Netgear Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream AX6000 Wifi Router Review

Netgear Nighthawk AX8

netgear nighthawk ax8
Nighthawk AX8 is powerful wifi 6 router

The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is a powerful WiFi 6 router that provides the fastest bandwidth we’ve ever seen, even with older WiFi 5 devices. The only real problem is the price, and this router is slightly more expensive than existing WiFi routers. However, if you need the best wifi router and you are looking to the future, this is a good buy; if you don’t need Wi-Fi 6 yet, you can save some money by looking elsewhere.

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Pros

  • Very fast
  • Latest standard
  • Stable connection
  • Wonderful design
  • Ready for new devices with WiFi 6
  • Neat interface and management application

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • no USB-C
  • No parental control

Main characteristics

  • Dual-band router with AX standard
  • 8 × 8 Wi-Fi 6 (4.8 Gb / s 5 GHz, 1.2 Gb / s 2.4 GHz)
  • Gigabit Ethernet WAN port
  • Five Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • VPN
  • whitelisting
  • beamforming
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • 1.8 GHz quad-core processor

What is the Netgear Nighthawk AX8?

The number of WiFi devices has increased, you can connect multiple devices simultaneously. The broadband access speed has also increased, which has led to the expansion of our WiFi networks. Powered by the latest Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax), the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is designed to manage these growing demands by ensuring stable wireless performance and keeping your home safe for the future.

For the most part, the router does a good job. The router went through our tests with modern technology, again increasing the speed when testing using a Wi-Fi 6 network adapter. However, the high price and a relative lack of functions may mean that the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is the device for those who demand the best performance.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 Design

When Netgear design the Nighthawk AX8, he certainly wasn’t joking. He comes with folded “wings”; rotate and lock them in place to position the antennas at a right angle. In the final position, the AX8 looks like an invisible bomber or an Imperial Star Wars Shuttle. It is not essential to place it on a table. It has a pair of slots for wall mounting at the back.

At the top of the router, there is a button for turning Wi-Fi on and off, as well as a WPS button for quickly connecting the device to the router.

netgear nighthawk ax8
WPS and WiFi buttons are easily accessible

On the other hand, it is a fairly standard router, although you will notice that there are five Gigabit Ethernet ports, not four. This may not sound like much, but the optional wired port is always convenient, providing more flexibility.

netgear nighthawk ax8

You can integrate the two Gigabit Ethernet ports to get a 2 Gb / s channel, and you can also combine the WAN Ethernet port with the first Gigabit port if you have ultra-fast broadband.

You get two USB 3.0 ports for shared storage, and there is also a physical switch to turn off the router’s LEDs. It is convenient if you have a router in the room where flashing lights can distract you.

Features Netgear Nighthawk AX8

The Nighthawk AX8’s biggest advantage is that it uses the latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) standard. Designed to forget about network congestion, WiFi 6 requires clients that support the same standard to use all the features of the router – although older WiFi 5 (802.11ac) devices can still connect. So far, we have had Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone 11 smartphones, and laptops and other new devices will appear next year.

Our guide to WiFi 6 explains more about the standard, but keep in mind that 802.11ax increases the amount of data that can be transferred at the same time (this is 25% more compared to 802.11ac), and this improves the quality of the network and reducing the load on the network.

It’s important to note that 802.11ax is a standard that works on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, while 802.11ac is a 5 GHz technology (WiFi 5 routers used the older standard 802.11n for 2.4 GHz networks).

netgear nighthawk ax8

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is an 8 × 8 wifi stream router, Provides more capacity so more devices can use WiFi at the same time. Each of which provides its own dedicated bandwidth. Streams can be used in many ways. For example, eight clients can connect using one stream, or you can connect four 2 × 2 clients using two streams each to double performance.

With AX8, four streams are reserved for the 5 GHz channel. Thanks to the width of the WiFi channel 6 160 MHz at a frequency of 5 GHz, this provides a maximum bandwidth of 4.8 Gbit / s (1.2 Gbit / s per stream). The remaining four streams are for a 2.4 GHz network, providing speeds up to 1.2 Gbit / s (300 Mbit / s per stream). In any case, this is a large bandwidth.

The router is configured through the Nighthawk app, which is available for iOS and Android. You can easily set up the router. The layout is mostly the same as the Orbi application. It is a large and user-friendly interface that highlights the main settings.

By default, Netgear divides the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks into two parts, but you can combine them under the same network name.  If you do, the router then pushes the connected devices to a better channel, depending on range, performance, and capabilities. This is called Smart Connect. The basic purpose of this is Intelligently selecting the fastest WiFi band for every device connection. I recommend this option because it eliminates the need to manage networks or switch clients manually.

If you compare this to Orbi, several features are missing. You do not get parental control using the Disney Circle app, nor do you get the “Security” option through Netgear Armor.

As with the Orbi system, if you want more control — for example, setting up port forwarding or turning on the BT IGMP proxy server to get YouView to play well — then you need to use a user-friendly web interface.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 Performance

I’m happy to say that the AX8 is very fast and secure. When I first tested the MacBook Pro with 5 × 2 WiFi capable of using two wireless streams, I saw the best results that I saw on one wifi router. However, there were not so many of them: the average download and upload speeds were 674.23 Mbit / s per 2 m, 277.12 Mbit / s 5 m and one floor up and 354.37 Mbit / s 10 m on the second floor.

When I use a Windows laptop with 2 × 2 WiFi 6 laptops, speeds again jumped. I reached an average output of 729.16 Mb / s on 2 meters, 350.59 Mb / s on 5 meters and one floor up, and 389.93 Mb / s on 10 meters on the second floor.

This is a significant speed increase over the old standard, which shows the power of Wi-Fi 6.

Conclusion

If you want to make your home network for the future or already have WiFi 6 compatible devices such as the iPhone 11, you definitely get benefit from the Nighthawk AX8.

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