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First Look: The Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6 Wi-Fi router is a big investment with mostly disappointing returns.
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First Look: The Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6 Wi-Fi router is a big investment with mostly disappointing returns.

4:47 /

CNET editor Dong Ngo finds the Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6 Wi-Fi router a hefty investment that doesn't return much, yet he gets one anyway.

[MUSIC] Hi guys, **** Ngo and this is the Nighthawk X6 Wi-Fi Router, Model number R8000. Now this is the latest from Netgear that's supposed to be a huge upgrade to this R7000 I have here, right here. In fact so huge, it like having two R seven units put on top of each other. Almost. How we may ask. Before we get there, let's check out this very cool design right here. At first glance it looks like the R8000 has no antenna or build in antenna but it has six extra antenna but it comes with a design that let's you fold it on top like this. Personally I love the design because it allows me not to have to detach them before repacking the router which I always have to do after review. The new router here comes with the usual four gigabit land port and one gigabit one port or internet port. This is the port that you want to connect. Your router to your broadband modem. There also two USB port right here. The two prangled is for printer, and the three prangled port is to hold and extra hard drive. Now come to exciting part. Similar to the R7000 over here, the R8000 is a dual band top tier 802.11 AC router. Meaning it can operate in both the 5 gigahertz frequency band and the 2.4 gigahertz frequency band at the same time. With a top speed of up to 1,300 megabits per second and up to 600 megabits per second respectively. But instead of having just one access point on each of the bands, the R8000 has two separate access points. On the 5 [UNKNOWN] band itself. And that means it adds another 1300 megabits per second, for a total of 3200 Megabits per second. In other words, if the R7000 here is an AC1900 router, with our 8000 here is the very first AC3200 router on the market. Now that sounds all cool, but in my testing. Doubling down on the [UNKNOWN] band doesn't always return better wi-fi connections. Because this is very similar to doubling the amount of lanes on your home street, which only better the traffic flow when there is heavy traffic. Now, if your street already has four lanes, adding another four, most of the time, doesn't make any difference. Because there are just not enough cars to fill up the extra lanes. So here's the only situation where you might see the benefits of this new router. If there are a lot of 5G wi-fi clients in your home, and I mean a lot, like a dozen or more of them. And all of those clients use a wi-fi connection heavily at the same time. Otherwise, the R 8,000 here, when working as intended is about as good as the R 7,000 here at best. And in my testing unfortunately, it wasn't always working as intended. And no I don't mean that it was slow or anything because at the sustained speed on the [UNKNOWN] band of some 480 MB per second. It actually was very fast, however note this preconfigured network printed on this label right here. It's supposed to make the router work right out of the box. And if you're okay with the default settings, all is fine. But if you're wanting to make changes to the settings, chances are something bad might happen. In my case I had a hard time getting the 2.4 Gigahertz clients connected to the router, until I set the router to the default setting. I also had some issue connecting to the internet via the router here. Sometimes there was no internet at all, even though. Everything seemed fine. Now I believe all those things are just some bugs, and will be resolved via a future software update. But overall, the R 8000 here seemed to be only good for a five gigahertz only environment. So getting it is like adding more length to your street while narrowing the sidewalk. If that's not crazy enough, here's the price. $300. This is the most expensive router you can find on the market. Now, for more on this one here, check out my full review at cnet.com. You know, it's not just an over kill router, but it's a rather wasteful one. You get very little extra, and mostly business returns from it. That is exactly why I got only one unit, and not two, like I did the 7000 here. And that's because, well, I'm **** Ngo, and this has been the first look at the Nighthawk X6 R8000 router from Netgear [MUSIC]

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