About the NETGEAR Nighthawk® AX8
Striking appearance, powerful performance
Striking appearance, powerful performance
The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 is sleek, powerful, and versatile — everything you want a router to be. Hidden away inside the router's "wings" are four antennas that broadcast eight fast streams of strong, secure dual-band Wi-Fi. And, honestly, it's kind of cool to look at.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck in early 2020, many Americans discovered their home routers were not up to the increased demand for bandwidth. The Nighthawk AX8 was a solution that helped one of our valued employees and her family keep up at the office and in the classroom as everyone was suddenly forced to work remotely. "This was a huge upgrade for us," said Julie, our Crutchfield Brand Manager. "We were suddenly able to have two Zoom meetings and two Microsoft Teams meetings all going at the same time."
Multiple streams, no waiting
Four-stream MU-MIMO (multi-user, multi-input, multi-output) allows simultaneous streaming to multiple devices, so everyone in a large home can access the internet at the same time. Each of the four streams takes on a portion of your home's overall wireless traffic, reducing or eliminating lag and buffering.
We like to use a grocery store analogy: your old router may be like the store that only has one or two lanes open, leading to long, slow lines. The AX8 has four lanes open, staffed with speedy, accurate checkers who keep the lanes clear and the customers happy.
Speaking of speed and accuracy, the AX8 is also compatible with the most up-to-date wireless standard, known as Wi-Fi 6.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
Instead of defaulting to the established alpha-numeric designation for the latest Wi-Fi standard (802.11ax), the Wi-Fi Alliance that governs wireless standards is rebranding to a simpler and cleaner naming system. This is the sixth iteration of Wi-Fi, so the new standard will be known simply as Wi-Fi 6. Older versions will be retroactively renamed in the following way:
- Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax (2019)
- Wi-Fi 5: 802.11ac (2014)
- Wi-Fi 4: 802.11n (2009)
You get the idea. Wi-Fi 6 offers some clear advantages: speeds up to 10Gbps and multiple simultaneous streams make it faster and more efficient than previous standards. It also consumes less power, so your battery-operated devices can last longer.
These days, we're making wireless connections with just about everything we use. TVs, phones, media streamers, smart home gadgets, and many items you may not even think about are competing for bandwidth. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to keep all that traffic moving in a quick and orderly fashion.
Easy installation and voice control
NETGEAR routers are designed for easy installation. Once you've plugged in a few cables, use the single-button Push ‘N' Connect function to connect your Wi-Fi quickly. The NETGEAR Nighthawk app lets you monitor, control and troubleshoot your network from a convenient personal dashboard on your computer or mobile device. And once you have it all set up the way you like, you can issue voice commands to your router via Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices.
NETGEAR's Wi-Fi Protected Access® offers tough 128-bit AES encryption with PSK that denies outsiders access to your wireless signal. This router also offers double firewall protection and a stiff defense against denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. If you have young ones in the house, use the router's parental controls to filter out content you don't want them to see. If you're one of the growing number of people who occasionally works from home, the Nighthawk offers a strong, secure VPN connection as well.
- Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless router
- backwards compatible with Wi-Fi 1-5 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
- four high-performance internal antennas provide excellent wireless coverage for large properties
- 8-stream AX6000 Wi-Fi
- 2.5 GHz x 4 @ 1.2 Gbps
- 5 GHz x 4 @ 4.8 Gbps
- powerful 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core processor delivers high-performance connectivity
- Nighthawk app helps with setup and enables remote monitoring and control of the router
- compatible with voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices
- bandwidth can be prioritized for online gaming, streaming videos, or high-res music
- dynamic QoS (quality of service) lets you choose which devices get priority for wireless signal
- Beamforming+ boosts speed, reliability and range of Wi-Fi connection
- four-stream MU-MIMO allows simultaneous streaming to multiple devices
- ReadyCLOUD® USB Access allows secure remote cloud access to USB storage
- six 10/100/1000 (5 LAN and 1 WAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology
- two USB 3.0 ports
- Wi-Fi Protected Access® (128-bit AES encryption with PSK)
- double firewall protection (SPI and NAT firewall)
- denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention
- VPN support offers secure remote access for telecommuters
- separate and secure access for houseguests
- robust parental controls help keep kids safe online
Dimensions and warranty:
- 12"W x 6-3/8"H x 8"D
- weight: 2.82 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # RAX80-100NAS
What's in the box:
- Advanced WiFi router
- AC power adapter (w/ attached 6' DC cord)
- 58" Ethernet cable
- Quick Start Guide
Not sure what you need? Learn how modems, routers, and mesh Wi-Fi systems work.
