Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Reviews


The R8500's feature set is very similar to the R8000's. We described common features pretty well there, so only differences will be covered here.

Basic mode status

Basic mode status

The first big difference is the Dynamic QoS feature. Here's how NETGEAR describes the feature in the User Manual:

Dynamic Quality of Service (QoS) helps improve your router’s Internet traffic management capabilities through better application and device identification, bandwidth allocation, and traffic prioritization techniques. Dynamic QoS resolves traffic congestion when the Internet bandwidth is limited and different demands compete for bandwidth.

You just enable the feature, manually enter your ISP up and download speeds or use the built-in Ookla speed test applet. Dynamic QoS uses a database to identify application signatures to better classify traffic. My first attempt at manually updating the database just hung. A second attempt reported "No new database version avalible".

Dynamic QoS

Dynamic QoS

Once enabled, you can see what Dynamic QoS is doing, but you have to manually refresh the screen. You don't get a breakdown of individual application priority, just the by-device view shown.

Dynamic QoS monitor

Dynamic QoS monitor

You can manually set device priority to High, Medium or Low, change its name and device type.

Dynamic QoS device edit

Dynamic QoS device edit

The Access Control feature lets you block devices entirely.

Dynamic QoS

Dynamic QoS

Features - Wireless

NETGEAR's Smart Connect implementation hasn't changed from the R8000's, remaining the most conservative. Devices are steered between the two 5 GHz radios only once when they connect and band-steering (between 2.4 and 5 GHz) is not done. The SSIDs and wireless passwords have been changed from the defaults in the screenshot below. NETGEAR assigns unique SSIDs to each router and radio and fairly strong wireless passwords, too.

R8500 5 GHz radio settings

R8500 5 GHz radio settings

Note Smart Connect is not enabled by default. When you do enable it, the second radio settings are greyed out and the 5 GHz-1 radio SSID is used. Because band-steering isn't done, you still get separate 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs when Smart Connect is enabled. Of course, if you want to roll the dice on how your devices connect, you can set the 2.4 GHz SSID to the same as the 5 GHz'.

5 GHz-1 is the high-performance 5 GHz radio because it's connected to the external amplified antennas. It defaults to Channel 44, but you can set it to 36, 40 or 48. The 5 GHz Mode controls settings are Up to 433 Mbps, Up to 1000 Mbps and Up to 2165 Mbps for 20, 40 or 80 MHz bandwidth modes. The 2.4 GHz radio Mode settings are Up to 54 Mbps, Up to 433 Mbps and Up to 1000 Mbps. The User Manual provides no guidance to translate these. But I'm guessing Up to 54 Mbps is for legacy device (b/g) support and the other two are for 20 and 40 MHz n/ac devices. 80 MHz bandwidth is not supported in 2.4 GHz.

Advanced Wireless settings are shown in the screenshot composite below. You see universal wireless bridging (no WDS required) is supported via the use other operation mode checkbox. Only one of the 5 GHz radios is used to bridge; whichever is needed to connect to the primary router's channel will be used.

Advanced Wireless settings

Advanced Wireless settings

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

Hi, i wanna buy a new router and wanna use Asuswrt-Merlin, i dont have any special needs, 3 Android Phones, 2 TVs and 12 iot devices, i can get:AX56U ...
I have two Asus RT-AX92U units in my house. One is in my bedroom and is the one connected to the cable modem. One is in the living and is set up as an...
Continuation of. . .
Hi all.So me and my brother both have this card, I got it first and updated to the latest intel drivers. The connection has been rock solid for me on ...
Hi!I have an ASUS RT-AC86U with Merlin Firmware 384.13_0. I couldn't receive IPTV until I enabled IGMP Proxy. Now I can play the content, but after 2 ...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3