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So, it appears to hold the 5GHz signal at 866Mbps to 15 metres – Tick.

Other tests

As it has an AC router built-in, we can safely assume it does everything that a dual-band router would do. In effect, it offers 2800Mbps more bandwidth than an AC3200 dual band router and 700Mbps more than an AC5300 Tri-band router.

The Wi-fi signal strength speed at 5m from the router (GadgetGuy) was far stronger than any other we have tested to date.

We copied a 1GB file to and from the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and got around 500Mbps upload and download. This is excellent for large file transmission and means your photos will upload up to 10 times faster (if your NBN handles it). We expect it could handle four concurrent 4K video streams, but our NAS will not support that.

We will continue to test and update this review over time as we figure out how to meaningfully measure the impact of OFDMA and 1024-QAM etc.

OFDMA looks good but it only works with Wi-Fi 6 AX clients

Our conclusion: This means it can handle 20+ IoT Wi-Fi devices although see our caveat on proper placement and using Ethernet cabling where you can.

Under the hood

  • Broadcom BCM4908 four-core 1.8GHz
  • Wi-Fi 6, 1024-QAM, VHT160, Link aggregation, MU-MIMO
  • Power 19V/3.16A barrel connector
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports (up to 5Gbps half-duplex)
  • Five Ethernet gigabit ports (aggregate two for 2Gbps for NAS servers)
  • 1 x Gigabit WAN port for connection to a gateway
  • Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz 4×4:4 total bandwidth 1.2Gbps
  • Wi-Fi 5Ghz 4×4:4 total bandwidth 4.8Gbps
  • Unfolded size: 305 x 202 x 161 mm x 1.281kg
  • No voice assistant but the use of an app should make that possible later

Dual band versus Tri-band

NETGEAR will release the AX11000, an AX12 stream three times 4×4 – a tri-band device using a faster Broadcom chipset and three radios offering nearly double the bandwidth of an AC5300 router.

The same engine but like a B-Double semitrailer will haul more.

Security

NETGEAR et al. have had a rough time with older routers having security holes. As far as I can tell these this version is fine.

It supports WPA3 security protocol and insists on password changes during setup. NETGEAR should are quick off the mark in issuing security updates.

It also allows the use of an on-router VPN using L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN. The full manual is here.

GadgetGuy’s take: Your next router should be the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 AX6000

The router industry has been a little shambolic with dozens of vendors but very few decent ones. NETGEAR, D-Link and ASUS are all safe AX bets as reputable suppliers using the same Broadcom family chipsets.

For the moment the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 AX6000 router offers slightly better performance to an AC router. As you get more AX clients the difference will be noticeable. But remember – the laws of physics – plan your network properly first.

Our review rates NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 very highly (we had to leave some room for the AX12!). It certainly offers the promise of AX speeds and OFDMA (requires AX clients) and some of the early 1024-QAM and VHT80/160 link aggregation.

Would I buy it?

Yes, but I am a router snob – give met the V8 supercar any day. This is the V6 – the V8 will be the AX12, AC11000.