The new NETGEAR
AX12 (Wi-Fi 6) router is a beast. It is fast, damned fast, and it has the bandwidth
to burn – network capacity. It is going to change home networks and IoT
The NETGEAR AX12 is a 12-stream, AX6000 dual-band router capable of aggregated speeds of 6Gbps using 4+8-stream MU-MIMO.
NETGEAR are serious about AX routers being among the first to market. The NETGEAR AX12 is its best yet.
I just started
testing the NETGEAR AX12 about 48 hours ago, and the results are impressive.
On the 5GHz
stream with a Samsung Galaxy Note10+, it achieved 1200Mbps at 5 metres from the
router. At 10 metres its 1020Mbps and 20 metres it is 102Mbps (this is through
three walls and cupboards). No other router comes close.
2.4Ghz stream (we reserve this for IoT devices) it achieves a rock-solid 229Mbps
at up to 60 metres (also through walls etc.).
The NETGEAR AX8 (review here) was good too – it achieves 1Gbps at 5 metres and 866Mbps at 10 metres.
As we said
in that review, we need to become more familiar with other AX routers
and figure out what effect the new jargon like OFDMA, 1024-QAM, Medium Access
Control, 2×2/4×4/8×8 streams, QoS etc., has on performance.
Price: RRP is $799, but already we have seen it for $665
from mwave, and it may be a tad cheaper elsewhere.
This is the V8 equivalent of routers, and it will even handle 8K video streaming (there is a V12 coming – see later).
were all conducted while supporting about 30 IoT smart Wi-Fi devices, Arlo 4K Ultra
security camera streaming, 4K video streaming (over ethernet) and 1080p
streaming (over Wi-Fi 5Ghz). And it did not raise a sweat!
Looks-wise the NETGEAR AX12 is the Flying Nun in Darth Vader drag. It is also larger than the AX8.
It has a 1Gbps WAN port and four 1Gbps LAN ports (combine two
for 2Gbps). There is a Multi-Gig 5Gbps Lan port which could handy for external multi-Gig
NAS devices or in commercial applications to share bandwidth.
It defaults to dual-band – two separate SSIDs (a must for
connecting IoT devices). It can aggregate speeds via Smart Connect (not tested
yet with IoT).
2.4GHz band supports 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM
20/40MHz, up to 1.2Gbps.
5Ghz band 8×8 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM
20/40/80/80+80MHz, up to 4.8Gbps
This is currently the fastest AX router with the most concurrent
streams so it means it can support more devices at higher speeds. But we say currently
– NETGEAR (and other brands) will release a tri-band
version capable of 10.2Gbps soon.
The Android (and we presume iOS) app has a basic and an advanced
mode. It is straightforward to set up and takes care of forcing password changes
While this is called an AX router the firmware to enable AX
OFDMA is not available in Australia yet. Instead, it uses VHT (very high
throughput) to obtain speeds above 866Mbps on VHT enabled devices. That is
something to do with the Wi-Fi 6 standard not yet ratified.
You can also use a browser interface 192.168.1.1. That offers
Leading the New Era of Wi-Fi 6
NETGEAR are 100% correct that Wi-Fi 6 is the quantum leap we
need to make Wi-Fi fast and reliable – until Wi-Fi 7 comes along (in a few years).
It is fully backward compatible, and it provides the added bandwidth we need
for smart devices.
But the future of Wi-Fi is more than raw bandwidth. It is getting
enough bandwidth where you need it – be that the front or back yard for a Wi-Fi
camera or speaker, the garage for the smart connected car, the person cave for
streaming – whatever.
This is a perfect engine to connect to the internet and distribute
it to all devices. But we still have issues with the tyranny of distance. The maximum
2.4Ghz range is 100m line-of-sight and 50 metres inside. 5GHz achieves less
than 1/3rd of that range, and that is in perfect conditions.
We really need to address the issues of things like a single SSID and AX speeds at distances well outside the theoretical range.
I am keen to see what NETGEAR can do with the AX routers and suitable AX extenders.
2.4GHz (1,200Mbps) for Wi-Fi devices to
connect to the Internet
5GHz (2,400Mbps) – ditto
5GHz (2,400Mbps) dedicated Wi-Fi backhaul between
Router and Orbi Satellite.
The problem is that
each satellite needs to within say, 10 metres (maximum – even closer is better)
of the router to share that 2,400Mbps to retransmit.
I note that the Orbi
satellites don’t have a hardwired Ethernet backhaul port and shared bandwidth is
While the artist’s impression below looks good in practice the biggest issue with Wi-Fi is network design and most of the time the NBN socket is not in the most favourable place to distribute signals evenly over a home.
NETGEAR gets serious about AX (WI-Fi 6) routers – huge range
Wi-Fi 6 is here, and it is sufficiently faster and better –
enough to justify throwing every old router out.
NETGEAR has released its RAX120 (12-stream), RAX80 (8-stream) and RAX40 (4-stream) Wi-Fi six routers and they are ‘smokin’ (figuratively, not literally).