Since the first time I came into contact with a Tri-Band wireless router, I have recommended these solutions to countless people. Tri-Band routers take the best of the latest technology and allow you the flexibility to use all of your devices, whether old or new, without introducing bottlenecks into your network.
Since the launch of the Nighthawk X6, Netgear has gone back and taken Tri-Band Wi-Fi technology to the next level. With the introduction of the R8500, we have a few "firsts" on the market including active antennas in which Netgear claims to have moved the Wi-Fi amplifiers from the motherboard to the antenna allowing this solution to produce a cleaner and stronger signal. Additionally, this is the first AC5300 solution to hit the market, producing 1000 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands capable of 2166 Mbps while also taking advantage of Implicit and Explicit Beamforming and MU-MIMO technology.
With this solution being a Netgear platform it is also powered by Netgear Genie software. At this point, Genie has become its own ecosystem as it spans across their ReadyNAS and Nighthawk lineups. With Genie, you gain access to ReadyCloud storage, ReadyShare Vault for those that want to use the router as a central storage point with the ability to backup any PC, and last but not least, remote access to your network from anywhere in the world.
Hardware specifications of the R8500 have this router aimed at users with very large homes and as mentioned above this is our first look at an AC5300 solution. Seven gigabit ports are spread across the back of the router with the first two primed for Link Aggregation while the units USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports can be found on the side. Diving deeper into the hardware, you will find a dual-core Broadcom processor operating at 1.4GHz flanked by 512MB of DDR3 and 128MB of flash storage. Mentioned briefly above, the wireless radios on this solution support 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz with 1024QAM and 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz with 1024QAM support.
MSRP of the Netgear Nighthawk X8 is set at $399.99 and features a one-year warranty.
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