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Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX200

Please help.


I am a long time Netgear customer, and have been buying Netgear products since the early 2000s. Upon receiving my Nighthawk AX8 (EAX80) and configuring it I found myself fairly disappointed.  I'm hoping to find a solution to my issue, or a promise it will be resolved soon or else I'm going to return this product.

 

A little background about my home and myself.  I have 1gbps internet fiber connection from Sonic.net, a smartTV, AppleTV, several game consoles, apple "I" devices/ watches, and IoT devices, kindles, etc...  You might say I'm a heavy user, we even have port forwarding and static IPs set up as well for game servers.  I also have a background in computer engineering, and reguallarly do software web architecture level work as part of my job.  I understand IP4 really well, and have set up a few dozen networks in my life.

 

Over the last few years I've set up 2 Orbi systems and saw how amazing Mesh Networking was and couldn't wait to get it in my home, however, the Orbi system does not have the configurability that I need -- it's great for basic internet, but it can't handle the features that I am used to on a full featured router.

 

With the announcement of WiFi 6 I was excited to upgrade to increased range, and improve the peformance with the 40-50 devices on my local network.  Again Orbi seemed targeted to more modest users, and so I waited for the Netgear Nighthawk WiFi 6 AX12 ( RAX200 ).  I also bought a Netgear Nighthawk SX10 Pro Gaming Switch ( GS810EMX-100NAS ), because the AX12 didn't have enough ethernet ports on it.  The AX12 has been a modest upgrade from the X10 ( R9000 ) that it replaced.

In the month that I was waiting I updated some of the cables so I could get the 2.5 Multi-Gig bandwidth that the SX10 Switch and the AX12 router support.

 

Now comes the AX8 Extender and it comes with minimal instructions, it seems to only have 4x 1 Gig ports, and so far it's performance has been poor at best. I have tried the device in a few different configurations and locations and here is what I have found, with my iPhone 11 Pro using Speedtest to Sonic.net's servers.

 

Placed the Ext in the kitchen, the router is 1 room away separated by 1-2 walls or about 25-35ft.  In this case I get about 15-30% (100-200mbps) of my max performance standing right next to it.  To the Master Bedroom 1 room / 2 walls away / 15-20 ft away, the bandwith get's cut to 5-8% ( 40-80mbps ).

Placed in the Office, the router is 1 room + a hallway away, separated by 2-3 walls or about 35-50 ft.  The bandwidth stadning right next to it was 2-6% of my available bandwith ( 20-60mbps ), and stadning in the bedroom was about 20 mbps.


Placed in the Bedroom, the performance was about the same as the office, just flipped.

 

Since, I have a 1gbps Cat-6 connection in the Office, I tried to connect the AX8 Extender in the ethernet connection, but then the bandwith drops to ZERO (0).  I think this is because of a loop that's created, and the SX10 Switch might be killing the port.

 

I looked for a wired back haul ethernet setting in the AX8's web interface but there is not one.  I know that even the Orbi's now support a wired backhaul.

 

Netgear my Goal was simple, get WiFi 6 level performance under ONE Single SSID for my whole home.  As of now I have switched back to using the AX12 (R9000) Router, and using my Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) in AP Mode with a second SSID.

How do I get to WiFi 6 level performance ( 300mpbs - 1gpbs+ ) on a single SSID, and keep the ability to have port forwarding?

 

  1. Is it possible to have a wired backhaul with the AX8?  Will it ever be possible?
  2. Is it possible to have my R7000 in a Mesh Networking mode so I can have a single SSID?
  3. Is it possible to run the ORBI WiFi 6 edition nodes and have a wired backhaul with my R9000 and have a signle SSID?
  4. Is Netgear coming out with a new product that better addresses these needs?
  5. Will the AX8 be improved, was it launched in a buggy state and these issues will be fixed soon?

 

  • Does the AX8 dedicate WiFi lanes from my AX12 ( R9000 ) and reduce the maximum bandwidth of my other WiFi 6 devices?
 
Message 1 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I'm having the same issue. I have a RAX120 and the EAX80. The EAX80 can only get about 50mbps on the 5gbz., doesnt matter if it is sitting right next to it. Netgear support verified the issue doing remote desktop to show them. Sent me a brand new EAX80. Guess what, doing the exact same thing. EAX8P 5ghz is slower than 10% of 2.4ghz.
Message 2 of 47
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

Hello david85297,

 

Welcome to the community! Curious to know if you gotten a chance to get in contact with our support team again after receiving your replacement? 

