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Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 WiFi 6 Router Assessment

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WiFi 6 is the most recent Wi-Fi customary, and it guarantees sooner speeds, enhanced safety, and an entire host of different advantages. Rollout has been sluggish, each by way of gadgets that help the brand new customary, in addition to routers that’ll type the spine of your sooner community.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 is amongst a handful of WiFi 6-enabled routers out there in India proper now. Let’s take a better take a look at this futuristic-looking router to see if it is a future-proof networking answer to your house.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 design and specs

We have seen some routers designed to mix in with their environment, but it surely’s protected to say that the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 shouldn’t be one in all them. It has a visually placing design that resembles a spaceship with “wings” that reach upwards on both aspect.

Every wing incorporates two “high-performance” antennas. Fortunately, the wings will be folded inwards whenever you wish to put the router away. To be clear, the router works even when the wings are folded, however there’s prone to be some affect on its efficiency.

All of the ports are behind the router, and the standing LEDs are on the highest however in the direction of the again, which is a bit odd. What’s worse, the LEDs are actually faint, and at instances we actually struggled to see them particularly when the room was nicely lit. There is a bodily change to show the LEDs on/ off (proper subsequent to the Reset button), however no option to management their depth, not even through the software program settings.

 

Proper subsequent to the LEDs are two bodily buttons — WiFi and WPS. The latter is self-explanatory, letting you rapidly add a Wi-Fi system to the community utilizing the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) protocol, whereas urgent the previous for a few seconds toggles Wi-Fi off or on. We aren’t certain in regards to the utility of this button, particularly because it toggles the principle Wi-Fi community; mapping it to the visitor community would’ve made a bit extra sense.

You get 5 Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, and two USB 3.zero ports. You’ll be able to mixture two Gigabit LAN ports for increased velocity in case your system helps that, and Netgear says aggregation can work to your Web connection as nicely, by utilising one of many LAN ports along with WAN, in case your ISP helps that. This implies the router helps Web speeds of as much as 2Gbps. In fact, no ISP in India affords something close to that but, but it surely’s good to know you may have that possibility for the longer term.

Because of WiFi 6 help, this router is future-proof in a bunch of different respects as nicely. You get theoretical Wi-Fi speeds of as much as 1.2Gbps over the two.4GHz spectrum, and as much as 4.8Gbps over 5GHz. There’s help for beamforming and 160MHz channel, with the promise of Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds to gadgets that help these underlying applied sciences.

WiFi 6 additionally brings a number of different enhancements, together with OFDMA help, which is designed to make sure that the sluggish gadgets linked to this router do not deliver all the community to a halt. This router additionally helps 4X4 MU-MIMO, which suggests you possibly can have a complete of eight Wi-Fi streams (Four in every band) on the similar time, which will increase the entire bandwidth out there to gadgets. All which means that — in concept no less than — it’s best to be capable to stream top quality video concurrently on a number of gadgets, whereas nonetheless having sufficient bandwidth for, say, aggressive gaming, supplied you may have a quick sufficient Web join, after all.

The router is powered by a quad-core CPU working at 1.8GHz and we might hear a fan energy up each time we restarted it. We did not hear them at every other time, although that may change if the router is admittedly confused with dozens of gadgets flooding tonnes of knowledge onto the community on the similar time.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 getting began, software program, and options

Getting began with the router utilizing the Net-based interface on a PC was fairly easy and we did not face any issues through the preliminary setup. It’s also possible to obtain the Nighthawk app to arrange and administer the router, but it surely requires you to create a Netgear.com account, which was a pink flag in itself. What’s extra, the quantity of management that you simply get past the preliminary setup is fairly restricted, and you may want to make use of the Net-based interface to switch something of significance.

By default, separate networks (SSIDs) are created for the two.4GHz and 5GHz channels, although you may have the choice to merge them and let the router determine channel allocation for every system. It’s also possible to allow visitor networks, once more with the choice of getting separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs.

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Superior customers can be comfortable to notice that almost all of the options you’d anticipate are supported. This contains Dynamic DNS, port forwarding and triggering, distant administration, and even a built-in VPN server. There is a Site visitors Meter that allows you to monitor total Web utilization and, optionally, provide you with a warning by flashing an LED Amber/ Inexperienced when the user-defined limits are reached, or disable Web entry altogether.

