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Netgear’s Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Extender swoops down at IFA 2019

As well as announcing a new Orbi RBK850 at IFA 2019, Netgear also unleashed the Nighthawk AX8, a Wi-Fi 6-ready mesh extender that’s designed to work with any router.

Much like the Nighthawk AX12, seen to the left in the photo above, the Nighthawk AX8 is an angry, angular thing, which appears to have taken its visual cues from 2001: A Space Odyssey’s monoliths, whereas the gentle curves of the Orbi RBK850 more closely resembles Wall-E’s EVE.

Like the Netgear Orbi RBK850 however, the Nighthawk AX8 can send and receive data across eight spatial streams, four 2.4GHz and four 5GHz, meaning plenty of room in the airwaves for everyone’s devices.

Set-up promises to be simple, as the same network name and credentials will remain, so devices won’t need to be added to the new Wi-Fi 6 connections once the Nighthawk AX8 is talking to your router.

Related: Best Wi-Fi Extenders

Rear view of the Netgear Nighthawk AX8, showing off the four Ethernet ports and the USB 3.0 port.

As it’s compatible with virtually any other router, the Nighthawk AX8 could be a better option for you than a complete mesh system. If you’re otherwise happy with your current router, but know you’ll be picking up a new phone or laptop with Wi-Fi 6 antennas soon, the Nighthawk AX8 promises a taste of the future while improving Wi-Fi coverage in your bedroom/kitchen/the top floor of your house.

You also get four gigabit Ethernet ports, and a Type-A USB 3.0 port, if you want to add any drives to the network.

The Netgear Nighthawk is due to go up for pre-order soon for $249 (~£200), with general release expected to be sometime in Q4 of this year, so expect to see these land on shelves just in time for the Christmas rush – hopefully you’ll be able to snap one up during Black Friday (if you’re really, really lucky).

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