 

Thanks,

Christian 

Message 3 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

There is no point, it isnt hardware related, it is software related. Both devices act the same way.
Message 4 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I also forgot to mention another thing, now that i've had it for a few weeks.

 

1) This EAX80 just keeps disappearing from the network. It allows devices to connect to it, but doesn't send anything to the main router (RAX120) and those devices stop working. It's a bit frustrating of an issue with this EAX80. I have another EAX80 in a different home that is used as an Access Point (Ethernet backhaul) and it works just fine. The EAX80 cannot be used a WiFi Extender yet, i've confirmed this with the 3 of these things. I'm not sure if it's a specific setting in the RAX120 that would cause this, but I would assume the EAX80 would be new enough to support the new AX protocol that 120 is giving out. 

 

2) The EAX80 after about 12hrs or so, it can no longer be managed in the Nighthawk app. The nighthawk app just freezes and wont load. If I remove the EAX80 from the network, the app will load and allow me to manage the RAX120. The EAX80 disappearing act is what is causing the issues. I think it's because the 5Ghz backhaul keeps going in-n-out.

 

End of the day, I really wish I didn't go all in with Netgear's roll out of Wifi 6. I'm really deep into it now in 2 homes, and at my parents home (I bought them the new Orbi wifi 6 setup). It's been nearly a month with this equipment, since there hasn't been any new firmware updates i'm starting to realize that it could just be hardware related issues from a bad design implementation of wifi 6? Netgear support isn't all that helpful, yes they will volunteer to send you a new one, but it's on *ME* to pay for shipping on everything. How many times should I be expected to be shipping routers back-n-forth with Netgear? On top of that, why am I expected to spend hours of my time verifying the exact same issue over, and over again. If I can bypass the tier 1-2 triage support and talk to someone, then maybe I would give it a shot. I have pretty good exposure to Netgears new Wifi6 hardware (RAX120, EAX80, Orbi RBK852), and it has been couple thousand dollars worth of regret. 

Message 5 of 47
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

Hello david85297, 

 

If you can send me a private message with your case number and email address and I can see if we can get your case escalated. Looking forward to hearing back from you!

 

Best,

Christian 

Message 6 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

For me Speedtests were fast, 500mbps in my front from connected to my RAX80 in office but even though testing fast the connection was unstable. Images wouldn’t load on Facebook pages would time out and video streams would buffer. Bought the extender att sells and removed my WiFi 6 gear Slower at 120mbps but no stability issues and streaming works. Not happy at all with this overpriced junk.
Message 7 of 47
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Tutor

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

Please let me know if you’ve found a viable solution. I have a very similar setup, except that I have the RAX80 as my main router. Performance with the EAX80 is horrible at best. I would love to find a solution before I return this supposed mesh extender.
Message 8 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I returned mine, and I'm on two SSIDs, I'm fairly disappointed.

 

WiFi 6 in the front of the house and WiFi 5 in the back, and when WiFi 6 goes into power save mode, devices switch to the farther away router.

Message 9 of 47
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

Hello brian5s, 

 

Welcome to the community! I'd like to work with you on the issue you're reporting. If you're interested, please send me a private message with your network topology and the firmware versions of the the extender and router. 

 

Thanks,

Christian 

 

Message 10 of 47
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Tutor

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

Thank you for the offer to help, but I got so fed up that I returned it today. My X6S works much better. Just reconnected that one in extender mode to the RAX80. I thought that an AX to AX mesh extender would perform much better than the X6S. Not the case.

Message 11 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

I'm having the same issue. I have a R9000 with ddwrt and the EAX80. The EAX80 can only get about 56mbps on the 5gbz in WiFi N in vht160. Even if I put the extender near to the router or far to the router.

Is my second Netgear extender (I’ve migrate from ex8000) and the two have a lot of problems.
Message 12 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

@Christian_R I can attest to the aforementioned issues with using the EAX80 with the RAX200... the Extender consistently and inexplicably is disconnecting from the network and requires a hard boot before I can ping and reach the set-up page.  This is the second EAX80 I've tried.  L1/L2 Netgear support is horrific... reps barely speak English and have provided no solutions.  I've wasted over 10 hours of my time. You can't deliver this kind of service and expect to get $900 for a router and extender that sends a viable 5g signal out barely 20 feet.  Stay away from these products... better yet, stay away from Netgear completely.

Model: RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 13 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

Support told me that engineering team is aware of this issue, but there is no ETA on a fix. It's been 6 months, I think they are working on new products instead and all of us who bought EAX80's got screwed. 

