to upgrade to WiFi 6, you would normally need to buy a whole new laptop or replace the Wi-Fi card in your desktop. Netgear has come up with a clever way around this. The netgear nighthawk a8000 adapter it simply plugs into any USB slot and provides instant Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to your computer.
What it does is retroactively bring Wi-Fi 6 to older computers, allowing them to enjoy the same bandwidth and high speeds as newer top-of-the-line machines with Wi-Fi 6-enabled receivers. It supports all three Wi-Fi bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz) and can deliver incredible speeds of up to 1.2 GBps, which is comparable to an Ethernet connection. However, there is a catch.
To get started, you’ll need a Wi-Fi router that supports Wi-Fi 6. These are currently quite expensive, as Wi-Fi 6 is a relatively new technology and most mid-range routers only offer up to Wi-Fi 5. If you live in a big house, you’ll need a full Wi-Fi 6 mesh network to make sure you get a clear signal in every room, otherwise there’s no point in having the adapter. Mesh networks are expensive and so far there are only a few that support Wi-Fi 6.
There is another caveat to using the Netgear Nighthawk A8000. You will have to be running Windows 11. Does not work with Windows 10 or MacOS. Forget it if you use a Chromebook.
However, if you can meet these qualifying requirements, you are ready to enjoy high performance. Wi-Fi 6 has a theoretical maximum speed of 9.6Gbps, which is a huge increase over Wi-Fi 5’s 3.6Gbps. Most ISPs only provide up to 1.5Gbps, and the average US home only has speeds 100Mbps, so these extreme Wi-Fi 6 speeds are completely irrelevant in the real world. That said, these technologies keep connectivity future-proof while we wait for ISPs to pick up their game.
But Wi-Fi 6 isn’t just about high speeds. It also opens up more bandwidth, meaning multiple devices can use the Wi-Fi signal in your home without slowing down. It uses the latest 6 GHz lane so your connection is much more stable. There are fewer drops and virtually zero lag. It’s like having an Ethernet connection without the cables.
All of this makes Netgear’s approach commendable, as it brings much better Wi-Fi to the masses. Of course, you’ll need to get a Windows 11 PC first and update your router.