The aforementioned Web and WAN port aggregation capabilities are additionally prominently featured inside the settings. The USB ports help Netgear’s ReadySHARE, which helps you to simply share any linked drive or printer with gadgets on the native community or on the Web, run a DLNA media server, and even lets a drive function a backup vacation spot for the computer systems on the community. Nonetheless, we plugged in a 128GB pen drive to the port, in addition to an SSD and neither have been detected. A Samsung laser printer we linked to the router wasn’t detected both.

The one out there QoS management degree is “automatic”, which, when enabled, makes use of a web based database to optimise site visitors in your community, theoretically giving precedence to apps that might require sooner entry to the Web. We might’ve favored extra granular controls to this facet of the router’s efficiency.

There aren’t any significant parental controls, although you may have the power to dam web sites based mostly on key phrases and domains. It’s also possible to block providers based mostly on the ports they work on.

The router is listed to help Alexa and Google Assistant for issues like rapidly toggling the visitor Wi-Fi community with a voice command. The characteristic labored as marketed with Alexa, although we did not have the identical luck with Google Assistant, regardless of managing to hyperlink our Netgear account as required.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 efficiency

Testing this router wasn’t straightforward because of the dearth of WiFi 6 gadgets available in the market. The one ones that we had for an prolonged period of time have been an iPhone 11 and a Samsung Galaxy S10e. We determined to run a bunch of file switch checks between these gadgets and a PC linked to the router utilizing wired Gigabit Ethernet. We in contrast the outcomes to what we noticed when working the identical checks with all gadgets linked to a Netgear Orbi, which is among the many quickest 802.11ac routers we have examined.

Whereas there was no seen indication on the iPhone that we have been linked to a WiFi 6 community, the Samsung Galaxy S10e confirmed a tiny “6” overlaid over the common Wi-Fi icon. The telephone additionally confirmed the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000-powered community as able to peak theoretical speeds of 1200Mbps, in comparison with 780Mbps for the Orbi.

As for precise checks, with the Samsung Galaxy S10e positioned a few ft away from the Netgear Orbi with a transparent line of sight between them, we have been capable of switch a 25.9GB file from our pc to the telephone utilizing the favored file sharing app AirDroid in 9 minutes and 45 seconds. Once we linked each the gadgets to Netgear Nighthawk AX8-powered WiFi 6 community, the identical switch, on the similar distance from the router was accomplished in 6 minutes and 30 seconds.

With the iPhone 11, the AirDrop transfers have been even faster, taking eight minutes and 07 seconds to switch the identical file over the 802.11ac community, and 5 minutes, 02 seconds over the WiFi 6 community.

We then tried transferring recordsdata between the 2 telephones, with the 2 nonetheless simply a few ft away from the routers. With the Orbi, the file switch was accomplished in 15 minutes and 05 seconds, with the Nighthawk AX8 enabling the switch in simply 10 minutes and 45 seconds.

To combine issues up a bit, we moved each telephones about 25 ft away from the routers, however nonetheless with clear traces of sight between all gadgets. Switch time utilizing the Orbi-powered 802.11ac community dropped to 19 minutes and 15 seconds, whereas the Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 enabled the switch to be accomplished in 13 minutes and Four seconds.

Although Netgear optimistically lists the Wi-Fi vary of the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 as “very large homes” (as an alternative of an precise determine), in our expertise, the vary was solely barely larger than that of a person Orbi node.

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Verdict

There can be a time WiFi 6 can be ubiquitous, and the Wi-Fi expertise in our houses and places of work will, hopefully, be an entire lot higher. Sadly, that point is not right here but. Whereas we’re beginning to see some WiFi 6 gadgets hit the market, it is nonetheless very a lot restricted to top-end gadgets, and really choose ones at that.

So if you’re trying to purchase a premium router with a funds of about Rs. 25,000, you may have a call to make. If you wish to purchase one thing that can serve you nicely for the subsequent three to 5 years, you might purchase one thing just like the Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 and be fairly proud of the expertise.

Its day-to-day efficiency is excellent, the vary is healthier than that of most routers, and also you get a product that is future-proof. Nonetheless, when you have a really massive house and also you worth getting Wi-Fi protection in each nook right this moment, you would be higher served by a premium mesh Wi-Fi answer just like the Netgear Orbi.

Worth: Rs. 24,999

Execs

  • Glorious efficiency
  • Superb vary
  • Future-proof

Cons

  • Costly
  • Restricted QoS and parental controls
  • Barebones app

Scores (out of 5):

  • Design/ construct: 3.5
  • Options: 4
  • Efficiency: 4.5
  • Worth for cash: 4
  • General: 4

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