 

I did notice that if you turn off AX on your router, reboot EAX80, it connects with a strong connection. Then when you turn on AX on the router again, the EAX80 will maintain a strong signal for a couple days before crapping out again. Not sure why, but I'm thinking it stays on a AC connection for a couple days before switching to AX and crapping out.

Message 14 of 47
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Initiate

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

Damn, I wish I had looked this product up before investing so much money Into this setup. I pay for 1Gig service, only seeing 25Mb via wifi. The eax80 is not visible via the app anymore. I have reset to manufacture and reconnected it, but it fails again.not sure what to do. Was hoping I could hard cat6 to the eax80 and extend my wifi with 1 ssid. Sound so simple, yet seems impossible.
Message 15 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RA...

Both the RAX200 and the Eax80 are plagued by inferior hardware, buggy firmware and horrible customer service.  Even the moderfator on here never responded to my repeated pleas for help.  I've learned my lesson.... no more Netgear.

Model: RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 16 of 47
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Tutor

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I have the same issue - bought the RAX200 and EAX80 with great confidence that surely products from the same company will work well together.  Frequent drops - cannot get Airprint to work - products not showing up in the app - just maddening to spend that kind of money to have these kinds of issues.  Mine two devices are going back tomorrow unless there is some miracle over night

Model: EX8000|AC3000 Nighthawk X6S Tri Band WiFi Mesh Extender, RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 17 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I have an RAX80 Wifi6 router and just got the EAX80 in hopes of performing better than the EX8000 tri-band mesh extender. Boy was I wrong. After reading all of these complaints about the EAX80, I totally can relate to all the poor performance problems. After rebooting, it seems to be performing well but test after test shows that the wifi performance is actually poor despite it showing a high connection status. It cannot even perform as good as the EX8000 X6S that it was SUPPOSED to replace. The X6S is a solid rock compared to this over-priced EAX80. I will hold on to it and hope for a firmware update after seeing all of these complaints but will be using the X6S only for now. I'm really disappointed in Netgear for releasing this EAX80

Message 18 of 47
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Tutor

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

FYI - AirPrint would not consistently pick up my HP8020. I figured out that it was because the printer was connecting to two bands at the same time. I turned off one of the bands on the print we config and can now reliably AirPrint.

Also, I disallow any devices that I want to run Sonos from the extender. That defeats the purpose of the extender but it did fix my access to all Sonos devices.
Message 19 of 47
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Guide

Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I also seem to be having issues with a very recently purchased EAX80. It was set up as an extender with the RAX80 and evrything looked great, but after about two days my WiFi internet speed dropped to nearly zero.

 

In two instances when this happened, I powered down the EAX80 and the speed immediately jumped back up to normal. I am also noticing that the EAX80 drops out of view in the Nighthawk app.

 

I originally just wanted the EAX80 as a fast access point for my ethernet printer, and I saw the range extending capabiliy as a plus. Now I am not so sure. If the EAX80 silently disables my WiFi, it is certainly not worth the aggravation.

 

Any ideas?

Message 20 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

Every owner of the EAX80 is experiencing the same issue. And Netgear clearly has no resolution... after 10 calls nothing is posted here.  It's time for a revolt... or a class action lawsuit.

Message 21 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

My EAX80 unit is still within the 90-day service period and the 1-year warranty. The big questions: Ask for a new replacement? Return and repace with something else?

 

My experience with the RAX80 router has been good. 

Message 22 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

The EAX80's are just garbage. Last firmware was last year. Based on my phone calls with them, they are aware of this issue and have been aware of it. The sales team is pushing the developers to heavily to release new hardware so they don't have time to fix stuff that is already released. I've been a Netgear fan boy for like 10+ years, and this just ticks me off. 

 

Getting a replacement does nothing. Like me, the replacement I got acts exactly the same.


@Jeff-4 wrote:

My EAX80 unit is still within the 90-day service period and the 1-year warranty. The big questions: Ask for a new replacement? Return and repace with something else?

 

My experience with the RAX80 router has been good. 


 

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
Message 23 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

I have also been a Netgear fan. I just contct customer service on this EAX80 issue, and they told me to manually set the 2.4GHz channel to 11 and the 5 GHz channel to 161. Then, "Hit apply on top and observe the connection for few hours." As if this were an accepatabel fix? How bogus is this? I am also getting really dissapointed and may just return the unit outright.

Message 24 of 47
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Re: Problems w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk 8AX - EAX80 Range Extender w/ New WiFi 6 Nighthawk AX12 - RAX20

Not acceptable. An extender with this capability (Wifi 6) should not have to be manually set for their frequency channels. They need to fix the firmware
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