NETGEAR Nighthawk® AX8 reviews
Thanks for submitting your review
More details on the NETGEAR Nighthawk® AX8
Advanced WiFi Router: The NETGEAR Nighthawk 8-Stream AX8 WiFi Router (RAX80) supports the new 802.11ax (also known as WiFi 6) WiFi standard. Engineered to deliver up to 4x more data capacity than previous standards, AX WiFi features advanced technologies like OFDMA, MU-MIMO, 160MHz channel support and 1024 QAM to vastly improve network efficiency. The Nighthawk AX8 is powered by a 64-bit, 1.8GHz quad-core processor designed to transfer gigabits of data with almost zero CPU load. 160MHz channel support doubles the speed offered by 80MHz channels to provide gigabit speed to compatible devices. This router is the industry's first home router with Multi-Gig internet support, achieved by aggregating two gigabit Ethernet ports. It's a router that’s ready for the Multi-Gig Internet wave coming in DOCSIS 3.1.
Powerful Quad-Core Processor: The Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) is powered by a 64-bit, 1.8GHz quad-core processor designed to transfer gigabits of data with almost zero CPU load. Robust processing power provides the best performance across all wired and wireless interfaces. An additional quad-core co-processor handles all Multi-Gig LAN-WAN traffic, ensuring the main processor is available for all other applications. High-speed simultaneous connections ensure you enjoy smoother ultra-HD 4K video streaming and gaming without interruptions.
4 High Performance Antennas: Experience reliable and stronger WiFi coverage indoors and outdoors for all your devices. High-performance antennas, pre-optimized for best performance, on the router amplify WiFi signals for maximized range and reliable coverage,
802.11ax Dual Band WiFi: The NEGTEAR AX8 (RAX80) is equipped with next-generation 802.11ax dual-band WiFi that gives you improved network capacity for more WiFi devices with uninterrupted 4K/8K streaming. Support for dual 2.4/5GHz WiFi simultaneously doubles the available bandwidth and provide a reliable, dedicated WiFi network for smooth online streaming and gaming without any network congestion. Its also backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi.
- 2.4GHz Band (802.11ax): up to 1.2Gbps
- 5GHz Band (802.11ax): up to 4.8Gbps
Smart Connect: Smart Connect selects the fastest WiFi band for your device. For Smart Connect to work, the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands must use the same WiFi network name (SSID) and network key (password). That means that when you connect to the router with WiFi, you see only one SSID that connects to both bands.
OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access): The Nighthawk Series AX8 (RAX80) uses OFDMA to direct WiFi traffic much more efficiently, increasing network capacity even when multiple devices are connected to the network. Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) enables efficient data scheduling so that more transmissions can be sent at the same time, resulting in an impressive capacity increase in your network. This increased or available bandwidth allows you to add more devices to your network. Nighthawk AX8 supports uplink and downlink OFDMA to efficiently use air-time with better frequency reuse, reduced latency, and increased network efficiency. This is extremely useful for latency sensitive applications such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and Internet of things (IoT) sensors.
