802.11ax WiFi, to be known as WiFi 6 for consumer, promises a much higher throughput up to 10 Gbps, and a better ability to manage high density scenario (i.e.). crowded places where may users connect at the same time.
ASUS announced several 802.11ax routers at CES 2018, and the entry-level model – ASUS RT-AX88U – with a combined maximum throughput of 6000 Mbps (referred to as AX6000) is now sold on Amazon for $349.99. NETGEAR has also unveiled their own WiFi 6 routers with respectively Nighthawk AX80 (RAX80) and Nighthawk AX120 (RAX120) routers.
I’ve already covered ASUS routers in a previous post, and the 12-stream RAX120 will only become available in Q1 2019, so I’ll focus on the spaceship looking 8-stream RAX80 router since it’s available now.
RAX80 WiFi 6 router specifications:
- SoC – Broadcom BCM49408 quad core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.8GHz with network packet co-processor @ 800 MHz
- WiFi Connectivity
- 2x Broadcom BCM43684 4×4 802.11ax chipsets
- 802.11ax Dual Band WiFi (AX6000)
- 2.4GHz AX: 2×2 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM 40MHz, up to 1.2Gbps
- 5GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM 160MHz, up to 4.8Gbps
- Backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
- Beamforming+ support to boosts speed, reliability and range of WiFi Connections for 2.4 and 5GHz
- 6x 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN & 5 LAN)
- Dual Gigabit Ethernet Port Aggregation
- 5G/2.5G/1G Multi-Gig Ethernet LAN port
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Security features
- Standards-based WiFi Security (802.11i, 128-bit AES encryption with PSK)
- Automatic firmware update
- Guest network access
- VPN Support
- Folded – 273 x 202 x 72 mm
- Unfolded – 305 x 202 x 161 mm
- Weight – 1281 grams
The dual Gigabit Ethernet port aggregation features is made for people with Internet speed over 1 Gbps, so you can use two Ethernet ports to support up to 2 Gbps. NETGEAR Nighthawk app for Android and iOS is used for setting up the router. The router is designed for “very large homes” and is ideal for 4K/8K video playback, more reliable smart home connectivity, and wider coverage according to the information on the product page.
NETGEAR RAX80 / Nighthawk AX80 WiFI 6 router is now pre-sold for $399.99 on Amazon with delivery planned for December 21st. Both ASUS RT-AX88U and NETGEAR AX80 are AX6000 routers, but if I understood correctly the latter comes with 8 antennas (8 streams support), while the cheaper ASUS router only comes with 4 antennas.