Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band review

Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) - AX11000 tri-band review

Does it support gaming console? It is designed with a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, 1024-QAM, Smart Connect for one Wi-Fi name, Beamforming technologies and Amazon Alexa Voice Control. Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1G and 1 x 2.5G Ethernet ports. Find here everything you want to know in Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band review.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tri-band Wi-Fi 6
  • Controllable with mobile app
  • Brilliant coverage
  • 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port
  • Exceptionally fast
  • Reliable and fast performance
  • Eye-catching design
  • Helpful mobile app, robust web UI
  • Multi-Gig support (2.5Gbps)

Cons

  • Weak 5 GHz signal on both bands
  • Slow overall speeds
  • No 5Gbps or 10Gbps LAN port, not wall-mountable
  • Comparatively low CPU clock speed

Specs – Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band

  • Dimensions : 11.7 x 3.07 x 8.3 in
  • Weight : 3.2lbs
  • WiFi Technology : WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Tri-Band WiFi. 2.4GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM 20/40MHz
  • WiFi Performance : AX11000 WiFi
  • Antennas : Eight (8) concealed antennas pre-optimized for best WiFi performance
  • WiFi Band : Tri-Band WiFi
  • Processor : Powerful 64-bit Quad-core 1.8GHz processor
  • Beamforming : Beamforming+ — Boosts speed, reliability and range of WiFi connections for 2.4 and 5GHz
  • USB Ports : Two (2) USB 3.0 ports
  • Ethernet Ports : Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • WiFi Capacity : 8-stream MU-MIMO‡ enables up to four (4) 2×2 devices to stream content at the same time using 2 5GHz bands
  • Security : Securely access home network & internet connection from mobile devices with VPN support on PC, Mac, and iOS and Android devices with OpenVPN Connect app. Separate and secure network for guests. Automatic firmware updates and latest security patches delivered to the router. Supports WPA3, the latest and cutting-edge WiFi security protocol.
  • Sharing : Readyshare® USB access — wirelessly access & share USB hard drive via two (2) USB ports

Price

the RAX200 is very pricey. At S$899, its S$200 pricier than readyviewed the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 and S$290 more than the TP-Link Archer AX11000. 

Compare RAX200 vs. RAX120

ModelRAX120RAX200
Full NameNetgear Nighthawk AX12
12-stream AX6000 WiFi 6 Router 
Netgear Nighthawk AX12
12-stream AX11000 WiFi 6 Router
Dimensions12.2 x 7.48 x 1.77 in 
(310 x 190 x 45 mm)
11.63 x 8.92 x 2.14 in 
(295 x 227 x 54 mm)
Weight3 lbs (1.4 kg)2.43 lbs (1.1 kg)
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX6000Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX11000
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs5GHz AX: Up to 4.8Gbps
(8×8 at 20/40/80/80+80MHz)
2x 5GHz AX: Up to 4.8Gbps
(4×4 at 20/40/80/160MHz)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs2.4GHz AX: Up to 1.2Gbps
(4×4 at 20/40MHz)
Same
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-FiSame
Mobile AppNetgear Nighthawk App 
(formerly Up app) 
Same
Bridge ModeYesSame
AP ModeYesSame
USB Port2x USB 3.0Same
Gigabit Network Port4x LAN, 1x WANSame
Link AggregationYes (LAN ports 1 and 2)Yes (LAN ports 3 and 4)
Multi-Gig Port1x 5Gbps LAN/WAN1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
CPU64-bit quad-Core 2.2GHz CPU,
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
64-bit quad-core 1.8GHz CPU,
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM

Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band review

Design

It is rectangular shaped with a dimension of 11.7 x 3.07 x 8.3 inches and weighs 3.2 pounds. By integrating all of the antennas into the side wings, which simply fold up and click into place, the router looks neater than much of the competition. 

Ports

There are two USB-A USB 3.0 ports which can be used for print and file-sharing, a single Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, and four Gigabit LAN ports. There’s also a single Multi-Gig Ethernet WAN port that supports speeds of up to 2.5Gbps. To enable users to maximise the fast wireless speeds, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 supports port aggregation. You can use the WAN port and one of the LAN port to create a 2Gbps WAN connection. 

2 bands

By default, the 2.4GHz network runs at 1200Mbps (or 300Mbps per stream, as this is a four-stream network). The first 5GHz network is set to run at 4800Mbps (1200Mbps per second per stream, as there are four streams), and the second network is set to run at 2400Mbps (600Mbps per stream, as this is also a four-stream network).

Coverage

 Wi-Fi 6 clients connected to the RAX200 quickly and almost always at the top 2.4Gbps speed at a close range — some 10 feet (3 m) away. At this distance, the router delivered an average sustained speed of more than 1400 megabits per second, the fastest I’ve seen. When I moved the client to 40 feet (12 m) away, it now connected at 2.1Gbps and had a sustained speed of almost 1100 Mbps, also the fastest.

WiFi 6 clients

The most notable spec in the RAX200’s long list of accolades is Wi-Fi 6 support. The latest Wi-Fi 6 technology (also known as 802.11ax) can provide wireless speeds up to 4x faster than 802.11ac. It also has three bands (two 5 GHz and one 2.4 GHz) with four streams each, for a total of 12 separate wireless streams. Theoretically, this is great if you have lots of devices connecting to the router at one time.

160 MHz

The RAX200 is more of an actual Wi-Fi 6 router supporting the true 160MHz channel width. The RAX120 is somewhat a compatible Wi-Fi 6 router — its 160MHz channel combines two 80MHz channels (80+80). As a result, each Wi-Fi 6 stream of the RAX200 has double the bandwidth of the RAX120’s. Or, apples to apples, on the 5GHz band, the RAX120 is a quad-stream (4×4) router and not an 8×8 one, as Netgear claims.

