Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band WiFi Router

The Next Wave in WiFi

802.11ac Tri-Band Quad Stream Gigabit

Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band WiFi Router

Model: R8500

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The Next Wave in WiFi

802.11ac Tri-Band Quad Stream Gigabit

The Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router is the next wave in WiFi. Tri-Band WiFi and Quad Stream performance boosts X8's combined wireless speeds to up to 5.3Gbps. Four external Active Antennas plus four internal antennas amplify WiFi range. Six gigabit Ethernet ports means even more wired devices can connect and with port aggregation 2 ports can combine to double maximum wired speeds. Nighthawk X8 is the next wave in WiFi.

Blazing speed, broadened range and best-in-class technology features make the Nighthawk X8 the ultimate in WiFi. Learn more in this product tour.

"The R8500 is as close to a complete package as you can get. Its speed, looks, and general capabilities will enhance any home or office network."



Get the fastest combined WiFi currently available and enjoy a blazing-fast, lag-free WiFi experience for gaming, video streaming or surfing - up to 5.3Gbps.

5.3Gbps—The fastest combined WiFi speed for uninterrupted streaming

Tri-Band WiFi—Up to 1000 + 2166 + 2166Mbps†

Quad Stream—Up to four data streams per WiFi band maximizes connection speed

Smart Connect—Designates slower and faster devices to separate WiFi bands for best wireless speed

MU-MIMO capable—Go faster by simultaneously streaming to multiple devices

Gigabit WiFi—Next-generation WiFi now at Gigabit speeds

Gigabit wired—Six Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports with the ability to aggregate two ports for faster file transfers

Dynamic QoS—Intelligently prioritizes video streaming and gaming

WiFi Range

Got range? Homes come in all shapes and sizes and Nighthawk X8 Smart WiFi Router's 4 external and 4 internal antennas provide WiFi coverage no matter where you connect in your home.

Four Active Antennas —Enhance weak signal and reduce interference with a patent pending design

Ultimate range—WiFi coverage throughout very large homes


There’s nothing more frustrating than lost connections! With NETGEAR’s advanced features and best-in-class technology, you’ll reduce interference and enjoy more reliable WiFi connectivity.

Simultaneous Tri-Band—More and faster WiFi connections to all devices

Beamforming+ — Focuses WiFi signals for stronger more reliable connections on 2.4 and 5GHz bands


Sharing across your network is fun and easy. Anything from accessing stored photos and music to sharing a USB printer and keep everything safe by using the included FREE ReadySHARE Vault software for backing up Windows-based PCs.

ReadyCLOUD® USB access—Enjoy personal and secure cloud access to USB storage anytime, anywhere

ReadySHARE® USB access—Wirelessly access and share USB hard drive and printer via two (2) USB ports: 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port

One super speed USB 3.0 port—Up to 10x faster than USB 2.0

DLNA®—Find and play your media on DLNA TVs, game consoles and media players

ReadySHARE Vault—Free software for automatic PC backup to a USB hard drive connected to the router

ReadySHARE Printer—Wirelessly access and share a USB printer

Ease of Use

Start enjoying your new device faster than ever. NETGEAR wants to make sure installation and management is simple and easy, so you can connect quickly and make sure you stay that way!

Easy install—Easy setup for iPad®, tablets, smartphones and computers

Nighthawk App - Easily set up your router and get more out of your WiFi

Push ‘N’ Connect—Easy push button WiFi connections (WPS)

WiFi and power on/off—Convenient power savings

VPN support—Secure access to your home network when away from home

LED on/off—Easily turn router LED lights on or off


Maintain high security across your network to help ensure your privacy & family is safe while online. Whether it’s preventing phishing or just limiting access for kids & guests, NETGEAR has you covered.

Enhanced parental controls—Manage web site access by family member and device

Guest network access—Separate and secure access for guests

Secure WiFi connections—High level wireless security with WPA/WPA2

Open source support—Download open source firmware from

Personal FTP server—Customized free URL to create FTP server

VPN support—Secure access to your home network when away from home

  • Get fastest speeds available up to 5.3Gbps
  • Tri-band WiFi delivers more WiFi to more devices
  • Quad Stream delivers up to four data streams per WiFi band
  • 4 active antennas and 4 internal antennas amplify and maximize range
  • 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports—aggregate two ports for faster file transfers
  • Smart Connect intelligently selects the fastest WiFi band for every device
  • MU-MIMO capable for simultaneous streaming of data to multiple devices
  • Dynamic QoS prioritizes bandwidth by application and device
  • ReadyCLOUD® USB Access — Secure personal access to USB storage from anywhere

Fastest Tri-Band WiFi Router

The Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router with breakthrough Tri-Band WiFi technology delivers a massive combined wireless speed of up to 5.3Gbps. X8 uses Smart Connect to optimize WiFi performance by intelligently assigning every device to the fastest WiFi band possible and doing so allows devices to connect at their maximum speed. Load Balancing distributes WiFi devices ensuring usage of both the 5GHz WiFi bands. Even if everyone and everything in the home that’s connected to the Internet is streaming, gaming, working, playing, socializing or updating at the same time, the X8 won’t miss a beat—you’ll enjoy seamless clarity and zero lag.

