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REVIEW: Premium Nighthawk S8000 Ethernet Switch Delivers More Than Fast Gaming

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

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.

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