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Netgear's New Routers Have Badass Looks, Insane Speeds

Netgear’s Nighthawk AX8 (opens in new tab) and Nighthawk AX12 (opens in new tab) routers not only look like stealth fighters from Area 51 or a First Order shuttle, but are also built for crazy speeds of up to 6Gbps.

Both routers support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, 802.11ax. The AX8 supports eight streams while the AX12 offers 12 for maximum speed.

In theory, these devices will get you multiple 4K streams without trouble — if your internet connection supports it or if you have a local video server.

According to Netgear, the routers’ evil Galactic Empire styling — which apparently is a thing now — has a technical reason: they house eight high performance antennas in the right position to guarantee maximum coverage in “very large homes.”

The company claims that the Nighthawk AX12 has 8 x 8 MU-MIMO to deliver faster streaming performance to multiple devices in a Wi-Fi network. To distribute the traffic, Netgear claims that the router comes with a quad-core 2.2GHz processor that is optimized to work with Wi-Fi 6 and “boosts wireless, wired, and WAN-to-LAN performance.”

The AX8 offers less performance with 4x4 MU-MIMO and a 1.8GHz processor, and less streams.

It also has multiple Ethernet ports, including a 5Gbps Ethernet port to connect to your fiber internet connection and use as much bandwidth as it can suck from it.

The AX8 is available for $400 at Amazon (opens in new tab) now. No price for the AX12 yet, but it’s expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2019.

Credit: Netgear

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.