Netgear introduced its first routers supporting the next generation Wi-Fi standard. Netgear Nighthawk AX8 and Nighthawk AX12 are top-notch routers that allow for faster connectivity, but the key emphasis is on supporting the next Wi-Fi standard, Wi-Fi 802.11ax or the new naming system, Wi-Fi 6. The new Netgear routers have upgraded specifications and completely new models. Replacing multiple antenna routers that have recently become popular, the Nighthawk AX8 and the Nighthawk AX12 have a very futuristic design in which the antennas remain upright. While Nighthawk AX8 is currently available for pre-order, Nighthawk AX12 will be sold in the next year.
Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) The 8-Stream Wi-Fi router supports the new standard Wi-Fi 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6), with a speed of up to 6Gbps. The company claims that the router can provide up to four times more data capacity than previous standards. Wi-Fi 6 supports technologies such as OFDMA, MU-MIMO, 160MHz and 1024 QAM channel support. Nighthawk AX8 drives a 64-bit processor at 1.8 GHz, which claims to transmit gigabytes of data with almost zero CPU load. Support for the 160MHz channel should also double the speed offered by 80MHz channels to ensure the speed of Gigabit to compatible devices. Netgear says Nighthawk AX8 is the world's first home router with the support of Multi-Gig Internet, achieved by combining two gigabit Ethernet ports. The hard drive should be ready for the Multi-Gig Internet wave that comes in Docsis 3.1.
Wireless Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi also supports Wi-Fi 6. It provides combined Wi-Fi speeds up to 6Gbps. It is based on the AX optimized 64-bit processor with four 2.2GHz cores, the fast connectivity required for smart home applications, 4K UHD streaming, online gaming and more. It comes with eight high-performance Wi-Fi amplifiers for maximum range and reliable coverage. The Nighthawk AX12 is also Netgear's first home router with a 5Gig port, the company claims.
The Nighthawk AX8 comes with two 4×4 antenna arrays, one for 5GHz Wi-Fi and the other for 2.4GHz. It has five Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports a total of 6 GHz wireless streams. The Nighthawk AX12 has a similar set of features, but includes an 8×8 antenna array for the 5GHz network.
In terms of price and availability, Netgear Nighthawk AX8 costs $ 399.99 (approximately € 28,900) and is available for pre-order via Amazon. The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 will come sometime in 2019 and prices are still unannounced. Netgear also introduced the Wi-Fi as a Service subscription program with Nighthawk AX12. This is a beta test program that allows users to try the device for 90 days and pay if the device lights up.