Nighthawk EX8000 Review

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Nighthawk EX8000 review

Your home wifi router is very unpredictable where at times it will give you a stable signal in every room, and other times you can’t get a signal at all. If you’re having issues with your wifi coverage, you’ll need a wifi extender like the Nighthawk EX8000 that will improve your wifi signal strength in a matter of minutes and extend your network to anywhere you want.

A wifi extender can’t replace your existing router but work together with it to strengthen its original signal. Netgear’s wifi range extender will attach itself to your existing router like a normal range extender, but it uses mesh technology which helps to expand its SSID. It has the power to transmit data farther and fill in those dead spots around your home. It also provides you with the rare ability to use the same network name and password as your router and by using the same SSID as your router, you don’t have to connect to different networks while roaming through your home.

Nighthawk EX8000 review and breakdown

NETGEAR WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX8000 - Coverage up to 2500 sq.ft. and 50 Devices with AC3000 Tri-Band Wireless Signal Booster & Repeater (Up to 3000 Mbps Speed), Plus Mesh Smart Roaming
  • Extended wireless coverage: Adds Wi-Fi range coverage up to 2500 square feet, and connects up to 50...
  • Seamless smart roaming: Uses your existing network SSID name so you never get disconnected as you move...

The Nighthawk EX8000 is a tri-band mesh wifi range extender that will turn your existing network into an efficient and robust wifi mesh-like system. It also uses a dedicated backhaul band to communicate with your router. The Nighthawk EX8000is a large wifi extender that will need a bit more space in your home than other extenders. It’s a tri-band extender that can deliver great throughput speeds on its 3 channels with 17300 Mbps and 866 Mbps on the two 5 GHz bands and 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. You can use the Nighthawk EX8000 with any standard wifi router to create a real mesh network giving you more seamless coverage in every corner of your home. You can even add other extenders to expand your mesh network further.

Setting up the Nighthawk EX8000 is a simple process where you can choose to use the WPS buttons on both your router and extender which will automatically allow your extender to use the same wifi network username and password as your router, or use the Netgear Genie app on your mobile or PC which is also an easy and quick method. You just type www.mywifiext.net on your browser which will launch the extender setup wizard that will guide you through the setup process. You should note that the Nighthawk EX8000’s IP address will change after the setup process and if you want to customize the settings further you should look for your extenders’ IP address from your router’s client list.

The Nighthawk EX8000 follows the same rule as a mesh system when it comes to where it should be placed from your router. At close range, the Nighthawk EX8000 will automatically use its 4 x 4 5 GHz band to connect to your router and when you move it further away, it will switch to its 2 x 2 band. This means the extender can automatically pick the band with the strongest signal at a particular place and dedicate it as its backhaul.

What we liked

  • Has a dedicated backhaul channel
  • It uses one network name and password as your router
  • Very easy to setup
  • Supports MU-MIMO and beamforming to improve its performance
  • Fast performance at close range
  • Can work with all existing routers

What we didn’t like

  • It’s expensive
  • It’s a large and bulky device

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Nighthawk EX8000 specs

Model
Nighthawk EX8000
Design
Standard, not wall mountable
Wifi standard
802.11ac
Bandwidth speeds
2.4 GHz – 400 Mbps

5 GHz – 866 Mbps

5 GHz – 1733 Mbps

Bandwidth
Tri-band with up to 3000 Mbps
Ports
4 gigabit LAN ports, a USB 2.0 port
Access point mode
Yes
Wifi range coverage
2500 sq. feet
Connected devices
Up to 50 devices
Availability

Nighthawk EX8000 features

Design

The Nighthawk EX8000 is a fairly large extender and at 8.9 inches tall and 6.7 inches wide, it’s among the largest extenders in the market that you can place on your desk or bookshelf. This black and gray tower has 8 LEDs at the front that show you the data flow to different devices, the status of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, Ethernet and USB activity, and the signal strength between your router and extender that helps you to know where to place it. Also, the link status and the throughput indicator LEDs glow white when the Nighthawk EX8000 is operating smoothly. The throughput LED will glow white when the extender is using the 5 GHz band and off when using the 2.4 GHz band. At the back are 4 gigabit LAN ports, a USB 2.0 port, and buttons for power, reset, and WPS. It also has 6 internal non-removable antennas.

