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NETGEAR Nighthawk™ X8

AC5300 Tri Band WiFi Gigabit Router (R8500)

4 Reviews

Item # 941AC5300

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Our take on the NETGEAR Nighthawk™ X8

The NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 boasts a super-fast tri-band router, with one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. That's not all, though. NETGEAR also built in four innovative active antennas — with amplifiers atop each antenna where they can receive cleaner and stronger signals from your mobile devices. In addition, incredibly fast transmission speeds up to 5.3 Gbps — plus a 1.4GHz dual-core processor — will have all of your devices connected instantly, and data moving at warp speed.

Blazing fast tri-band Wi-Fi® with active antenna technology

The NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 boasts a super-fast tri-band router, with one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. That's not all, though. NETGEAR also built in four innovative active antennas — with amplifiers atop each antenna where they can receive cleaner and stronger signals from your mobile devices. In addition, incredibly fast transmission speeds up to 5.3 Gbps — plus a 1.4GHz dual-core processor — will have all of your devices connected instantly, and data moving at warp speed.

Not only are there more wireless bands, but they also make smarter connections. The Nighthawk X8 will assign each device to the Wi-Fi band where it can connect at its maximum possible speed. That means more powerful devices get in the fast lane, so all of your connected devices load and stream at top speed.

Put your USB drive to work

If you plug your USB hard drive into your Nighthawk Wi-Fi router, you'll open the door to NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD® USB Access. That means wherever you are, you'll be able to access your connected USB storage device, so you can keep large files like photos and videos at home, then see and share them when you're out and about without taking up precious space on your mobile device. The router can also perform regularly scheduled backups to the connected drive, so your important data stays current and safe.

Tough security

NETGEAR's Wi-Fi Protected Access® offers tough WPA/WPA2 encryption 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.

Easy to install and use

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 genie® app lets you monitor, control and troubleshoot your network from a convenient personal dashboard.

Product Highlights:

  • 802.11ac Tri Band Gigabit wireless router
  • simultaneous triple-band operation (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz x 2) delivers more Wi-Fi for more devices
  • 8 internal antennas and 4 active antennas provide excellent wireless coverage for large properties
  • AC5300 Wi-Fi (1000 + 2166 + 2166 Mbps)
    • up to 1000 Mbps on 802.11n band
    • up to 2166 Mbps on first 802.11ac band
    • up to 2166 Mbps on second 802.11ac band
  • powerful 1.4GHz dual-core processor delivers high-performance connectivity
  • single-button Push 'N' Connect function
  • dedicated DLNA server helps you find and play media on TVs and game consoles
  • NETGEAR genie® app helps you monitor, control, and troubleshoot your home network
  • 128 MB flash and 512 MB RAM internal memory
Special Features:
  • Smart Connect intelligently selects the fastest Wi-Fi band for each device
  • 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
  • Load Balancing feature distributes devices to each of the three bands to prevent congestion
  • MU-MIMO capability allows simultaneous streaming to multiple devices at once
  • ReadyCLOUD® USB Access allows secure remote cloud access to USB storage
External Connections:
  • seven 10/100/1000 (6 LAN and 1 WAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology
  • one USB 3.0 port
  • one USB 2.0 port
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2-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
  • automatic backup to connected hard drive via ReadySHARE® Vault software
  • robust parental controls help keep kids safe online
Dimensions and Warranty:

What's in the Box:

  • Tri-Band/Quad-Stream WiFi router
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 6' DC cord)
  • 58" Ethernet cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Firmware Update note
  • "Home Sweet Connected Home" booklet

NETGEAR Nighthawk™ X8 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research


Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router (R8500-100NAS): NETGEAR's Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router with Tri-Band Quad Stream performance delivers combined WiFi speeds of up to 5.3 Gbps. Four external active antennas combined with four internal antennas amplify and maximize WiFi range. The X8's powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor gives you a high-performance networking engine for faster connections. Aggregate two of the Gigabit ports to double your wired speeds to network-attached storage. Quad-Stream with MU-MIMO support allows you to enjoy simultaneous streaming to your devices for speeds up to four times faster than traditional WiFi. Even if everyone and everything in the home that's connected to the Internet is streaming, gaming, working, playing, socializing or updating at the same time, the X8 won't miss a beat - so you'll enjoy seamless clarity and zero lag.