Dynamic Quality of Service

If you like gaming and streaming videos, then you'll benefit from Dynamic Quality of Service (QoS). Dynamic QoS resolves Internet traffic congestion when you have competing Internet demands at home. Dynamic QoS identifies your online activities by application and device, and then utilizes bandwidth allocation, and traffic prioritization techniques, to automatically allocate more bandwidth to latency sensitive applications like online gaming and video streaming, while ensuring that lower priority applications continue to work.

Industry's First Active Antennas

Each new generation of routers grows more powerful than the last, delivering stronger WiFi signals with greater range. At the same time, the WiFi signals on mobile devices are not getting more powerful. This difference in WiFi performance reduces overall WiFi range and speed.

To meet this challenge, NETGEAR developed the industry’s first Active Antennas technology. NETGEAR moved the WiFi amplifiers from their usual location, on the router’s motherboard, to the top of the antennas. These Active Antennas help improve WiFi performance by amplifying signal in the antenna itself. This allows the router to receive cleaner and stronger signals from your mobile devices, avoiding signal degradation between the antennas and motherboard.

Connect More

Six Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports allows you to connect even more wired devices. Two of six Gigabit Ethernet ports can be aggregated to double the connection speed to a Network Attached Storage device for 4K HD streaming or fast backups of multiple WiFi devices simultaneously.

Powerful Dual Core 1.4GHz Router Processor

Basic WiFi routers use simple single core processors to connect WiFi devices to the Internet.

Nighthawk X8 delivers Tri-band WiFi, quad-stream performance on each band, Multi-User MIMO capable, has 6 Gigabit LAN ports with Port Aggregation, and dual USB interfaces to connect external USB storage. Using a single core processor would cause severe performance issues as various processes compete for CPU power.

That's why the X8 utilizes a powerful 1.4GHz dual-core processor to separate processes and prioritize high performance WiFi connections to get maximum combined WiFi speeds of up to 5.3Gbps.

Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO)

Using Multi-User MIMO technology, NETGEAR routers can stream data to multiple devices simultaneously. With MU-MIMO, your WiFi network can deliver faster throughput to every MU-MIMO connected device. That means faster downloads and smoother streaming for your devices.

Simple and Secure Cloud Storage via USB

Access and share your files stored on a USB Drive through NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD® USB Access. Simply plug your USB hard drive into your NETGEAR® Nighthawk X8 Smart WiFi Router to create secure personal cloud storage. Enjoy the convenience and accessibility of Google Drive and Dropbox® without the fees, storage limitations, or privacy concerns. Using the ReadyCLOUD mobile app or web portal, you’ll now have anytime, anywhere access to your USB drive at home… it’s that easy!

Technical Specifications

  • WiFi Technology

    • 802.11ac

  • Speed and Range

  • WiFi Performance

    • AC5300 (1000 + 2166 + 2166 Mbps)†

  • WiFi Range

    • Very large homes

  • WiFi Band

    • Simultaneous Tri-Band WiFi - Tx/Rx 4x4 (2.4GHz) + 4x4 (5GHz) + 4x4 (5GHz)

  • Beamforming

    • Implicit & Explicit Beamforming for 2.4 & 5GHz bands

  • Number of Ethernet Ports

    • Seven (7) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports: 1 WAN & 6 LAN

    • Dual Gigabit Ethernet Port Aggregation

  • Number of USB Ports

    • Two (2) USB ports: 1 USB 3.0 & 1 USB 2.0 port

  • Key Features

    • Smart Connect intelligently selects the fastest WiFi band for every device

    • Load Balancing distributes WiFi devices ensuring usage of both 5GHz WiFi bands

    • MU-MIMO capable—simultaneous streaming of data for multiple devices

    • Eight (8) high performance antennas with high-powered amplifiers

    • Four (4) external Active Antennas enhance weak signals and reduce interference for best WiFi performance (patent pending)

    • Dynamic QoS prioritizes network traffic by application & device

    • ReadyCLOUD® USB Access—Personal & secure cloud access to USB storage anytime, anywhere

    • ReadySHARE® Vault—PC software for automatic backup to USB hard drive connected to the router

    • DLNA® server to find & play your media on TVs & game consoles

    • VPN support—secure remote access to your home network & Internet

    • Enhanced Parental Controls to manage web filtering & accessibility by profiles or devices

    • Nighthawk App - Easily set up your router and get more out of your WiFi

  • Security

    • Customized free URL to set up personal FTP server

    • VPN support—secure remote access

    • Guest network access—separate & secure

    • WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK)

    • Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT)

    • Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention

  • Processor

    • Powerful dual core 1.4GHz processor

  • Memory

    • 128 MB Flash and 512 MB RAM

  • Physical Specifications

    • Dimensions: 12.44 x 10.39 x 2.40 in (316 x 264 x 61 mm)

    • Weight: 3.70 lb (1680 g)

