There’s more than just WiFi performance to brag about. Each has multiple gigabit Ethernet ports (five on the AX12, six on the AX8) and a 5Gbps Ethernet port for your internet link. You can also control your network through your voice using Alexa or Google Assistant, or plug in two USB 3.0 devices. The main difference boils down to the number of simultaneous data streams. The AX8 can handle eight at a time, while the AX12 unsurprisingly boosts that number to 12 for people with many active WiFi devices.
If they sound like they’ll be expensive… you’ve guessed correctly. The AX8 will cost $400 and, according to Amazon, should be released on December 21st. The AX12 doesn’t have pricing yet, but should arrive in the first quarter of 2019 and will be part of a beta “Wi-Fi as a Service” program that lets you pay for the device 90 days after you get it. Either way, this isn’t a trivial purchase. You’re buying it because you either have a serious need for bandwidth (say, multiple 4K streams) or insist on a router that will be virtually futureproof.