Some call it pre­mium gam­ing kit, but the new Netgear Nighthawk S8000 ethernet switch can be used for a lot more than just gam­ing.

SmartHouse - - FIRST LOOK | NETGEAR - Writ­ten by David Richards

I for one hooked this de­vice up to a 65” 4K UHD TV as well as sev­eral de­vices that I have hooked up to this TV, they in­clude a Fetch TV box, an Xbox and a cou­ple of other de­vices that I need fast through put to the dis­play screen.

The dif­fer­ence in the fast de­liver of con­tent to

the screen was sig­nif­i­cant.

Net­flix for ex­am­ple ran a lot smoother and gam­ing via a PC hooked up to the screen was a big im­prove­ment over the prior ethernet switch which I was us­ing to ag­gre­gate de­vices to my TV.

The Nighthawk S8000 is the first net­work­ing switch to be handed the pres­ti­gious Nighthawk la­bel and while you will pay $199 for this de­vice at JB Hi Fi I be­lieve the in­vest­ment is well worth it.

Con­tent to a screen is all about fast through­put of your broad­band to a de­vice.

This eight-port Gi­ga­bit de­vice sup­ports sev­eral fea­tures de­signed to sup­port low la­tency net­work gam­ing and smooth 4K stream­ing.

To­day great con­tent is all about stream­ing, 4K and Ul­tra High Def­i­ni­tion dis­play screens. Pre-con­fig­ured set­tings au­to­mat­i­cally con­fig­ure the ports for 4K Stream­ing or as a stan­dard LAN port for surf­ing, VoIP or video calls.

With the ar­rival of the NBN and sig­nif­i­cantly faster broad­band speeds it makes sense to in­vest in fast through­put de­vices such as the Netgear Nighthawk S8000 which can de­liver up to 4 Gbps to com­pat­i­ble de­vices.

What you will find is that the newer your gear is, the bet­ter the Wi Fi or net­work­ing tech­nol­ogy is built into the de­vices.

The rear panel con­sists of power in­put, eight ports and a small switch to dis­able net­work sta­tus LEDs, en­sur­ing your view­ing of a screen isn't ru­ined by a host of twin­kling lights.

If you are into gam­ing this is the ul­ti­mate gam­ing switch that has been de­signed from the ground up to de­liver blis­ter­ing speed.

By de­fault, the switch re­ceives an IP ad­dress from the router – you'll need to iden­tify this IP ad­dress to ac­cess the de­vice's man­age­ment con­sole. On a Win­dows PC, you will see the switch pop up in the Net­work area of File Ex­plorer.

On a Mac, you can try to ac­cess the switch us­ing a Bon­jour book­mark in Sa­fari.

For an eas­ier ex­pe­ri­ence, you can take ad­van­tage of sev­eral pre-set modes de­signed to op­ti­mize per­for­mance of the switch (or rather, in­di­vid­ual ports) for spe­cific sce­nar­ios.

Gam­ing and me­dia stream­ing are avail­able out of the box, but you can also save and in­stall your own set­tings pro­files.

While the man­age­ment con­sole is rel­a­tively easy to op­er­ate, you'll need a lit­tle net­work­ing knowhow if you wish to delve into the S8000's more ad­vanced net­work­ing fea­tures.

Once you load up the switch with de­vices, rate lim­it­ing op­tions will en­able you to main­tain (or at least re­duce the im­pact on) speeds go­ing to pri­or­i­tized ports.

For ex­am­ple, you can pri­ori­tise a port for gam­ing and a port for 4K con­tent stream­ing.

Over­all this is a well-built de­vice that look great sit­ting right next to any dis­play screen, and while their sim­i­lar switches out there that are cheaper this is like buy­ing a BMW M Se­ries car over an av­er­age Ford, this is an in­dul­gence but one that is worth­while in­vest­ing in. My last switch was 12 years old so if the Netgear Nighthawk S8000 goes the same dis­tance it will cost you a mere $16 a year.

RAT­ING 9/10

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