The EX8000 creates a single SSID extended network complete with bi-directional band steering and 802.11k fast roaming support.
The "tri-band" part of the EX8000 consists of a dual-band two-stream AC1300 radio and additional four-stream 5 GHz high-band AC1700 radio. In Orbi, the 5 GHz high-band radio is dedicated to backhaul connection between router and satellite.
But while the EX8000 will prefer to use its 4x4 radio to connect back to the router being extended, it can use either of the other 2x2 radios to make the connection. And, also unlike Orbi, if the 2x2 5 GHz radio is busy with backhaul duties, the 4x4 high-band radio is available for client connection.
The EX8000 will attain maximum backhaul bandwidth when used with four-stream AC5300/5400 tri-band routers. But the product's four-stream design will provide better backhaul performance than other extenders, even when used with two and three stream routers.
The Nighthawk X6S Extender can also be used as a tri-band access point if you are lucky enough to have Ethernet where you want to have better Wi-Fi.
Other specs include a four-port gigabit Ethernet switch, USB 2.0 port supporting ReadyShare storage and printer sharing and MU-MIMO support.
The EX8000 can be pre-ordered now and ships on Sept 8. U.S. MSRP is $229.99.