Variety of Applications: With NETGEAR's Nighthawk X8 Smart WiFi Router, you can create a powerful home network for applications such as lag-free multiple HD streaming, multi-player online gaming, ultra-fast, reliable connection to the Internet and a secure wireless connection.

  • Stream Multiple HD & 4K Content: Nighthawk X8 provides seamless, simultaneous HD streaming to multiple devices. Tri-Band WiFi, and MU-MIMO help reduce buffering and jittery video. And now with port aggregation, you can double the connection speed for 4K HD streaming.
  • Online Gaming: With combined WiFi speeds up to 5.3 Gbps and advanced features like MU-MIMO, Smart Connect and Dynamic QoS, which helps prioritize your gaming activity on the network. Gigabit Ethernet ports let you connect your device via a wired connection to ensure you stay connected at top speeds.
  • Extended Range For Mobile Devices: With all your mobile devices, you have the freedom to move about your home and yard, and now with Nighthawk X8, you can maintain your connection even in the largest of homes. Powerful, patent-pending Active Antennas, help improve WiFi performance by amplifying WiFi signals in the antenna itself, which helps avoid signal loss during transmission as well as reduce noise, so you can enjoy better range and coverage.

1.4GHz Dual-Cord Processor: The NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 utilizes a powerful 1.4GHz dual-core processor to separate processes and prioritize high performance WiFi connections to get maximum combined WiFi speeds of up to 5.3Gbps

Active Antennas: NETGEAR developed the industry's first Active Antennas technology. NETGEAR moved the WiFi amplifiers from their usual location, on the router's motherboard, to the top of the antennas. These Active Antennas help improve WiFi performance by amplifying signal in the antenna itself. This allows the router to receive cleaner and stronger signals from your mobile devices, avoiding signal degradation between the antennas and motherboard.

Tri-Band WiFi w/ Smart Connect: Tri-band WiFi delivers 3.2 Gbps combined WiFi speeds through three dedicated WiFi bands-a 2.4 GHz band plus two 5 GHz bands. This additional 5 GHz WiFi band allows you to double the WiFi bandwidth for dual-band devices.  Smart Connect intelligently selects the best WiFi band for each dual-band device to optimize connection speed and performance based on that device's speed and performance capabilities. This additional WiFi bandwidth combined with the intelligence to segregate traffic based on WiFi speed and load balancing provides the best performance for multiple WiFi devices in your home. The tri-band WiFi network outperforms the dual-band network in several ways

  • Band 1: 1000 Mbps @2.4GHz - 1024QAM
  • Band 2: 2166 Mbps @5GHz - 1024QAM
  • Band 3: 2166 Mbps @5GHz - 1024QAM

Quad Stream + Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO):  Quad Stream on all three 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. Using Multi-User MIMO technology, the NETGEAR router can stream data to multiple devices simultaneously. With MU-MIMO, your WiFi network can deliver faster throughput to every MU-MIMO connected device. That means faster downloads and smoother streaming for your devices.

Advanced WiFi Technologies: With features like Dynamic QoS, Beamforming+, and Load Balancing you get enhanced speed by up to 100% and increased reliability so you can roam freely throughout your home without fear of slow or dropped connections.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Load Balancing: The router uses load balancing to distribute WiFi connections among all three WiFi bands, to ensure that both the WiFi bands are utilized. Load balancing avoids overloading a single 5 GHz band and ensures that both the WiFi bands are utilized and device connections are spread across the two bands.

Gigabit Ethernet Ports w/ Port Aggregation: Seven Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 ports (1 WAN & 6 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. Two of the six Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports can be aggregated to double the connection speed to a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for 4K HD streaming or fast backups of multiple WiFi devices simultaneously.

Cloud Storage: Access and share your files stored on a USB Drive through NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD USB Access. Simply plug your USB hard drive into the NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 WiFi Router to create secure personal cloud storage. Enjoy the convenience and accessibility of Google Drive and Dropbox without the fees, storage limitations, or privacy concerns. Using the ReadyCLOUD mobile app or web portal, you'll now have anytime, anywhere access to your USB drive at home.