4X4 MU-MIMO: Using 4X4 MU-MIMO technology, the NETGEAR router can stream data to multiple devices simultaneously. Quad Stream on both WiFi bands gives you the fastest WiFi speeds combined with MU-MIMO capability allows you to simultaneously stream to multiple devices at the same time. Thanks to Quad Stream, up to four data streams per WiFi band maximizes connection speed. 8 WiFi streams (four in the 2.4GHz band and four in the 5GHz band) offer 4x the device capacity as compared to typical 2x2 AC WiFi. More WiFi streams per band greatly increases the amount of data the router sends to and receives from devices because more bandwidth is available and there is less congestion for all the devices on the network. With reliable connections to all connected devices, now more devices than ever before can simultaneously be on your network.
Beamforming+: Beamforming+ boosts speed, reliability, and range of WiFi connections on 2.4 and 5GHz bands. Unlike typical WiFi routers that just blast the WiFi signals in all directions; with Beamforming+ the router & device communicate with each other, so the router can directly beam the WiFi signal to the device. The result is a stronger, faster, more reliable connection that is locked in even when the device is moved around the home.
Dynamic QoS: If you like gaming and streaming videos, then you'll benefit from Dynamic Quality of Service (QoS). Dynamic QoS resolves Internet traffic congestion when you have competing Internet demands at home. Dynamic QoS identifies your online activities by application and device, and then utilizes bandwidth allocation, and traffic prioritization techniques, to automatically allocate more bandwidth to latency sensitive applications like online gaming and video streaming, while ensuring that lower priority applications continue to work.
Six Gigabit Ports with Port Aggregation: Six Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 ports (1 WAN / 5 LAN) allow you to connect even more wired devices. The WAN port is used to connect your Internet modem, while the LAN ports are used to connect your local network devices. Ideal for gigabit WiFi, Nighthawk AX8 is one of the first routers to support WAN port aggregation, which allows for combining two gigabit Ethernet ports and deliver more than one gigabit of Internet speed to your home. Pair with compatible NETGEAR cable modems (sold separately) supporting Multi-Gig internet speeds. Support for 160MHz enabled mobile devices and laptops (Intel Gigabit WiFi enabled devices) allows the AX8 to stream at gigabit speeds to these devices. Stream your favorite TV shows and movies in high definition, to more devices.
Dual USB-A 3.0 Ports: The two USB-A 3.0 ports on the Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) can be used for faster backup and easy access to your stored media. USB 3.0 is up to 10x faster than USB 2.0.
High Security: Maintain the highest security across your network to ensure your privacy & family is safe while online. Whether it's preventing phishing & spyware or just limiting access for kids & guests, NETGEAR has you covered.
- VPN Support: VPN support offers secure remote access for telecommuters.
- Parental Controls: Keep your Internet browsing experience safe and secure with free parental controls. It allows you to limit access to certain web sites at certain times. For example no social networking or gaming site access after dinner time.
- Guest Network Access: Separate & secure access for guests. Guest networks create a completely separate WiFi network for your guests' devices, ensuring they do not have access to your home network or to the shared USB hard drive with all your personal data.
- Secure WiFi Connections: Secure WiFi connections offer the highest level of WPA/WPA2/WPA2-PSK security with Double firewall protection (SPI/NAT firewall) and Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack prevention.
- Personal FTP Server: With your customized free URL, you can use FTP to access your network when you aren't home through Dynamic DNS.
System Requirements: Make sure your home network meets the following system requirements.
- Operating Systems: Supports Microsoft Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP / 2000, Mac OS, UNIX, or Linux.
- Internet Browser: Supports Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.0 or higher, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome 55 or higher, Firefox 45 or higher, and Safari 10 or higher.
- Internet Connection: Broadband (cable, DSL) Internet service and modem with Ethernet connection.
Firmware & Software Updates: Its USB ports and 512MB NAND flash/1GB DDR3 SDRAM memory provide future software feature expansion. Click here for the latest firmware & software updates from NETGEAR.
