Starting out with the Netgear Nighthawk R8500

Netgear have lent me a  Nighthawk R8500, a tri-band quad stream WiFi router. At this point I don’t know what that means but it looks like something the Shadows from Babylon 5 might have made, so it’s all good.

The Nighthawk has an RRP of a whopping £399.99, so I can forgive Netgear not simply dropping one on me for nothing. However I’m really interested in seeing what a top end domestic router can do for our home.

We have an awful lot of connected devices, but I don’t think we’re exceptionally abnormal in today’s connected home environment:

  • 3 wireless security cameras;
  • 1 FireTV stick;
  • 1 Panasonic alarm system;
  • 2 smartphones
  • 5 tablets;
  • 3 laptops;
  • 3 SONOS streamers on their own private WiFi network;
  • 2 Smart TVs;
  • 4 consoles;
  • 1 Blu Ray player
  • 3 FireTVs;
  • 4 PCs; and
  • a Nest alarm and a Nest smart thermostat.

Basically, every telly has a FireTV on it, and most have a console or two by them- we don’t box stuff up and put it in the loft if there are still games we find fun and want to play. The sitting room has my gaming PC in it too. My wife and I have a laptop each, there’s an All in One Lenovo PC in the dining room for the kids to do homework/play Minecraft on, and a cheap laptop for whichever child isn’t on the PC to use (the only time a child wants to use the computer is when another child is using the computer. Obviously).

Our sitting room is wired to the router. Our study and bedroom our wired to the gigabit switch in the sitting room. Further, our bedroom has an ASUS WiFi router in access point mode, and the playroom has a wired connection via homeplug.

When everybody is using stuff at once, we do suffer both in terms of internet speed and also internal network speed. I’m not a networking expert by any stretch of the imagination, so it will be interesting to see how easy to set up the Nighthawk R8500 is and how much of a noticable difference it makes once I turn our VM Superhub into modem only mode!

I’ll let you know how I get on.