Skip to main content

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender review

The Netgear Nighthawk is a future-proof and super speed WiFi extender for maximum speed and range.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender review
(Image: © BestBuy)

Our Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is a high-end WiFi range extender. It's not the cheapest but it offers all the latest tech for a future-proof high-speed performance house-wide.

For

  • Tri-band operating
  • Uses one SSID for seamless use
  • Dedicated backhaul
  • High-speed and long range

Against

  • Expensive

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is one of the best WiFi extenders you can buy. There, we said it. Yup, this is one of the best options for getting better range and high-speed internet which, of course, means it's also a pricey option.

The Nighthawk isn't small either, as a stand alone unit. But that means features like six internal antennas, tri-band data across 5GHz and 2.4GHz plus over 2,500 square feet of coverage. If you've got a big house and need to cover a lot of ground, this is one of the best WiFi boosters there is.

Before you buy a WiFi booster you should consider whether that's really what you need. It could be that your internet problems stem from your wireless router, or maybe just that you're not with the best internet provider.

Presuming you need one, is this the best WiFi extender for you? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 review: Design and build

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is large, there's no denying that when you look at this black monolith of a booster. It stands at 8.9 x 6.7 x 3.7 inches but that does mean it crams in six internal antennas and offers four RJ45 Ethernet ports on the back. The fact it looks pretty decent, in a minimalist way, helps.

Across the front you have a selection of LED lights, eight in total, which shows the status of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, data flow to clients, Ethernet and USB activity, plus link status and throughput. All that means you can deduce most of what you need to know just by glancing at the unit.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000

(Image credit: Netgear)

On the rear is a WPS button for quick connections of most modern devices that offer this as a way to get directly connected without inputting lots of information manually. 

This unit comes with a decent length of power cord meaning it can be kept on a shelf or hidden down the back of a sofa without the need for any extension, in most cases.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 specs

WiFi rating: AC3000
WiFi spec: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac tri-band
Antennas: Six internal
Ports: Four RJ-45 LAN ports
Range: 168 ft

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000: Features

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is a tri-band extender meaning you get Netgear's FastLane3 tech onboard. This means that one of the channels is dedicated to moving data between the unit and the main router. Since this is a 5GHz channel it has a huge bandwidth supporting up to 1,733 Mbps.

The 5GHz channel also has capacity for another 866 Mbps line of communication as well as up to 400 Mbps on the 2.4GHz channel which has greater range. All that adds up to an impressive AC3000 rating for connectivity.

The Nighthawk X6S uses a quad-core processor backed by those six amplified antennas. That adds up to coverage for an area as large as 2,500 square feet, says Netgear. This unit also uses beam-forming tech and MU-MIMO so as to offer the best speed to specific devices.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000

(Image credit: Netgear)

There is also the option to use multiple X6S devices to create a mesh-style network that covers even wider areas. This is ideal for larger homes or those built with older stone or metal that makes longer distance signal transmission a problem.

You can also use the Nighthawk as an access point if you have wired Ethernet cabling to plug in. Unlike some physical switch toting units, Netgear has made this software activated so it's super simple.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000: Performance

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is so, so easy to setup. We had it plugged in and running within 11 minutes. The installation wizard makes the process super simple and quick. 

Once up and running this was one of the best extenders we've tested, bar none. At peak this was churning out WiFi speeds at a staggering 526 Mbps in a straight-run 50 foot test scenario where the extender is 100 feet from the router. 

When the distance was pushed up to 75 feet the speed only dropped marginally, to 473 Mbps. To give context, that's up to 20 times faster than the wall plug-in Coredy E300.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000

(Image credit: Netgear)

In a more real-world test, across 30 feet, through a wall, and up a floor, speeds reached an impressive 339 Mbps. The next closest to this in our testing was a whole 50 percent slower.

Range was up to about 168 feet extension where there was still a speed of 150 Mbps making it perfectly fine for 4K video and more.

Should I buy the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000?

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is one of the fastest and longest range toting boosters out there right now. It's one of the most expensive but if you want the best, no compromises, then this is the extender for you. It'll handle a large number of connections, rich media data and all while being super simple to setup.

There are cheaper options but, simply put, they won't be as fast or as easy to setup. This is the current king of WiFi extenders in our best WiFi boosters list.