Nighthawk X8- R8500 Tri Band Quad Stream WiFi Router

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NETGEAR Guy

Senior Member
NETGEAR recently announced the Nighthawk X8 - Industry first shipping Tri-Band Quad stream WiFi Router

Features:

Fastest Tri-Band WiFi Router

Dynamic Quality of Service (QoS)

Industry’s First Active Antennas

Quad Stream WiFi with Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO)

It is based on Broadcom Dual core 1.4GHz + 4x4 802.11ac chipset

Tech specs, product data sheet and v1.0.0.42 firmware update at: http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/R8500.aspx
 

bigcid10

Senior Member
Looks nice ,saw it at best buy ,but $400 is a bit steep even for me(and I'll buy anything)
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Industry’s First Active Antennas
Actually Ruckus was one of the first - even back in the 802.11g days as Video54 - which Netgear licensed from them..

I suppose Netgear totally forgot about that...

And I fail to see how that device can be considered tri-band - technically it's dual band, unless it does something other than 5GHz and 2.4GHz - two radios on 5GHz counts as one band.

Now if it were to do 3.6GHz, 900MHz, or perhaps 60GHz, then, yes, can consider it tri-band perhaps.

So, let's stay away from Marketeers, sometimes they get caught up in there own little world ;)
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Netgear WPN824 v1/V2 board - Video54/Ruckus based

wpn824_board.jpg


And then of course, the V3 board with the Rayspan Metamaterial antennae...

netgear_wpnv3_board.jpg
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
And I fail to see how that device can be considered tri-band - technically it's dual band, unless it does something other than 5GHz and 2.4GHz - two radios on 5GHz counts as one band.

Now if it were to do 3.6GHz, 900MHz, or perhaps 60GHz, then, yes, can consider it tri-band perhaps.
Technically speaking, U-NII-1 and U-NII-2 are separate bands, with different regulation rules. So since Xstream can use both these bands at the same time, claiming triple band support is technically correct.

5 GHz is not a band, it's a frequency. A band is a range of different frequencies.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Technically speaking, U-NII-1 and U-NII-2 are separate bands, with different regulation rules. So since Xstream can use both these bands at the same time, claiming triple band support is technically correct.

5 GHz is not a band, it's a frequency. A band is a range of different frequencies.
Not to be pedantic, but 5GHz is considered a band class - all inclusive...

putting away my standards hat..

X-Stream - drink the kool-aid, spend money, get no benefit - and annoy your neighbors by jamming their 5GHz..
 

madmook

New Around Here
Got one of these from Best Buy. Using it as basic access point running three separate SSIDs, so far seems pretty speedy and stable. First thing I did was apply the 42 firmware from Netgear's website, didn't use it at all on factory firmware. Setup menus are pretty much the same as the R7000 and R7500, so it didn't take very long to get all the settings to what I wanted (I log in directly to the router, so I don't know if this holds true for any of the "app" stuff).

Anyways, if anyone needs to see any menu stuff I can take screenshots, but like I said it's pretty much the same as the R7000/R7500. I am not going to test any smart connect stuff, as I am perfectly content managing the two 5ghz bands myself. FYI it was not enabled by default, though I saw the checkbox to enable it in the wireless settings.

Please, no teasing about the price, trust me the damage is done and the pain is real. But I wanted tri-band and the 6 lan ports make it worth it to me.

The wifi does not exhibit the weird ping delay that the R7500 does (those who've used that model will probably know what I am talking about).

I never had or tried the R8000 (or any other tri-band router) so I can't compare to that.
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
SFX: Time to switch rant mode off, please. You've made your point in other threads regarding your feeling about the current Wi-Fi classification method. It was not created by NETGEAR; they are just following convention.

I agree it is misleading. That's why SNB has published multiple articles explaining the convention and what real link rates to expect. But for better or worse, the system serves a useful purpose to class wireless routers and APs.

Metamaterial antennas are not the same as the active antenna technology in the R8500. To my knowledge, this is the first time amplifiers have been included in the antenna body itself.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
madmook: What was your previous router? What clients are you using it with?

Aside from no ping delay, do you see any other changes (better or worse) in wireless performance between the R8500 and your previous router?
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
To my knowledge, this is the first time amplifiers have been included in the antenna body itself.
Agreed - putting PA/LNA in the antenna is new in the consumer space - let's see how the numbers work.

In any event, it should be similar to the AC1900 class in most scenarios - and AC2400 with MU-MIMO clients - I'm more interested in the mix-use case there with SU/MU clients running concurrently, as this challenges the MU scheduler implementation.. and will be real-world for some time to come.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
In any event, it should be similar to the AC1900 class in most scenarios
I would think so, too. But I've been wrong on this before. :)
The active antennas and more powerful processor and other Broadcom tweaks could provide a performance benefit.

I plan to do an open-air comparison article for AC2600, AC3200 and now AC5300 like I did with AC1900.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I would think so, too. But I've been wrong on this before. :)
The active antennas and more powerful processor and other Broadcom tweaks could provide a performance benefit.

I plan to do an open-air comparison article for AC2600, AC3200 and now AC5300 like I did with AC1900.
Perhaps more consistent performance across different use cases - MU complicates things a bit as there are times where there is clear benefit, and times where SU might be the better decision.

But you're right - consider N client performance on AC-based AP's, there was a measurable improvement.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Netgear just raised the bar for all other router manufacturers.

If implemented correctly, the 'active antennae' path will be very promising for getting the best performance from our wireless networks in the near future.