Performance

The Nighthawk EX8000 is a tri-band extender with an ability to move 400 Mbps over its 2.4 GHz channel and 1733 Mbps and 866 Mbps over its two 5 GHz channels and it carries an AC3000 throughput rating. It sports 4 LAN ports and a 2.0 USB port, but it doesn’t have a fifth gigabit port for direct broadband connectivity which means it can’t double as your router. The extender uses the FastLane3 technology, the same technology used by the Orbi wifi system, which is dedicated to one of the 5 GHz channels to help move data between the main router and the extender.

However, the speed of your internet connection will mostly depend on the router the Nighthawk EX8000 is connected to. The Nighthawk EX8000 provides you with the same seamless roaming experience if you’re using a wifi system because you can use the same SSID as your router to automatically connect your devices to the strongest signal as you move from one room to the next with the help of Smart Connect.

Features

Nighthawk EX8000 review

The Nighthawk EX8000 runs on a powerful quad-core processor and supports the latest 802.11ac wifi standards including MU-MIMO data streaming andbeamformingso you can connect multiple devices to your device. It also comes with 6 amplified antennas that can give you a wifi coverage of up to 2,500 sq. feet. The dedicated 5 GHz band will work solely to connect itself to your router, while the remaining two channels will serve your connected devices which means you can also connect your wired devices. You can also use the Nighthawk EX8000 as an access point when you want to connect it to an existing network using a network cable through one of its network ports. You can use the USB port to connect your external hard drive, but since it’s a 2.0 USB port it won’t be fast enough for network storage hosting.

Who is it best suited for?

The Nighthawk EX8000 is a great wifi extender that you can use to give you wifi connectivity to the areas in your home that your router can’t reach. While other range extenders usually create a separate network that you have to manually connect to as you move from one room to the next, the Nighthawk EX8000 will connect you automatically using the backhaul channel.

Are there alternatives to the Nighthawk EX8000?

Yes, there are alternatives to the Nighthawk EX8000 that are smaller and inexpensive and will provide a stronger wifi signal where you need it. These include the Tp-link RE650, Netgear EX6200, and Linksys RE7000 that will provide great signal boosting performance and are a bit easier to hide than the Nighthawk EX8000.

Features of alternative wifi extenders

Model
Tp-link RE650
Netgear EX6200
Linksys RE7000
Bandwidth
Dual-band
Dual-band
Dual-band
Wifi speeds
AC2600
AC1200
AC1900
Universal compatibility
Yes
Yes
Yes
Antennas
4 external non-removable
2 external removable
4 external non-removable
Ports
1 gigabit Ethernet
5 gigabit Ethernet, 1 USB 3.0 port
1 gigabit Ethernet
Wifi standard
802.11ac
802.11ac
802.11ac
Availability

Final verdict. Should you get the Nighthawk EX8000?

Yes, it might be big and expensive, but it’s worth every penny because it’s powerful enough to speed up wifi in every corner of your home and will provide the same kind of seamless wifi coverage that you would get from a mesh wifi system without having to replace your current router. It also uses a dedicated 5 GHz band to communicate with your router and this free up the remaining two bands for data transfer for the connected devices, and it supports beamforming and MU-MIMO data streaming to help improve the performance of your network. With the Nighthawk EX8000, you don’t have to worry about working with separate SSIDs, and you’ll get better performance with great data speeds and range.

FAQ

Should I turn off wifi extender when not in use?

Turning off your wifi, especially at night or when you’re not using it helps to increase your personal security because when it’s off it can’t be hacked and you also get to save up on your power bill.

Where should a wifi extender be placed?

The best place to position your wifi extender is half-way between your router and your computer, but you should make sure it’s within the wireless range of your wireless router.

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Mathew Blake
Hi my name is Mathew Blake. My love for technology stemmed from a curiosity and fascination is small gadgets ever since I could remember. The Globe is a hotbed for rapidly advancing technology that has brought us a multiple gadgets, appliances and devices and I am here for it. Techprojournal.com is a blog that is very enjoy writing and researching for. My passion for tech led me to specialize in several technology-related fields, the main being IT. As an IT specialist, my main job is to cater to technical needs in many businesses. I enjoy working all tech related- fields especially ones that allow me to interact with the consumer.

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