ReadySHARE: The NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 Smart WiFi router allows you to share USB devices, DLNA media, and printers through ReadySHARE.

  • Dual USB Ports w/ ReadySHARE: The USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the extender can be used to connect USB storage devices such as flash drives or hard drives, or a printer. The extender 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 extender USB port. Do not connect computers, USB modems, CD drives, or DVD drives to the extender 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.

iTunes & AirPlay Compatible: The router's iTunes Server lets you play music with your Windows or Mac iTunes app from a USB device that is connected to the router USB port. You can also use the Apple Remote app from an iPhone or iPad to play music on any AirPlay devices, such as Apple TV or AirPlay-supported receivers. Supported music file formats are MP3, AAC, and FLAC. The maximum number of music files supported is 10,000

Simple Setup: NETGEAR makes installation and management fast & simple, so you can connect quickly & make sure you stay that way. The router offers a built-in Setup Wizard for computer setup, an Apple & Google Play app for Apple iOS & Android setup, plus a WPS push-button setup.

  • Device Install: Easy setup for iPad, tablets, smartphones & computers.
  • Setup Wizard: You can use the router's built-in Setup Wizard for Windows & Mac to detect your Internet settings and automatically set up the router from your computer.
  • NETGEAR Genie App: Personal dashboard to monitor, control & repair your home network from your smartphone or tablet.
  • Push 'N' Connect: Easy push button WiFi connections (WPS).
  • WiFi Power On/Off: Convenient power savings.

NETGEAR Genie App: The NETGEAR Genie App makes getting the most out of your home network fun & easy. The Genie App lets you easily monitor, connect & control your home network from a Windows PC, Mac computer/laptop, Apple iOS device, or Android smartphone/tablet. With the NETGEAR Genie App you can share & stream music or videos, diagnose & repair network issues, set up parental controls & more.

Alexa Commands: When you enable your NETGEAR router to work with Alexa, you can use voice commands to configure your router's settings. You can also ask Alexa to send your network credentials to your Alexa app, which makes accessing your credentials more convenient while still keeping your information secure. The following Alex  commands are supported -

  • Alexa, ask NETGEAR to enable the guest network
  • Alexa, ask NETGEAR to disable the guest network
  • Alexa, ask NETGEAR to reboot my router
  • Alexa, ask NETGEAR to send me my WiFi settings
  • Before you enable your NETGEAR router to work with Alexa, you must download the NETGEAR genie app, create a remote access account, and register your router with your remote access account.
  • There are two ways to enable your NETGEAR router to work with Amazon Alexa. You can use the command "Alexa, enable the NETGEAR skill," or you can manually link the NETGEAR skill to your Alexa app.

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.

Auto Backup: Keep your content safe by using the included ReadySHARE Vault application for backing up Windows-based PCs. For Mac OS users, back-up using Apple Time Machine.

  • ReadyShare Vault PC: Free ReadyShare Vault PC software it there for you to schedule automatic hassle-free backups to safeguard precious photos and files from any PC directly to the connected USB storage. ReadyShare Vault is free to download and use with the Nighthawk X8.
  • Time Machine: 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.

Firmware/Software Updates: Its USB 2.0/3.0 ports and 128MB Flash/128MB memory provide future software feature expansion. Click here for the latest firmware/software updates from NETGEAR.

LEDs: LEDs on the front-panel of the Nighthawk X8 indicate router status.

Mounting Options: The NETGEAR 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).

System Requirements: Make sure your home network meets the following system requirements.

  • Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP / 2000, Mac OS, UNIX, or Linux.
  • Internet Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0, Safari 1.4, or Google Chrome 11.0 browsers or higher.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

The signal needs to reach the basement from the third floor. Also, I purchased Gigablast service from Cox and I wanted to have wifi speed that would take advantage of my fast internet speed. [ Billy  Mar 12, 2018 ]
Need to cover a large area with many users. [ Jonathan  Jan 22, 2017 ]
I asked Wolf for a recommendation. [ Clint  Jan 09, 2017 ]
Range [ Scott  Sep 25, 2016 ]
Because I thought that it was the best on the market. [ L  Feb 07, 2016 ]
It is the BEST router on the market [ ROBERT  Jan 17, 2016 ]

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