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ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U)
Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80
See Top Ranked Wi-Fi Routers

ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) vs Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80

Analysis:

The ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) is one of the very best Wi-Fi Routers that one can get for around $180. The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80, however, while a very good choice at its $430 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) has managed to impress reviewers from some of the most highly trusted sources on the internet, including PCmag and CNET. It performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups - it was awarded the "Best for Gamers With Limited Budgets" title by PCmag and "Best gaming router" by CNET in their respective Wi-Fi Router roundups. That's high praise, especially when coming from such high-quality sources.

Returning to the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 - it was really well-received by reviewers at Tom's Guide and PCmag, which are among the most highly trusted sources on the internet and are known for their in-depth hands-on testing. It was named "The best Wi-Fi 6 router overall" by Tom's Guide and "Best for Great performance on smaller networks" by PCmag, which points toward the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 being a high-quality product.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Wi-Fi Routers, including PCmag, preferred the ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) over the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80.

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) was liked best by Techradar, which gave it a score of 10, while the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 got its highest, 9, score from Tom's Guide.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Wi-Fi Routers on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Wi-Fi Routers being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) and Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 managed averages of 8.7 and 8.0 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) vs. Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
CNET
PCmag
Tom's Guide
Techradar
TechSpot
Android Central
Windows Central
Expert Reviews
TrustedReviews
Lifewire
Tech. Specs Comparison
ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U)
$189
Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80
$399
Mesh Router
No
No
Supported Frequency Ranges
  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz
  • 160 MHz
  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz
Wi-Fi standard
Wi-Fi 5
Wi-Fi 6
Higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Wi-Fi Routers
8.7
Avg. Review Score
Score
Higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Wi-Fi Routers
8.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best gaming routers of 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Gaming Routers for 2020” 
Last updated: 29 Jun 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Asus router 2020: the top Asus routers for any budget” 
Last updated: 5 Aug 2020
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best gaming router
in “The best Wi-Fi routers of 2020” 
Last updated: 4 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best gaming routers 2020” 
Last updated: 18 Aug 2020
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best gaming router
in “The best Wi-Fi routers in 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Routers for Best Buy Curbside Pickup in 2020” 
Last updated: 25 Mar 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best VPN routers 2020: top routers for Virtual Private Networks” 
Last updated: 12 May 2020
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Wi-Fi 6 routers of 2020” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Great performance on smaller networks
in “The Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers for 2020” 
Last updated: 14 days ago
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Gaming Routers in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Jan 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Mesh Add-on
in “Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Routers in 2020” 
Last updated: 18 Aug 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best mid-range 802.11AX router
in “Best wireless routers 2020: Boost the range and speed of your internet connection from £85” 
Last updated: 29 Jun 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 6
in “Best Router 2020: Top six wireless routers you can buy” 
Last updated: 29 Jul 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “Best secure router of 2020: keep your router and devices safe at home or work” 
Last updated: 3 Jul 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Wi-Fi routers for 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Wi-Fi 6 Upgrade
in “Best Wi-Fi Extenders in 2020” 
Last updated: 11 Aug 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 9
in “Wi-Fi 6 routers: the best Wi-Fi 6 routers you can buy in 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Netgear Routers 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago

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