Aside from its software, it is also armed with decent hardware that will maximize your home network for lag-free gaming and browsing.
For a little bit of history, DumaOS is a dedicated router operating system developed by NetDuma. It was first launched in 2017 as a new OS for their Netduma R1, an OS developed from scratch to unlock the full potential of a router with a completely redesigned interface and better QoS. In 2018, they partnered with Netgears to launch the Nighthawk XR500 Gaming Router armed with their own OS. In July 2020, they officially announced the successor of their well-loved R1 with more capabilities, the Netduma R2 Gaming Router with DumaOS 3.0.
If you’re excited to know everything about the Netduma R2 Gaming Router, continue reading this review as we spent some time poking this beast to see all of its features.
Looking at the box, aside from the “gaming router” label on it, you’ll surely tell it is a router for gaming with its stylish black/red design. In front, you’ll see the actual preview of the Netduma R2 device, highlighting its main feature “Powered by DumaOS”.
At the back, you’ll find all of the sneak peek of the DumaOS’ user interface. The Geo-Filter Map, Adblocker, Ping test, Bandwidth Allocation, and some more details.
At the side, you’ll see the outer blueprint of the device labeling the available physical ports and the light indicators.
On the other side of the box, it shows more of the features of the DumaOS.
Inside, the router itself is housed in a crafted cardboard box.
Pulling the router box will show the user guide, antennas, and other contents.
One of the uniqueness of this router is its alien spaceship-like design that is like a stealthy robotic crabs in a sci-fi movie. Aesthetically speaking, the device itself has a triangular design with its light acting as the eyes on those sci-fi robots. The lights in the front are indicators for power, internet, dual-band WiFi signals, and the four LAN connections.
On both sides, you’ll find the two slots for the 4 detachable antennas. Plugging the antennas is pretty straightforward and you can switch freely the direction of the antennas.
At the back, you’ll find the 3.0 USB slot, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports, Internet port, reset button, and the power socket. Unfortunately, the 3.0 USB slot is not for media server purposes, or network storage, it is for software/os updates for the router. Each of the Gigabit Ethernet ports has a speed of up to 1,000Mbps.
At the bottom, you’ll find the default Wi-Fi access to the router and the serial number. The heart shape meshes are the airflow vents, it keeps the hardware well ventilated by naturally escaping all the heat straight to the surface without the use of noisy fans. Just make sure to put it on a flat surface so the air can freely circulate and escape, you’ll also find it effective when the surface feels warm.
Under the hood, the R2 Gaming Router is powered with a Multi-threaded dual-core processor, with 256MB Flash storage and 128MB RAM. This kind of setup gives your router enough power for all of the in-game network optimization and has the extra power to give you a user-friendly admin dashboard for their DumaOS.
Hardware-wise, the Netduma R2 Gaming router has decent components for its processor, memory, and antennas. The Wi-Fi technology that the Netduma R2 Gaming router is using is 802.11ac, also known as the Wi-Fi 5. Though it is a step behind on the latest Wi-Fi 6, the dual-band AC1200 has a speed of up to 1,000Mbps for the 5.0GHz band and 600Mbps for the 2.4GHz band. Plus a LAN network also provides up to 1,000Mbps. With these speeds, it is more than fast enough to do your gaming needs, even streaming 4K content over the network offline or online.
With its 4 years of perfecting their Gaming Router OS, you will find features that you cannot find on other gaming routers. Optimizing your router through their admin dashboard allows you to implement these enhancements all throughout your device. Apart from that, its slick and user-friendly interface. However, there are some features that are missing that we wish to be included in their next update.
The dashboard where you can see the overall activity of your network is a great help for you to find out any malicious activity in your network. Optimizing your bandwidth allocation is also one click away.
The Geofilter in which you’ll be able to plot which server region you want to play in a specific game is one of the unique features of DumaOS. Though the main feature of Geofilter is to reduce the lag and improve the performance of your gameplay by filtering server regions to your nearest location. Thinking outside the box, this feature can actually be used for evil purposes like to play other players in different countries, regions, or cities to play with easier lobbies (that’s if you know the overall K/D of these servers).
When checking your ping in a game, the only way to test its ping is through launching the actual game. In NetDuma OS, you can ping the servers of the game directly to their admin dashboard through the Ping Heatmap. Pick the game and test, it will then show you all of the results with statistical heatmaps. In our test, you’ll see the exact location of the servers in Fortnite in the SouthEast Asia region.
Here are the supported games for their Geofilter and Ping Heatmap: Apex Legends, Battlefield, Battlefront, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Crossfire, DOTA 2, Destiny (PC), Division 2, FIFA, Fortnite, Frostbite Engine (Battlefield, Battlefront, etc.), GeForce Now, Guild Wars, League of Legends, Overwatch, PUBG, Quake, Starcraft, Team Fortress 2, Unreal Engine (Fortnite, PUBG, etc.), Valorant, World of Warcraft.
Playing online games, doing online work, or just browsing the internet. You have full control over your network, you can select which types of usage you want to prioritize with their easily adjustable QoS. Like for example in gaming, you can distribute 20 points on it while the rest are sharing less and the same amount of prioritization. The congestion control of QoS on the other hand, lets you control any network-hungry devices or apps to make them use less bandwidth when your router detects any traffic from gaming.
You can also get an alternative speed test result by doing it directly with their Connection Benchmark. It will test your bandwidth’s download/upload speed, ping, and for the under the load. It will grade your speed depending on the maximum bandwidth you set in your router and you keep track of all your speed testing with the clickable logs.
