Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6 AC 3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router Review

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Netgear Nighthawk X6: Netgear’s Latest Flagship with Tri-Band Wi-Fi

Netgear_X6_R8000Netgear has released their latest flagship wireless router, the Nighthawk X6 R8000 which is an Tri-Band 802.11ac. After hearing rumors of this new router back in January when we were in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, Netgear officially released specifics about the new R8000 last month. R8000_Box_smThe Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router also known as the R8000 is the market’s first tri-band Wi-Fi router and features six high-performance antennas working over three concurrent network bands, one 2.4Ghz and two 5.0GHz for combined speeds of up to 3.2 Gbps (or 1300+1300+600Mbps).  The $299.99 (MSRP) Nighthawk R8000 X6 is designed to automatically balance the network ensuring the best WiFi performance and maximum range for each device.Netgear_X6-6 The Netgear R8000 Wi-Fi infrastructure is based on Broadcom’s  XStream platform that allows the Nighthawk X6 to decide automatically how to provision network traffic.  For the Nighthawk X6, one 5GHz radio works in the “low channel” range, while the other 5GHz radio works with higher channels and the router decides which devices to assign to which radio automatically. The way the Nighthawk was designed, the router essentially aggregates slower devices like cell phones, Wi-Fi-N devices, or “slower” AC devices to one radio and puts “fast” clients (N450, AC1300, etc) on a separate radio.  This should allow you to have additional bandwidth and reduce the losses that faster clients experience due to slower clients on the same channel. Netgear equipped the Nighthawk X6 with the same dual-core 1GHz processor found on their last flagship router, but one of the main differences on the X6 from previous routers is that each of the Wi-Fi channels has its own dedicated processor. This new processing power allows the R8000 to have even more robust processor intensive features such as “Open VPN” and a new USB 3.0 Backup feature, ReadyShare Vault, Beamforming +, Personal FTP Server, new Netgear Genie, and so on.  The Broadcom 5G XStream that powers the Nighthawk X6 is designed to identify and offload processing to free up the main dual-core processor for other tasks.Netgear_R8000-8 Netgear has partnered with Broadcom to supply the System on Chip (SOC) architecture and processor for the Nighthawk X6.  We spoke to Richard Najarian, Broadcom’s WLAN Product Marketing Senior Director, and he explained that Broadcom’s 5G Wi-Fi XStream technology optimizes speeds for all Wi-Fi devices to alleviate bogging down the entire network.  The router automatically uses Smart Connect to choose which is the best 5 GHz band for connected devices to use.Netgear_R8000-9 Not only does the X6 pick out which is the best Wi-Fi radio to use, but Netgear designed the Nighthawk to use load balancing to distribute Wi-Fi connections among all three Wi-Fi bands.  Slower devices like printers and older computers connect to the 2.4 GHz band. Netgear_X6-5 Netgear Nighthawk X6 Featured Specifications: Product Number

  • R8000

WiFi Technology

  • 802.11ac Tri-Band Gigabit

Speed and Range   WiFi Performance

  • AC3200 (600 + 1300 + 1300 Mbps)†

WiFi Range

  • Very large homes

WiFi Band

  • Simultaneous Tri-Band WiFi – Tx/Rx 3×3 (2.4GHz) + 3×3 (5GHz) + 3×3 (5GHz)


  • Beamforming+—Smart, signal-focusing technology boosts the speed,reliability, and range of your WiFi connections

Number of Ethernet Ports

  • Five (5) 10/100/1000 (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports

Number of USB Ports

  • Two (2) USB ports: 1 USB 3.0 & 1 USB 2.0 port

Key Features

  • AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi
  • WiFi Band 1: 600 Mbps @2.4GHz-256QAM
  • WiFi Band 2: 1300 Mbps @5GHz
  • WiFi Band 3: 1300 Mbps @5GHz
  • Smart Connect intelligently selects the fastest WiFi for every device
  • High powered amplifiers and six (6) high performance external antennas
  • Implicit & Explicit Beamforming for 2.4 & 5GHz
  • Powerful Dual-Core 1GHz processor with 3 offload processors
  • Memory: 128 MB Flash and 256 MB RAM
  • Two (2) USB ports: (1) USB 3.0 & (1) USB 2.0 port


  • Customized free URL to set up personal FTP server
  • VPN support—secure remote access
  • Guest network access—separate & secure
  • WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2—PSK)
  • Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT)
  • Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention


  • 1GHz dual core processor with three offload processors

Processor Technology5G WiFi XStream Memory

  • 128 MB Flash and 256 MB RAM

Product DiagramR8000_Spec Physical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.63 x 8.92 x 2.14 in (295.5 x 226.8 x 54.5 mm)
  • Weight: 2.43 lbs (1.1 kg)