6 LAN ports are also welcome. I hope this is a trend for all routers. 4 LAN port routers are stuck in 1999 since 2001. ;)

The size of these things will easily accommodate 8 or even 12 ports. I don't know one customer that wouldn't be able to use that right now.
 

madmook

New Around Here
madmook: What was your previous router? What clients are you using it with?

Aside from no ping delay, do you see any other changes (better or worse) in wireless performance between the R8500 and your previous router?
Previously had Nighthawk R7000 and R7500, just got rid of the R7500, now using the R7000 as a wireless bridge. Both were on their latest official firmwares (.30 for the R7000 and .94 for the R7500), and I didn't have much problems using them as access points, except for the ping delay issue on the R7500.

So far, I have laptops/computers using Intel AC 7260 and 7265, all running fine on the latest 18.20 driver. iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6s (both 2x2 AC) are working fine. An iPhone 5s connected to 2.4ghz working fine. Couple computers and a Western Digital My Cloud drive connected via ethernet working fine. PlayStation Vita (2.4ghz N) and New 3DS (2.4ghz G) work fine. Things appear to be just as solid and stable as the R7000, so no complaints there.

Overall coverage seems a little bit better than what I got with the R7000/R7500; I am in a two story 2,700 sq. ft. house. Don't have technical numbers and whatnot, I am not a reviewer, just an end user.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Netgear just raised the bar for all other router manufacturers.

If implemented correctly, the 'active antennae' path will be very promising for getting the best performance from our wireless networks in the near future.

6 LAN ports are also welcome. I hope this is a trend for all routers. 4 LAN port routers are stuck in 1999 since 2001. ;)

The size of these things will easily accommodate 8 or even 12 ports. I don't know one customer that wouldn't be able to use that right now.
I'll withhold judgement on the "active" antennas for the moment - If they're just moving the PA/LNA's up into the Antenna vice being on the mainboard, it's a small gain, but since most of the activity for beamforming is in the MAC/Baseband, and not in the RF section, I'm not seeing a significant improvement compared to adaptive antenna arrays - but perhaps Netgear has an RFIC that does interesting things - we'll have to look at the board shots to see what they've done there - in any event, this also likely would preclude any add-on antenna replacements.

The additional LAN ports - I agree, some vendors don't even include 4 LAN ports...
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Previously had Nighthawk R7000 and R7500, just got rid of the R7500
Oddly enough - The R7500 hasn't had near the issues that another vendor has had using a QTN solution for 5GHz - not sure if this is due to the PCIe/QC-Atheros implementation or not..

Anyways, seems like folks are pretty happy with the R7500 X4, otherwise we'd see it here...
 

NightOwl326

Senior Member
Can't believe I spent $400.00 for a wireless router, but heck this thing just works. I have grown weary of Asus being a 87u and 3200 owner. This thing is stable and problem free, so I think I can now quit jumping from router to router every 6-12 months. I am settled in to the r8500 and I don't care about test results. Netgear got it right this time. I'm happy......
 
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GrinningShark

Regular Contributor
I just picked one of these up at Best Buy a few days ago. They did not have them on the floor and the guy checked the back and brought one out, said they just got them in stock and had not put them out yet. I plugged it in and upgraded to the latest FW on the Netgear site. This has been pleasant surprise. We have a ton of wifi devices (>20) and I love that I can now split the newer stuff and the older stuff between two 5ghz bands (have my AC devices on one band and the rest on the other). It has only been a couple days, but it has been stable and I'm very pleased with the performance and range in my two story house. I also love the fact that is has 6 gigabit ethernet ports. Will have to check in down the road with an update.

Did I mention that this router is huge? Makes my old AC68U look small.
 

Shonk

Senior Member
This router ticks all my boxes from a hardware perspective

The problem that comes into play though is my past experience with netgear firmware support

None existent updates 2-4 updates in the lifetime of the router with minimal fixes only for very broken things

Until the day Netgear adopt a line of continued firmare improvment's in the way my a**s does every few months for a good few years i for one wont touch one

Example Latest R6300 Firmware (Same Gen as my current router)

R6300 Firmware Version V1.0.2.78
Bug Fixes:
Fixed the K-code NetUSB security hole issue

As i said minimal updates for the life of the device..

I still have a WNR3500 here looking pretty as a doorstop that had maybe 4 bad updates in its lifetime
and one of them i had to pressure Tier 3 support to get done for a show stopper of a bug
infact it was the final update for the device when it was around 18months old
 
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NightOwl326

Senior Member
This router ticks all my boxes from a hardware perspective

The problem that comes into play though is my past experience with netgear firmware support

None existent updates 2-4 updates in the lifetime of the router with minimal fixes only for very broken things

Until the day Netgear adopt a line of continued firmare improvment's in the way my a**s does every few months for a good few years i for one wont touch one

Example Latest R6300 Firmware (Same Gen as my current router)

R6300 Firmware Version V1.0.2.78
Bug Fixes:
Fixed the K-code NetUSB security hole issue

As i said minimal updates for the life of the device..

I still have a WNR3500 here looking pretty as a doorstop that had maybe 4 bad updates in its lifetime
and one of them i had to pressure Tier 3 support to get done for a show stopper of a bug
infact it was the final update for the device when it was around 18months old
I used to agree with you, but after the ongoing r87u debocale, and the r3200 still not handling 5ghz distribution correctly, I'm back to netgear. Out of the gate the R8500 is a great product.
 
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