The Device Manager will provide you to overlook all over your network traffic, the device connected to a certain band and it also allows you to block the device, see its MAC and IP Addresses. You can also change the device type on it.
If you hate ads or trackers from your computer or on the internet. You also have an option to enable the Adblocker which will block these things at the network level. It will also show you the number of queries allowed or blocked by the router that has been done in a 24 hours history chart. Upon using, most of the blocked connections are tracking traffic from Microsoft’s apps and other annoying connections. If you are the type of person that values their privacy, this is a great tool to find out which programs are transmitting data over your network.
At the Network Monitor, you’ll find the breakdown of each usage of your internet network in real-time. Either its usage from Social Media, Web, Media, Email, File Sharing, or VPN, there is a graph that visualizes the usage. It also can be used as a basis to control which kind of traffic is consuming the most. The amount of download and upload also shows which devices are hogging the bandwidth.
For parents out there that want to control the usage of the internet for their children, there is a Traffic Controller tool. It allows you to block internet access on their device at a specific time, add a set of schedules where you want to enable or block their internet access. You will also get to see if they are trying to access the internet through the Event Capture log.
Though DumaOS’ Hybrid VPN didn’t include a built-in free VPN for you to use, you can put your own VPN credentials from other third-party providers. Adding VPN on a network level will allow you to give VPN access to all of the devices connected to the router.
To know the status of your router, you can check the System Information for its usage, storage, and other helpful information.
The feature of the DumaOS didn’t stop here, the Rapp Store will provide you a marketplace-like feature that will allow you to install their upcoming apps.
Unlike other routers that require a restart to apply the settings changes, DumaOS makes this easier, it applies the changes instantly without the need of rebooting the router. This allows devices to still continue using the internet while you’re tuning the network. Of course, major changes still require a reboot.
What we only don’t like is that when you access the dashboard through a mobile web browser, it is not responsive to the device resolution and you have to zoom in to clearly see the navigation. Fortunately, DumaOS also has its own mobile app, currently in an alpha stage that is dedicated to mobile which is available in both Google Play and App Store.
To truly test the gaming performance of this router, we tested it on several multiplayer online games like Dota 2, Call of Duty Warzone, and Valorant together with our default router bundled by our ISP.
For normal household traffic, we haven’t seen any noticeable improvement when playing games using the Netduma, the ISP’s router does the same performance. But when putting a heavy strain on the two routers, we see significant improvements for the NetDuma R2 gaming router.
The first test is on the ISP’s router. We turn on other devices to strain the network by downloading files, playing videos and music while the PC is playing online games. During the test, the router’s ISP will treat all of the traffic equally and randomly prioritize the devices connected to it. Unfortunately, the PC is behind the prioritization, the game started to lag and eventually unplayable.
While we tested it on NetDuma and turned on the congestion control on QoS. We see a significant improvement, particularly in gaming. The NetDuma prioritizes the connection in gaming and fairly distributes traffic to other devices without affecting the quality of any gaming activity. The QoS perfectly works well as advertised.
Though the supported games we have seen in their specification are only for PC, we will check if Netduma can still recognize online gaming when playing on Mobile. With the same QoS settings, fortunately, it thus still works. We play Mobile Legends Bang Bang without lag even in heavy traffic. Kudos to Netduma team for making this piece of device.
With a price tag of $175.00 (PHP 8,366.49), you can pre-order this Netduma R2 Gaming router directly from their official website. If you’re in the Philippines, you can ship through the DHL without having to worry about the additional custom tax.
The Netduma R2 gaming router is a revolution, packed with excellent tools that gamers are looking for. Optimizing gaming is just a next-level experience with their dedicated router OS “DumaOS”. The ability to isolate servers for faster latency, speed testing for bandwidth, and ping in one place are just some of the best and unique features of this device. As well as the ability to block unwanted ads or tracker and even it has built-in parental controls are the extra features that come in handy when you need it.
Streaming full HD content to your device as a remote play is also possible without noticeable lags or delay, it can even push to 4k gaming.
With the beautifully crafted user interface, normal users will have no problem configuring their router, the developer indeed dedicated this piece of hardware for gamers and non-techie. Apart from that, the ability for the router to apply the changes almost instantly to the device without restarting will save tons of time for users and will avoid interruptions to the devices that connect to it.
The only cons we find so far is their guest network, in which there is no separate category in Device Manager to distinguish if those devices are connected as a guest. Also, the lack of a media server for the USB slot in the router is something that could be useful if they will add it in the future.
Overall, the Netduma R2 gaming router is a great purchase. Though its price is quite expensive for Filipino consumers, the excellent tools you get with their DumaOS 3.0 is a steal price for a more capable gaming router.
What’s inside the box
Here is all of the content inside the box of NetDuma R2 gaming router.
- 4 detachable antennas
- Netduma R2 Router
- User Guide
- 1 CAT-6 Ethernet Cable
- Power Adapter
The router itself.
The power adaptor.
The 4 detachable antennas.
The 1 meter CAT 6 cables.
Lastly, the user guide.
Here is the specification of Netduma R2 Gaming Router:
- Multi-Core CPU
- 256 MB Flash storage
- 128 MB Ram Memory
- 4 LAN Gigabit (10/100/1000 MBps)
- AC1200 Wifi (N300 + AC867 Mbps)
- Dual Band 2.4GHz (Up to 600 Mbps), 5.0Ghz (Up to 1,000 Mbps)
- 4 x Detachable Antennas
- 1 x USB 3.0 Port
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