Package Content

  • Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router (R8000)
  • Ethernet cable
  • Quick install guide
  • Power adapter


  • Two (2) USB ports: 1 USB 3.0 & 1 USB 2.0 port
  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz-256QAM support
  • IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5.0 GHz
  • Five (5) 10/100/1000 (1 WAN and 4 LAN) Gigabit Ethernet ports

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OS, UNIX, or Linux
  • MicrosoftInternet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0, Safari 1.4, or Google Chrome 11.0 browsers or higher

†Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE standard 802.11 specifications. Actual data throughput and wireless coverage will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, and network overhead, lower actual data throughput rate and wireless coverage. NETGEAR makes no express or implied representations or warranties about this product’s compatibility with any future standards. 802.11ac 1300 Mbps is approximately 3x faster than 802.11n 450 Mbps. 2.4GHz Performance Mode requires 256 QAM support on WiFi client. Up to 1300 Mbps wireless speeds achieved when connecting to other 802.11ac 1300 Mbps devices.

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  • oldhippie

    Best router I have ever owned is the Nighthawk 8000. Worked as soon as I plugged it in. Went from a mere 50 meg to 66 meg down and from 3 to 6 meg up. Besides that it was a breeze to configure and all channels worked fine. I watch tv through this and get true Ultra 4 k from the net. I cut the cord as soon as I got this router. Saved me 1200 a year alone in cable bill. So yes it is a very good router . I have no idea why anyone would have a problem installing it or configuring it. I love it and btw I am 64 years old and had no problem with it at all.

  • Gavincurtis

    Piece of corrupt garbage. Half a day wasted and impossible to transfer a single bit of data through this NIGHTMARE X6. Returned it and moved on in life. Got a $70 router and it worked perfect out of the box.

  • J M Kinsey

    My bug is not with the router, but with the company’s tech support. I find it REALLY irritating when I finally get through the maze of computer generated questions to be finally answered by a person who doesn’t speak English worth a crap, and has such a heavy accent I can’t understand. FRUSTRATING. I wouldn’t buy another Nighthawk or Netgear just for that reason. Put an American to work at tech support!!!!! Hate these offshore tech support that are almost impossible to understand!

    • Rafael Reynoso

      would you work for 3 dollars an hour ?

  • Steve-NewMilfordCT

    Best wireless router I ever used. Well worth the price.

  • Mike

    Spent the money to get the R8000. Cannot get it to work. Spent 40 minutes in the service queue before spending another 20 minutes with service tech. She did not solve the problem. So I asked to simply return the dud. I got a new set of instructions which did not work. I am not a techie so I do not enjoy spending the time or the frustration of fiddling with a piece of junk to make it work. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BUYING SOMTHING BESIDES THE R8000.

  • Rafael Rivera

    I have had 2 linksys router model 1900 and 4200 and they were good, but after a year they stop working and the help desk was a mess and wanted me to pay . I have the the Nighthawk R7000 and it is a great router obtaining between 1.2 to 2.2 MBPS. Liksys is graet but needs to reinvent as a company.

  • Belkin/Linksys WRT1900AC dominated the Netgear, guest I can safely purchase the ASUS RT-N66U to go with the other ASUS networking gear I have and when the WRT1900AC becomes affordable I upgrade the whole network using Linksys.

    I still have the first Linksys WRT54GL router with custom tomato firmware in the storage cabinet, that’s getting replaced with the ASUS RT-N66U when the time comes, when ever that maybe.


  • anon

    QoS? That? Well no IP, Port or packet disctinction tables?
    several configurable SSID?

    3,2Gbps, that must have a 10Gb port right?

    Also, given all the bandwidth it says is provide, could you please test, in AP mode, any of your transfer test with LST with 2 or 3 machines at the same time? Just to see how netgear handles it. Would be a great standard test to perform in the future given nowadays its easy to have 2 or 3 clients at the same time watching hd videos f.e.

    I wish I could comment with my forum account. :/

    • Netgear says:

      Q: “Why is the QoS option on the R7000 not available on the R8000?”.

      A: “NETGEAR is currently working on a much more feature rich QoS feature which will be available on a later firmware release in early Q4.”.

      The greatest sin is either that it uses 60W or that it has a Firewall that is always on and non-configurable. It looks cool, like you could put it on top of a KillerDesktop Case, but it is too big.

  • Turd Ferguson

    If Netgear cannot keep from corrupting firmware all of the time, it is still not worth a penny. And if it cost a penny, subtract one for the value of shady tech support.