Setting up a router can be tough, especially if the admin panel is full of confusing features and some of them are just sluggish. For gamers, finding a router with an easy-to-use admin panel is a much of a need to either manage the network better or optimized it for gaming. Considering this situation, the NetDuma R3 takes the lead, not only with its user-friendly DUMAOS4 operating system but also with its advanced Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. This combination promises a leap in wireless networking performance, offering faster speeds, better range, and more reliable connections.
The NetDuma R3 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router is the latest version in its series. This time, it includes Wi-Fi 6 technology and a new DumaOS 4. Wi-Fi 6 helps make your internet connection faster and more reliable, which is great for gaming and using many devices at once and there is only one SSD for both of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. DumaOS, the operating system of the router, introduces gaming-centric features such as GeoFilter 2.0, SmartBOOST, and Ping Optimizer, which are claimed to significantly enhance the gaming experience. The router has a strong 1.5GHz Quad-Core processor and is equipped with 256MB of DDR3 RAM and 256MB of storage. Plus, it has RGB lighting, adding a nice touch to its aesthetic design.
The NetDuma R3 is priced at $249, but there’s a special launch discount bringing it down to $199, you can order it at https://netduma.com/order/netduma-r3/. While this might seem expensive, it is positioned as a premium option in the gaming router market. If you’re in the Philippines and want to buy it, it’s shipped by DHL. Remember, there’s an extra customs fee of PHP 2,600.
In this review, we’re going to check how well the NetDuma R3 works in real-world scenario, how easy it is to use, and how good its Wi-Fi 6 is. We want to see if it’s really as good as its features and price suggest.
Upon receiving the NetDuma R3, the premium nature of the product is immediately apparent. The packaging is far from ordinary, boasting a sturdy, premium-looking box with edgy corners. The unboxing experience is satisfyingly simple, thanks to the easy-to-open, flip-top design.
The front of the box showcases a black matte finish and the router’s image embossed on it, creating an eye-catching visual contrast. Aside from the featured product name at the top, it highlights two main features: their proprietary software, DUMA OS4 and RGB Lighting, effectively building anticipation of what lies inside.
The back of the packaging focuses on the details of DUMA OS4, emphasizing its design made especially for gaming. It includes an image of the OS interface, providing a sneak peek into the user experience. The listing of prominent features such as Geo-Filter 2.0, SmartBoost, Steady Ping, and others.
The packaging’s design extends to its corner, particularly noticeable when flipping the front-facing side. A creatively cut trapezoid at the bottom reveals the next layer of packaging, set in a contrasting red hue with embossed network icons.
The back of the packaging lists all the technical details, giving a full picture of what the hardware can do.
Here are its complete specs for your reference:
Mobile and Desktop Portal
|WiFi 6 – 802.11ax Dual Band Gigabit
|Simultaneous dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
|4 x External, Detachable Antennas
|4 x LAN Gigabit, 1 x WAN (10/100/1000 Mbps)
|1 x USB 3.0
|1.5GHz Quad Core Processor
|256MB DDR3 RAM, 256MB Flash
The box also includes a list of what’s inside, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
When you open the box, instead of a regular pamphlet, there’s a quick start guide printed right on the inside part of the box’s front cover. This smart design saves materials and makes important information easy to find right away.
Inside, the NetDuma R3 is securely nestled in a black cardboard tray. This tray is divided into three main compartments, each meticulously shaped and carved to house the router, its charger, and the RJ45 cables.
Beneath the router, the packaging reveals the four separate compartments for the individual removable antennas.
The package contains minimal paperwork, with an access card discreetly placed beneath the cardboard tray.
A flat RJ45 cable in a yellow and black color scheme is also included.
Accompanying the router is a power supply that is compatible with the Philippine voltage (220v), outputting 12v and 1.5amps, highlighting the router’s international usability.
The unboxing experience of the NetDuma R3 shows a lot of care in how it’s packed and presented. The high-quality packaging and the way everything is nicely arranged inside show that a lot of thought went into making it easy and pleasing for the user.
Design and Build
The NetDuma R3 router itself build comes in a plastic black matte finish, giving it a modern look but almost alien-like appearance. The centerpiece of its design is the upside-down Y-shaped section, where the RGB flair is located.
On the back, the router has a unique design to accommodate its four antennas adding to the overall futuristic look of the device and hints at its robust connectivity capabilities.
On the rear panel, you’ll find various ports: a power button, power supply slot, a USB 3.0 port, four LAN gigabit ports, a WAN port, a reset slot, and a WPS button.
The bottom of the router has a large vent for cooling and shows the default Wi-Fi details, WPS pin, and MAC address, which is handy.
There are also holes for wall mounting, giving you different placement options to fit your space.
From different angles, the router’s shape is like a ‘pamaypay’ (fan) or a boomerang.
Attaching the removable antennas is straightforward. However, the labeling on the antennas, particularly the WiFi print, appears somewhat generic – that is commonly found on cheap devices, which might not align with the overall premium feel of the device.
With all four antennas installed, the router maintains its distinctive design, further emphasizing its upside-down Y shape.
The antennas on the NetDuma R3 are adjustable, allowing users to orient them as per their preference, which is practical for optimizing signal coverage and how it looks.
Turning on the router activates the RGB lighting, adding an extra flair to its design.
A closer inspection of the RGB lighting in action reveals an attractive and vibrant display, which enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the router.
The RGB flair extends to the back of the vent as well.
Setting up a router can either take a lot of time or be really straightforward. We’ll see how the NetDuma R3 performs in this area. To initiate the setup, users can download the DumaOS app, available for both Android and iOS devices, or opt for the web interface accessible at http://dumaos/dumaweb/. For this review, we explored the mobile app step.