Apps in Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band

For most users, the Basic menu would suffice. It lets you set up your wireless networks, QoS, and even ReadySHARE, Netgear’s file and printer sharing feature. The Advanced menu is for those who want to tinker around with settings like Wi-Fi transmit power, disable/enable Wi-Fi 6, port aggregation, remote file sharing, and VPN connections.

Furthermore, you can only set a single start and end time. This means you can only specify a single block of time every day where Internet access is restricted. You can’t specify two periods of time like 8am to 10am in the morning and 8pm to 12pm at night. It has to be one block a day.

You can also remotely manage the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 using the Nighthawk app. But the app itself is pretty basic, you can manage your wireless settings, share Wi-Fi passwords, do a speed test, and see what devices are connected, and that’s about it.

Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) - AX11000 tri-band review

You have the option to block specific devices, but that option doesn’t allow for scheduling. So if you want to block your kid’s iPad, you’ll have to go into the settings to do it and then return when you want to restore connectivity.

The Nighthawk app is very basic.

Performance

RAX200’s network-attached storage feature by connecting a Samsung T5 to one of its USB 3.0 ports.

Via the router’s 2.5Gbps port, I was able to get the sustained copy speeds of about 150 megabytes per second for reading and more than 120 MB/s for writing. These were quite impressive, but the write speed was slower than the Asus GT-AX11000’s, which has the same port.

Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band customer review

This Router is Magical!

Do you have kids or family members that yell at you, or each other, when the internet stops working? Do you hate restarting your router because the signal drops or your “password is incorrect”, even though you’re certain you know how to spell your favorite child’s name? Do you hate it when even your smart assistants won’t do what you ask because the internet isn’t working?

If your answer was yes to any of these questions, stop what you’re doing and buy this router!

If you’re reading these reviews, you must be here because you’re trying to find a way to justify spending THAT much on a router. “Surely it can’t be worth THAT much money,” you think to yourself as your daughter upstairs yells that you’re stupid because she can’t post a selfie without needing to use her cellular data.

Ladies and gentleman, this router will stop those complaints from your loved ones and then some. You will feel like a hero for finally buying a reliable router that might as well not exist anymore because you can set it up in 10 minutes or less then forget about it (after you easily update the firmware of course! Because you’re smart and ALWAYS check if the firmware needs updating when you get a new item out of the box, right?).

I suggest using the Nighthawk App to set it up. Your wife and children will be in awe that you named the router, chose a password, and updated the firmware all from the comfort of your recliner. Easy breezy! And then when they shame you for something unrelated to the internet, because the internet doesn’t stop working with this thing, you just pull up your fancy Nighthawk app and turn off the wifi signal just to their device. Because you’re a good parent. And let’s be honest, because you can.

Did I mention that I am getting wifi speeds faster than what I am paying my cable company for? My children think I am somewhat of an internet god now because I pay for 200 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload but every time they check the speed, they’re consistently getting 235+Mbps download/12+Mbps upload.

My son downloads his video game updates in mere minutes (because god forbid he goes outside instead while he can’t play his games) and never gets disconnected from his online game chat anymore. My wife is also able to spend “our” money at record speeds online because there’s nothing slowing her down now!

Sure, I may just get another mug this Christmas that says #1 Dad. Only this year, I think they’ll actually mean it!

In all seriousness, I truly love this router. I received this product as part of Netgear’s First Look Review Program so I can appreciate why someone may not want to drop so much money on a router. BUT I actually bought my sister one for her Christmas present because I believe it’s worth every penny. We also spend several days at her house over the holidays and she doesn’t own a TV, but I digress.

I earnestly recommend this router to anyone with a large home that has any dead spots, especially if you’re looking to “future proof” and/or stop (some of) the daily complaining. I even enjoy sitting on my back porch, where I know my kids won’t be on account of it being outside, with no drop off in signal and easily over 150 ft from the router. You can’t go wrong with this router!

By cmac3038 at Best Buy

Alternate of Netgear Nighthawk 12-stream AX12 WiFi 6 router (RAX200) – AX11000 tri-band

Asus RT-AX86U

SPECIFICATIONS

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Dual-bandNumber of Antennas/Removable: 3/YesPorts: 1 WAN/1 Multi-Gig WAN/ 4 LAN gigabit per second, 2 USB 3.0Peak Throughput: 929.7MbpsSize: 9.0 x 6.7 x 3.1 inches

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent throughput+Security software with lifetime updates+Multi-Gig input and port aggregation+2-year warranty

REASONS TO AVOID

-Lacks gamers tools like geofencing and ping heat map

The Asus RT-AX86U is a Wi-Fi 6 powerhouse that delivers great speeds and killer gaming features, as well as awesome customization options. With high-end performance and lifetime protection against intrusions and malware, it’s also a great option for securing your entire home network, providing long term protection without a subscription fee, and carrying a two-year warranty.

But the real draw of the Asus RT-AX86U is the performance, which approaches the the magical 1Gbps mark to provide speedy and effortless connectivity for all of your devices. With excellent range and great performance – even through walls and between floors – the RT-AX86U is equal parts general-use router and elite gaming router, and the collection of features and ports it offers are a steal compared to some of the top-performing gaming gear. It even gets a nod as the runner up for best Wi-Fi router in the 2021 Tom’s Guide Awards. If you want the best Wi-Fi 6 router for the whole household, the Asus RT-AX86U is it.

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