Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 AX12

Network

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Pros

  • Nighthawk app works fine
  • Reasonable plug-and-play system
  • Create additional security with Netgear Armor – which also seeks for vulnerabilities
  • Decent coverage

Cons

  • Let’s face it.. at 439 euros, the AX12 is not a cheap router
  • Netgear Armor has a limited license that needs to be purchased ‘quickly’
Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

Introduction

Netgear is a familiar name to many. In addition to the MK63, Netgear has also launched the Nighthawk AX12. A futuristic WiFi 6 Router. What options does this one have? Let’s take a closer look at the Nighthawk AX12!

Specifications

In this case, we start with Netgear’s video about the Nighthawk AX12.

And another small movie about the Netgear Armor capabilities.

WiFi-technology
WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Tri-Band WiFi (AX11000)
2,4 GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM 20/40 MHz, tot 1,2 Gbps
5 GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM 20/40/80/160 MHz, up to 4,8 Gbps
5 GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024 QAM 20/40/80/160 MHz, up to 4,8 Gbps
Compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi

WiFi range
WiFi coverage for very large homes
Eight (8) hidden antennas are pre-optimized for the best WiFi performance
Gigabit WiFi connection for devices supporting 160MHz bandwidth

beamforming
Beamforming+—increases the speed, reliability, and range of WiFi connections at 2.4 and 5 GHz

Number of Ethernet ports
Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports + one (1) 2.5 G/1 Gbps multi-Gig port (configurable)
LAN 4 x GbE (2x port aggregation LAN) + 2.5 G/1 Gbps multi-Gig port (configurable)
WAN: 1 GbE or 2.5 G/1 Gbps multi-Gig port (configurable)
Multi-gig Ability to aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports and two (configurable) Gigabit WAN ports simultaneously

Number of USB ports
Two (2) USB 3.0 ports

Processor
The powerful 64-bit 1.8-GHz Quad-Core processor provides smooth 4K/8K UHD streaming and gaming — ideal for Gigabit Internet speeds

Speed
1.2 + 4.8 + 4.8 Gbps with 12-stream connectivity**
Ability to aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports and two Gigabit WAN ports (configurable) for maximum internet speeds
1024-QAM offers 25% more data efficiency and faster speeds than a 256-QAM router
USB 3.0 port up to 10x faster than USB 2.0
Multi-Gig 2.5G Ethernet port with 2.5x wired speed of a standard Gigabit Ethernet port for LAN or Internet connectivity

WiFi capacity
OFDMA gives you more WiFi for more devices by enabling efficient data transfers simultaneously. §
MU-MIMO ‡ with 8 streams allows up to four (4) 2×2 devices to simultaneously stream content using 2 5GHz bands

Parts
ReadySHARE® USB access — wirelessly access and share USB hard drives via two (2) USB ports

Ease of use
Smart Connect intelligently selects the fastest WiFi band for each device connection. One WiFi name for the whole house
Nighthawk app for easy router setup and more, including remote management of the network when you are away from home
WiFi 6 supports all current WiFi devices and is backward compatible with WiFi 5 and older devices
Control the NETGEAR network with simple voice commands with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Security
NETGEAR ArmorTM – Advanced cyber threat protection for your home and your connected devices
Manage content and time online, on any device, with Circle ® Parental Controls
Secure home network access and internet connection from VPN-enabled mobile devices on PC, Mac, and iOS and Android devices with the OpenVPN Connect app
Separate and secure network for guests
Automatic firmware updates and the latest security patches are delivered to the router
WPA3 support, the latest and advanced WiFi security protocol

Warranty
This product is covered by a NETGEAR 1-year limited hardware warranty.

Unpacking

It is time to unpack the Netgear Nighthawk AX12.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Still funny to see, at the bottom right it says: “Quad-core 1.8 GHz Processor”. How times are changing that there is a (and yes it’s been a while, I know) quad-core processor in your router.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Well, once the spaceship has been unpacked, it’s time to check things out.
Included with the Nighthawk AX12 is an adapter, with two different plugs, and a UTP cable. Of course, the manual is also included.
One thing I do find a bit special is that only one network cable is included. It is nice that you can connect your router to your modem. Congratulations, you now have internet… But then? Conclusion: make sure you have some cables lying around!

By the way, it’s not a very small adapter either… 😀

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Netgear also targets the gamer with the Nighthawk series. The shape of the Nighthawk can come straight out of a Star Wars movie. I like it.