When you start the app, it asks you to set up a new router. You can choose to update the software, which we did, and it took about 8 to 10 minutes.
The setup includes setting your Wi-Fi name and password. The router uses the same name (SSID) for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, which is convenient. Then, you set up the DumaOS admin portal.
A key part of the setup is the speed test. This lets DumaOS know your internet speed so it can optimize the connection accordingly.
You also set up things like what activities should get the most internet speed, how to make your connection as fast as possible (ping optimization), and the RGB light settings.
Excluding the update, the basic setup was done in less than 4 minutes, showing that the router is easy and quick to set up. With the update, the total setup time was around 12 minutes.
The NetDuma R3 has made some big improvements in its latest version with DUMAOS 4. This new system is much easier to use, with a clean design and simple interface. It’s a big step up from earlier versions. You can also check its full detail at https://netduma.com/dumaos/.
The admin portal stands out with its command center-like dashboard where router activity is displayed in real-time. This new interface is less complicated than before and is even better than what many other routers offer. It makes easy to keep an eye on your network.
This upgraded feature lets you pick specific game servers and block others, great for smooth gameplay in competitive games. It works with many popular games, like ‘Apex Legends’, ‘Call of Duty’, ‘League of Legends’, and ‘Overwatch 2’. Interestingly, while it might not cover every game, it does include some of the latest ones like ‘Counter Strike 2’ and ‘Diablo IV’.
This tool helps you find the best servers for your game by showing you the ping, which helps you choose the best one before using Geo-Filter.
This smartly gives priority to different activities like gaming, work, or streaming, making sure each gets enough internet speed. It’s great for homes where people do different things online.
This helps make your gaming better by managing how much bandwidth games get, keeping your connection stable and fast. We tested this feature in a network with heavy traffic and will discuss the results later in the article.
The built-in speed test checks your internet speed and helps the router set up the best network settings. You can also see your past speed tests.
You can see how much internet each device is using and filter the info by date, time, and week. This is good for managing your network and spotting any unexpected device use.
This shows you all the devices connected in a graphical chart, lets you block their internet, and see their usage history. It also shows which band each device is using, which is kind of useful for managing network.
DUMAOS 4 has an adblocker that stops ads and trackers on websites. You can see what’s being blocked and change the settings with its blocklists and allowlist.
The router has all the usual settings like LAN, WAN, DHCP, Port Forwarding, and Static Routes. These are important for people who need to tweak their network setup.
There are extra features like setting up guest Wi-Fi, controlling the RGB lights, changing the portal’s look, and setting internet rules.
Overall, DUMAOS 4 on the NetDuma R3 stands as a highly user-friendly and uncluttered admin portal. But, some features like the Hybrid VPN are not available yet, so expect there will be more updates in the future.
The NetDuma R3’s performance hinges significantly on its Wi-Fi 6 technology, which promises improved coverage and minimal interference, essential for uninterrupted gaming.
To evaluate its capabilities, we conducted a series of networking speed tests using a desktop PC (connected via LAN) and a laptop (connected via Wi-Fi 6). Here are the specs we used for this test:
|Desktop PC – AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
|CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core @ 3.59GHz
Memory: 32GB T-Force DDR4 @ 3600MHz
Motherboard: TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS (Wi-Fi)
|Laptop – ASUS Vivobook Go 15
|CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7520U @ 2.0GHz
Memory: 8GB @ 5500MHz
WiFi: Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) Dual Band, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Dual Band
iPerf 3 Test Benchmark
The iPerf3 benchmark, designed to assess TCP and UDP network efficiency, showed the NetDuma R3 achieving a speed of 226 Mbits/s. While this is a respectable figure, it’s notably lower than some other Wi-Fi 6 routers we’ve tested, which delivered double this speed.
This test, simulating real-world local network performance, resulted in 965.3 Mbps download and 743.2 Mbps upload speeds, with a 9ms ping. The download speed excelled thanks to the 1Gbit LAN connection, but the upload speed didn’t fully utilize the available 1GB bandwidth.
Conducting a real-world test with Ookla’s Speedtest showed download and upload speeds of 607.87Mbps and 616.37Mbps, respectively. These results indicate that the router efficiently utilizes the full bandwidth provided by the ISP.
Steam Link Testing
The router also excelled in the Steam Link test, an application for remote PC game play on mobile devices and other remote devices.
It easily met the required 100 Mb/s streaming bandwidth, ensuring smooth and high-definition remote gameplay.
In a scenario simulating heavy network usage (downloading games on Steam while streaming content on YouTube), the Ping Optimizer was tested. Before optimization, the ping was 26.7ms, which reduced to 25.6ms post-optimization. This slight improvement was achieved by the router automatically limiting download and upload speeds during heavy usage, allocating the remaining bandwidth to gaming, optimizing ping.
In our range test, we checked how far the NetDuma R3’s Wi-Fi signal could reach and how fast it was at different distances. We could connect up to 20 meters away in radius. Here’s what we found:
- At 5 meters: 452Mbps download speed, 143Mbps upload speed.
- At 10 meters: 232Mbps download, 137Mbps upload.
- At 15 meters: 35.6Mbps download, 16.9Mbps upload.
- At 20 meters: 18.1Mbps download, 3.88Mbps upload.
It’s important to note that these speeds depend on the internet connection from our internet service provider at the time of testing. The highest speed we got was at 5 meters. Based on our results, the router provides good internet speed up to 10 meters away, and it’s somewhat okay up to 15 meters.
In our comparison, we only have two routers with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, so it’s interesting to see how they perform against each other. Let’s take a look at their performance and features to understand how they stack up.