Netgear’s latest routers look like they should carry an official Star Wars license. The brand new routers bear such an uncanny resemblance to Kylo Ren’s command shuttle, you could probably pair it with an action figure and place it in a display case.
However, these routers aren’t all about that First Order-esque design, they’ve got the hyper speed where it counts. These are Netgear’s first routers to deploy the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard. To that end, company says it will handle 6Gbps of wireless data, with 25% greater data efficiency.
In terms of wired connections, there are multiple gigabit Ethernet ports, including a 5Gbps port for your internet link. There are two versions of the device, the AX8 and the AX12. The former can handle eight data streams at a time, while the AX12 promises 12.
The routers, which have optimised quad-core processors doing all of the heavy lifting, can also be controlled via Alexa and the Google Assistant and there are a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Netgear said the Kylo Ren-inspired design is all in the name of antenna positioning, but they sure do look cool.
Here’s how Netgear (via Engadget) describes the higher-end model: “Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream AX6000 WiFi Router supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) – the latest WiFi standard with four times increased data capacities to handle today and tomorrow’s growing home network. Blazing-fast combined WiFi speeds up to 6Gbps and an AX optimized 64bit 2.2GHz quad-core processor powers smart home applications, ultra-smooth 4K UHD streaming, online gaming, and more. AX WiFi features Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) that dramatically increases network capacity as compared to today’s WiFi and reduces latency for a better WiFi experience making it ideal for a household with many WiFi devices. Plus, eight high-performance antennas amplify WiFi signals for maximized range and reliable coverage. Nighthawk AX12 is also Netgear’s first home router with a 5Gig port.”
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The AX8 can be snapped up from next month and will set you back $400. The AX12 is yet to be priced and will be released in early 2019. They’re expensive, but if you’re looking for a future-proofed router to handle the next-gen multi-gigabit network speeds, it could be a sound investment.
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