Wi-Fi 6 routers have begun to get more affordable, as is evident with the new Netgear Nighthawk AX4. Based on the Intel WAV600 802.11ax chipset, the Nighthawk AX4 marks the first reasonably affordable router based on the latest wireless connectivity standard to hit the shelves. The router is priced at $199 (~Rs 13,800), which is not quite as affordable as most other mainstream Wi-Fi routers available in the market today. However, the new, 802.11ax wireless connectivity standard, otherwise referred to as Wi-Fi 6, offers a whole bunch of advantages over the conventional 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards.
In terms of performance, the Nighthawk AX4 supports dual band, four-stream Wi-Fi connectivity, with dual-band speeds of up to 600MHz and 2400MHz. The router has five Gigabit Ethernet ports, and further supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants. As a result, the router settings can be controlled using Alexa or Assistant-enabled smart speakers, marking a neat advantage over conventional routers.
The greatest advantage of a Wi-Fi 6 router is in its high bandwidth capabilities, where a single router will be capable of streaming videos and games at 4K resolution, setup multi-room speaker networks, and simultaneously handle large scale data transfers, without breaking a sweat. Such routers are essential to set up an IoT ecosystem, which is too heavy for conventional routers, usually.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX4 is only the first of affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers, which have been introduced commercially. TP-Link is also set to launch its line of affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers soon, and all of this should eventually bring down the prices of high bandwidth routers, in the long run.