  • Product Diagram

  • Package Content

    • Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Router (R8500)

    • Ethernet cable

    • Quick install guide

    • Power adapter

  • Standards

    • Two (2) USB ports: 1 USB 3.0 & 1 USB 2.0 port

    • IEEE® 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz 1024QAM support

    • IEEE® 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz1024QAM support

    • Seven (7) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports: 1 WAN & 6 LAN

  • System Requirements

    • Microsoft® Windows 7, 8, Vista®, XP®, 2000, Mac OS®, UNIX®, or Linux®

    • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 5.0, Firefox® 2.0, Safari® 1.4, Google Chrome 11.0 browsers or higher

†Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE 802.11 specifications. Actual data throughput and wireless coverage will vary and may be lowered by network and environmental conditions, including network traffic volume and building construction.

NETGEAR makes no representations or warranties about this product’s compatibility with future standards. Performance Mode requires 1024QAM support on WiFi client for 2.4/5GHz. Up to 2166/1000 Mbps wireless speeds possible when connecting to other 2166 @5GHz 802.11ac/1000 @2.4GHz Mbps devices.

Ideal Uses

Extreme Gaming

With combined WiFi speeds up to 5.3 Gbps and advanced features like MU-MIMO, Smart Connect and Dynamic QoS, which helps prioritize your gaming activity on the network, you'll have the advantage when taking on your gaming foes. Gigabit Ethernet ports let you connect your device via a wired connection to ensure you stay connected at top speeds. Game on with Nighthawk X8.

Go ahead, let everybody stream.

Nighthawk X8 provides seamless, simultaneous HD streaming to multiple devices. Tri-Band WiFi, and MU-MIMO help reduce buffering and jittery video. And now with port aggregation, you can double the connection speed for 4K HD streaming. A built-in DLNA-ready server and ReadyCLOUD add to your media enjoyment, allowing you to play and share your videos and music quickly and access your data easily.

Ultimate Range and Mobility

With all your mobile devices, you have the freedom to move about your home and yard, and now with Nighthawk X8, you can maintain your connection even in the largest of homes. Powerful, patent-pending Active Antennas, help improve WiFi performance by amplifying WiFi signals in the antenna itself, which helps avoid signal loss during transmission as well as reduce noise, so you can enjoy better range and coverage.

Nighthawk App

The NETGEAR Nighthawk® App makes it easy to set up your router and get more out of your WiFi. With the app, you can install your router in few steps - just connect your mobile device to the router network and the app will walk you through the rest. Once set up, you can use the intuitive dashboard to pause Internet on your connected devices, run a quick Internet speed test and much more.


Product Reviews

"The router has everything from built-in amplified antennas and the latest MU-MIMO technology for more efficient traffic management to six high-speed wired LAN ports for delivering data to a slew of devices at near record speeds."

Full Review

Tom's Guide - "Killer Performance"

”The R8500 is as close to a complete package as you can get. Its speed, looks, and general capabilities will enhance any home or office network.”

Full Review

Legit Reviews Editor's Choice

“It’s one of the fastest routers we’ve ever tested…it's extremely well-built with abundant ports and a complete feature set as well.”

Full Review Recommended Product

“The Nighthawk X8 checks off basically every box imaginable for a wireless router.”

Full Review

Digital Trends Recommended Product

See why Tech-Gaming called Nighthawk X8 “the Ferrari of wireless routers” and how it “handled everything we could throw at it with fastidious precision, refusing to falter under the type of stress-tests that stifle most home networks.”

Full Review

Tech Gaming Nighthawk X8 Router Review

"Most notable was an almost total elimination in lag when playing various Xbox One games online and a near total elimination of buffering or signal quality loss when using apps such as Netflix and Hulu."

Full Review

- - 4 out of 5 stars for R8500 giving it rave reviews for its looks and insane range performance

“the X8 is a perfect representation of what consumers and prosumers should want out of a router, outperforming everything in its path with a design aesthetic that just can’t be beat.”

Full Review

- Gadget Review by Chris Stobing - calls Nighthawk X8 R8500 router a masterpiece

“The Nighthawk X8 blanketed the test area with all-encompassing MU-MIMO Wi-Fi coverage and produced an impressive signal, the strongest measured during the showdown.”

Full Review

PC Gamer Best High-End Router over $300

See why CNET is calling Nighthawk X8 “future proof” in this First Look review.

Full Review

CNET First Look

“...offers among the best performance (throughput, capacity, and rate vs. range) that I’ve ever seen on any Wi-Fi infrastructure device.”

Full Review

Network World Holiday Guide

“NETGEAR deserves major kudos for pushing the envelope and improving home networking technology overall.”

Full Review

betanews Review

“We are pleased with the user-friendliness of the whole process. Netgear has managed to bring the concept of link aggregation to mainstream consumers.”

Full Review

AnandTech Review

NETGEAR Warranty

This product is backed by a NETGEAR limited 1-year Hardware Warranty.

24/7 basic technical support provided for 90 days from purchase date, when purchased from a NETGEAR authorized reseller.