The fact that the router is also completely black also has something to do with it.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

The sides can be set up. Both have four cables running through the ‘antennas’. By putting the sides upright and sliding them down, they sit neatly in place.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

This mechanism also ensures that the antennas/sides do not just fall inwards. So now there is also no way to fold it back in without lifting it.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Isn’t that nice, we have the router’s rear panel and the options/connection options. The cool thing about the router is that it has a 2.5GbE network connection. In addition, the link aggregation allows 2x 1GbE to be linked together for faster data throughput.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

The LED lights are located just above the UTP ports. These can be turned off with a switch.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Let’s face it, the router costs just under €400. Let’s face it, the router costs just under €400. For that amount of money, it should have a more reasonable design than the standard Nighthawk R700.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

A nice addition to the AX12/RAX200 is that it has an option at the bottom to hang the router to a wall. Something the MK63 does not have.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

With a quad-core, you also expect a lot of noise from the fan. I can tell you, the fan can only be heard when booting up the router. After that, I didn’t hear noise from the fan again.

The status LEDs are located above the fan.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Software

In my previous reviews of Netgear, I mainly focused on Netgear Insight. In this case, let’s take a quick look at the Netgear Nighthawk app.
In this case, I used the iOS app, which worked quite well – not once a crash happened, while this happened regularly with the previous apps. In that respect, that is a positive point for Netgear.

Where I wrote in my previous Netgear reviews about the lack of 2-factor authentication, which is now possible with the Nighthawk app! In my opinion, Netgear has made decent strides in terms of security.

Time to get started with the Netgear Nighthawk app!

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

You can scan the QR code on the sticker on the router/box via the app.
It searches for the router and an attempt is made to establish a connection.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

In the prompt, you will be asked to connect to the router. Then the connection is made from the phone directly to the router.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Now that the app knows that it is the spaceship, it will further check and configure it.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

It is time to create a network. Since I am also already using a Netgear Nighthawk MK63 (Netgear1 and Netgear2), this will be Netgear3. In addition, an admin account can be set up with which you can log in to the router (also directly via the browser).

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

In this case, there is no real 2-factor authentication available yet. But, by filling in these questions a little creatively, the chance is also quite small that one can simply fill in the answers.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

The app checks whether new firmware is available.
When new firmware is available, it can be installed within minutes. In any case, it is quite fast.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

So, the update and installation are done!
Let’s start with the ‘Device Manager’. All connected ‘products’ can be viewed via this menu. The names can be changed to suit your needs (e.g. Ricardo’s iPhone) and internet access can be restricted with a switch.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

The cool thing about the newer products from Netgear is that Netgear Armor (collaboration with Bitdefender) continuously scans the network for vulnerabilities. Advice is given to strengthen the WiFi password (if it is not strong enough), enable parental controls, etc.
In addition, scores and logs are kept with the security level within your network.
This allows the Nighthawk Rax200 to perform port scans using the Netgear Armor. The results can of course also be read in the Nighthawk app on your phone.

The only downside to the Netgear Armor is that it doesn’t come ‘free’ with the router (except for a temporary license). You need to purchase a separate license for this. And that is quite expensive on a router of ~400 euros. It would have been nicer to be able to use it right away for a year.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

“Armor completed a vulnerability scan on Apple TV streaming device and no issues were found.”

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

A SpeedTest can be started via the ‘Internet Speed’ menu. Under the tab history, you can look at the ‘log’ of previous tests.

If you have Ziggo, you also know right away that your speed tests differ – it depends enormously on what your neighborhood does. The second test should be it (tested another day).

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

The WiFi settings can be adjusted via WiFi Settings and Guest WiFi.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Via the app, there is also a possibility to set a traffic meter, which causes the router to ‘shut down’ the connection after reaching the limit. Of course, you can also monitor your usage.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Some other things can be adjusted via the left menu (top left). Here too you can go through all the settings again (as above) – only a bit more clearly.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

You can also choose whether you want to have Anywhere Access on via the app. This ensures that you can manage from outside your network (if this is enabled).

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12 NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Now that we have gone through the app, it should be clear that Netgear with the Nighthawk also wants to help the ‘normal’ user with the necessary options. Should you still really want to further fine-tune your system, you still need to surf to the IP address of the router via the browser. Then there are a lot of additional options to adjust.

NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Conclusion

As a Ziggo user, I used to stick to a Ziggo modem. I had coverage until the end of the room and then YouTube and even web pages started buffering/loading. As a result, I spent more time on my 4g/5g with my phone than on my fixed internet. That is frustrating, especially if you are someone who occasionally wants to walk around while doing Facetime or the like. “hey mom….” *connecting* “awww !#%@&”

With the Netgear Nighthawk AX12, I can walk across the apartment and even (I live 5 stories up) log onto my network from the car on the street.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 has a hue range and enough connections to set up your network to your liking.
If you live in an apartment, the AX12 gives enough coverage (provided you place it in a somewhat logical place, of course).