AC Power Adapter: The NETGEAR AX8 (RAX80) includes an AC power adapter that will need to be plugged into an AC wall outlet or surge protector (sold separately).
Mounting Options: The NETGEAR Smart WiFi Router can simply be placed on a flat-surface table-top or it can be wall-mounted using its integrated keyhole slots (mounting screws not included).
Voice Control: When you enable your NETGEAR router to work with Alexa or Google Assistant, you can use voice commands to configure your router's settings. You can also ask Alexa or Google Assistant to send your network credentials to your Alexa or Google Home app, which makes accessing your credentials more convenient while still keeping your information secure. The following voice commands are supported -
- Alexa or Ok Google, ask NETGEAR to enable the guest network
- Alexa or Ok Google, ask NETGEAR to disable the guest network
- Alexa or Ok Google, ask NETGEAR to reboot my router
- Alexa or Ok Google, ask NETGEAR to send me my WiFi settings
- Before you enable your NETGEAR router to work with Alexa or Google Assistant, you must download the The Nighthawk App for (Apple iOS 10.0+ & Android OS 4.2+), create a remote access account, and register your router with your remote access account.
- You'll also need to enable the "NETGEAR Skill" within the Alexa app (for Apple iOS 11.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) or Google Home App (for Apple iOS 11.0+ and Android OS 5.0+).
- You can only have one digital voice assistant (Alexa or Google) activated.
Nighthawk App: The Nighthawk App for Apple iOS 10.0+ & Android OS 4.2+ makes it easy and intuitive to setup and use the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) router. With the Nighthawk app, you can install your router using very few steps - just connect your mobile device to the default network, and the app will walk you through the rest. The app automatically updates the router to the latest firmware, allows you to personalize your WiFi network, and even help register your router with NETGEAR. At the end of installation, an easy to use overview screen provides quick way to see what your network credentials are so you don't have to write it down on a piece of paper. The overview screen also shows you all connected devices and links you to helpful support information related to your router.
Ready Share Access: The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) allows you to share USB devices, DLNA media, and printers through Ready Share
- Dual USB Ports w/ Ready Share: The USB 3.0 ports on the router can be used to connect USB storage devices such as flash drives or hard drives, or a printer. The router works with most USB-compliant external flash and hard drives (if your USB drive uses special drivers, it is not compatible). You can share data that is stored on most common USB storage devices across your WiFi network with ReadySHARE USB Storage Access. ReadySHARE lets you access and share a USB drive connected to the router's USB port. Do not connect computers, USB modems, CD drives, or DVD drives to the router's USB port.
- ReadyDLNA Media Server: By default, the extender functions as a ReadyDLNA media server, which lets you stream music and movies from an attached USB device to DLNA/UPnP AV-compliant media players, Smart TVs, game consoles, and NETGEAR media players.
- ReadySHARE Printer: The ReadySHARE Printer utility lets you share a USB printer that is connected to the USB port on your extender. You can share this USB printer among the Windows and Mac computers on your network.
NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD: Thanks to NETGEAR's ReadyCLOUD app, you get to enjoy personal and secure cloud access to USB storage devices connected to the Nighthawk Series Smart WiFi Router anytime, anywhere from your Apple iOS 9.3+ device, Android OS 5.0+ smartphone/tablet, or a web portal on your Windows or Mac computer.
Backup Apps: Keep your content safe by using NETGEAR's ReadySHARE Vault application for backing up Windows-based PCs. For Mac OS users, back-up using Apple Time Machine.
- ReadySHARE Vault (for Windows PC): NETGEAR ReadySHARE Vault is a free software for automatic Windows PC backup to a USB hard drive connected to the router. You can schedule automatic hassle-free backups to safeguard precious photos and files from any PC directly to the connected USB storage.
- Time Machine (for Mac): You can use Time Machine to back up your Mac computers onto a USB hard disk drive that is connected to one of the router's USB ports.
1 question already asked