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Netgear Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 Router review

We try out Netgear’s new Nighthawk AX8 router, one of the first to use the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless network standard.

Please leave a comment if you have thoughts about this router.

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I wonder if in the future if it is worth also including information for each Router tested, whether there is guest or multi-user network support (which may be useful for connecting say IoT to separate access point to that used for general internet access) or whether there is VPN support?

The multiuser (multi access points) may be useful for families where parental controls are applied to some users within the household.

Both of these may become more relevant as more and more devices, as well as users connect to the single router.

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Good suggestions, I’ll be sure to let the team know :+1:

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It is possibly using the draft Standard for Wifi 6? The Standard was ratified and certified in Sept this year, and so this unit may be missing out on some of the inclusions?

Some good articles on the Wifi 6 standard and what it brings can be read at:

Nice to see an 80 Mbps (article states it as 10 MBps or did they mean 10 Mbps) increase in throughput on the Wifi 6 on a single device, though 30% improvements should be obtainable. We are still not using the 6 GHz band yet but Wifi 6 does support that and bigger improvements should be seen once this bandwidth becomes available. The benefits of Wifi 6 include greater support for more connected devices at once ie Wifi 5 (802.11ac) only supports 4 streams downstream simultaneously and 1 uplink. Wifi 6 supports 8 in either direction. This means more users on at once.

Sadly all this speed is bottlenecked by what speeds you get to and from the net. With the standard nbn™ max package at 100/40 Mbps, but the throughput max of Wifi 6 theoretically is around 10 Gbps. Best in Aug 2017 was 1,148 Mbit/s on the 2.4 GHz band and 4,804 Mbit/s on the 5 GHz band for a total of 5,956 Mbps (5.9 Gbps). See the problem? How to push 5 Gbps of traffic through the eye of a needle is what our biggest problem is.

Even in the US with an entry level FTTP package of 300 Mbps the router will be waiting on the internet stream. A move to Singapore or NZ with their rollouts of 10 Gbps may see the real need for these devices. Wifi 5 will adequately handle a 1 Gbps internet connection but it does miss out on having lots of clients being served at 1 time.

So all in all great to see and if sharing content on your home network the speeds will be great (eg Home theatre from your own NAS), & if you have lots of devices that need to be on at 1 time then Wifi 6 devices should be great. If not and you want to improve your internet experience then Wifi 6 may be overkill.

Just a FYI most articles discuss speeds as Mbps not MBps. It gets confusing if users are used to seeing Mbps and then are presented with MBps and have to do mental arithmetic to get back to Mbps. So instead of 10 MBps it would be 80 Mbps, 73MBps is 584 Mbps, 109MBps is 872 Mbps.

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