The only thing I regret is the ask price for the router. If 50 to 90 euros goes off, it feels just a little more ‘justified’ in my opinion. Convenience also comes with a price, of course. And you can see that in the Netgear AX12. The router works properly and has an easy app (can even be managed via the browser for more options). Even, if you want, you can manage things remotely via the app.
I think it’s a shame that Netgear Armor is not given for a year. I would have liked to see a ~400+ router with a one-year license. To spend 40/50 euros again feels a bit ‘lame’. For that, you do have a system that has enough possibilities. Also as a file share through the USB 3.0 ports.
The Netgear AX12 is ideal for a busy household that all need one router. The router is strong enough to handle everything. The possibilities for parental control, also ensure that the network can be managed. And the Nighthawk Armor also provides security. I am very impressed with the ease and capabilities of both security and management.

The fact that the Netgear AX12 has options for a 2.5 GbE network connection and link aggregation, ensures that you can get the most out of a NAS. You don’t just have to buy an extra switch for this. A lot of Synology’s ‘nowadays’ NAS devices are getting support for 2.5GbE – which QNAP has been doing for a while. This means you are less likely to run into a 1GbE limitation. And that is a bizarre difference for file transfer. That also provides more space during streaming.

The Netgear AX12/RAX200 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Let’s fly away — to another review!
NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK RAX200 AX12

Let’s start a discussion

Want to discuss with us: click here for Reddit and here for Discord.

AX12NetgearNetgear ArmorNetgear Nighthawk RAX200NetworkNighthawkRAX200RAX200 AX12RouterWiFi-6
Previous Post
NAIM Mu-So Qb 2nd Generation
Next Post
Steelseries Apex 5

Recently added

MSI Commercial 14 Review: Fast Performance Meets Sustainability

The MSI Commercial 14 impresses with robust performance and sustainability. Crafted from recycled materials, its sleek design prioritizes eco-friendliness while ensuring durability. Though the keyboard feels cramped, it offers responsive keys for decent typing feedback. The 14-inch display provides ample screen real estate, though color reproduction could be more vibrant. Underneath, powerful processors and ample RAM enable seamless multitasking. Extended battery life and diverse connectivity options cater to professionals on the move. With a commitment to sustainability evident in its design, the Commercial 14 stands as a commendable choice for eco-conscious business users seeking reliable performance.

Tata will launch three new cars: an EV car is also included in the list.

Farewell will ship off three new vehicles; the EV vehicle is also associated with the once-over. This move is set to work up the Indian auto market, offering clients an alternate extent of decisions across different segments.

The 6 Best New Cars for the Upper Middle Class

the best blend of excess, advancement, execution, and worth. With family income normally going from $100,000 to $350,000 every year, this section needs a vehicle that meets their sensible prerequisites as well as gives an upscale experience.

Unveiling the Principal 5 New Vehicles Under 2000$ in 2024: Sensible Significance on Wheels

In the consistently created vehicle scene, the interest in sensible yet feature-rich vehicles continues to take off. As we move into 2024, the Best 5 New Vehicles Under 2000$ in 2024 are set to reconsider the possibility of huge value-for-cash transportation.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds Review: Expansive Sound and Environmental Awareness

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds redefine portable audio with their innovative design, offering both exceptional sound quality and situational awareness. Breaking from traditional earbud styles, they sit outside the ear canal, providing a secure fit with soft silicone wings while allowing wearers to remain aware of their surroundings. Despite their unique form, they deliver Bose's signature sound with a wide soundstage and balanced audio. Bluetooth 5.1 ensures stable wireless connectivity, while intuitive touch controls and multipoint pairing enhance usability. Although priced higher than conventional options, their blend of comfort, performance, and safety make them a compelling choice for on-the-go listening.

News

MSI Commercial 14 Review: Fast Performance Meets Sustainability

The MSI Commercial 14 impresses with robust performance and sustainability. Crafted from recycled materials, its sleek design prioritizes eco-friendliness while ensuring durability. Though the keyboard feels cramped, it offers responsive keys for decent typing feedback. The 14-inch display provides ample screen real estate, though color reproduction could be more vibrant. Underneath, powerful processors and ample RAM enable seamless multitasking. Extended battery life and diverse connectivity options cater to professionals on the move. With a commitment to sustainability evident in its design, the Commercial 14 stands as a commendable choice for eco-conscious business users seeking reliable performance.

News
6 Best New Cars for the Upper Middle Class

The 6 Best New Cars for the Upper Middle Class

the best blend of excess, advancement, execution, and worth. With family income normally going from $100,000 to $350,000 every year, this section needs a vehicle that meets their sensible prerequisites as well as gives an upscale experience.