As a Network Engineer, I have had the opportunity to test the Netgear CAX80, a cable modem-router combo that is perfect for internet plans up to 1200 Mbps. In this review, I will share my thoughts on the performance, features, and value of the CAX80.
NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK CAX80 OVERVIEW
The Netgear CAX80 is a modem-router combo that is ideal for cable internet users who do not have voice service. It connects to your coax outlet and converts signals into digital signals that are used by the router to create a home network and provide a Wi-Fi signal. While we at Networks Hardware generally recommend getting a separate modem and router, the CAX80 is a good option for those who have a Gigabit internet plan, as it can provide a Wi-Fi signal of over 1000 Mbps.
NETGEAR CAX80 SPECS
Model: Nighthawk CAX80
Max Tested Wi-Fi Speed: 800+ Mbps (only had access to an 800 Mbps internet plan for testing)
Approximate Range: 90-100 feet (inside)
Supported ISP’s: Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Optimum, Suddenlink, WOW, Cox, Sparklight, Mediacom, Grande, Atlantic Broadband, RCN
Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
Bands: Dual Band (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
LAN Ports: Four 1-Gigabit ports & one 2.5-Gigabit port
USB Ports: One 3.0 port
Parental Controls: Yes but basic
Guest Network: Yes
Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.5 x 4.3 in (264 x 215 x 110 mm)
Weight: 2.55 lb (1.16 kg)
In terms of performance, the Netgear CAX80 is one of the best modem-routers I have tested. While I was unable to test its maximum speed due to my limited access to an internet plan, it did reach speeds of 800+ Mbps from 5 feet using the 5 GHz band. From further testing, it achieved speeds of 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet using the 5 GHz band on a Wi-Fi 6 compatible device. The 2.4 GHz band also performed well, reaching a speed of 39.21 Mbps from a distance of around 75 feet. These impressive results make the CAX80 a great option for internet plans up to 1200 Mbps, allowing for simultaneous use by a family of 7 or more people.
THE CAX80 PERFORMANCE COMPARED
In comparison to other alternatives, the Netgear CAX80 also performed well. For example, when compared to Mesh systems from Linksys, Eero, and Google Nest, this router provided faster speeds and had a wider range. It is also a good option for those looking to upgrade to WiFi 6, as it supports the latest wireless standard.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE NETGEAR CAX80
If the CAX80 is not the right fit for you, there are other options available. If you have a 100 Mbps internet plan, a cheaper option with similar performance may be more suitable. Some alternatives to consider include the Linksys CM3016,the Arris SBG7600AC2, and the TP-Link TC-7620.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 is a more massive beast than your standard wireless router. It is very beefy at 12.52 inches in height, 10.12 inches in diameter, and almost 3 inches in width. Bear in mind, that this is a two-in-one package. As such, we should consider it to be relatively large. It’s a little big, too, tipping the scales at 4.42 pounds. This ensures that you’ll need to search a sufficiently broad place to locate it. Then again, you’re not going to have to worry about modem placement, because it’s all built into the unit. As a consequence, positioning isn’t as much of a problem as it may be at first glance.
Modems and routers on NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 work together, and sometimes one of them determines the maximum speed of the other. So it’s nice to see all of them on the same page. In this case, you can get around 6Gbps of speed through a coaxial cable, but it’s capped at 2Gbps while you’re running along with Ethernet connections.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 is compatible for all big cable broadband providers like Xfinity approval by Comcast, Bandwidth and COX. Not available with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL operators, DirecTV, DISH or other packaged voice service. CAX80 eliminates the cable modem and WiFi router, saving you up to $168 a year in rental costs for devices.
The NETGEAR CAX80 is built for maximum speed. It is perfect for cable operators for up to 2 Gigabit rates. It has fast WiFi 6 performance and has up to 2,500 square meters. Ft. wireless range and 30 + networks wired to 802.11AX Dual-band WiFi 6 (AX6000) bandwidth (up to 6Gbps). One 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet cable, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and one USB 3.0 cable offer quick wired connections to your machine, printer, game console, hard drive, and other tools.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 is build for DOCSIS 3.1 and 32×8 interface bonding. It follows cellular authentication standards for WPA / WPA2.
You may also like to read NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400 WiFi 6 Router Review.
NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 modem router with DOCSIS 3.1 offers wireless Internet plans with rates of up to 2Gbps providing fast, stable Internet access for HD streaming and more. Experience high-performance WiFi 6 with a range of up to 3,000 square meters. Ft., providing speed for HD video, online gaming, and more. The new generation WiFi 6 has 5X more power than the previous WiFi, with eight simultaneous streams the CAX80 provides higher speeds to that number of devices. Up to 6Gbps broadband bandwidth (AX6000) is ideal for excellent HD viewing and gaming.
My Honest NETGEAR CAX80 Cable Modem WiFi 6 Router Review
I was looking for a modem-router combo that supported the newest DOCSIS 3.1 and Wi-Fi 6 technologies. The technological criteria were satisfied by the NIGHTHAWK CAX80. The installation was not as simple as stated. I was unable to’self activate’ through the web. The Nighthawk Smartphone App may be used to configure WiFi but not the modem. Spectrum is my cable provider. I’ve had my internet service with them (and their predecessors, Time-Warner and RoadRunner) for almost 20 years. When you contact a real person, their customer service is amazing. They ran diagnostics and determined that the modem was operational. However, I was unable to connect to the internet. They offered me a direct number to Netgear, which I contacted for help. My modem-router was up and running in minutes. They are really capable.
The Wi-Fi signal is stronger and more consistent, with no fluctuations, than it was with my previous modem-router. When viewing streaming video movies, there are no interruptions or buffering. Netgear’s advertising is truthful and dependable. So, too, is the performance. I am really impressed with this router and strongly suggest it.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE NETGEAR CAX80
Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 is a high-performing modem-router that is well worth considering for those with Gigabit internet plans. It provides fast speeds, has a wide range, and supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard. While it may be excessive for those with lower internet speeds, it is an excellent choice for families with multiple devices and users. If you are in the market for a new modem-router, the Netgear CAX80 is definitely worth considering.
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