Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Patience is a Virtue

This Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500 matchup is very similar to the one of the Asus GT-AX1100 vs Netgear RAX200 with a twist: Currently, I do not recommend that you rush out to buy either of the former.

There’s nothing wrong with the routers themselves — they are both great in their own ways. Rather, it’s because Wi-Fi 6E is still in its infancy. That’s not to mention its innate short range.

READ  Wi-Fi 6E Explained: Better Wireless Connections at the Expense of Range

So yes, chances are you’ll see this post updated at some point. But if you’re dying to get into Wi-Fi 6E for one reason or another, you’ll be able to figure out which to get when you’re through. Or not.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on April 23, 2021, and updated it on April 30 with additional relevant information.

The Netgear RAXE500 vs Asus GT AXE11000
The Netgear RAXE500 and the Asus GT AXE11000 are both massive routers.

Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Similarities

Clearly, these are the first routers on the market that support the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard.

So they both belong to the new type of tri-band broadcasters — those with a 2.4GHz, a 5GHz, and a 6GHz band. The idea is that they will work with all Wi-Fi clients on the market, bar none.

But there are more. These two use almost identical hardware specs with the same number of antennas (8) and ports (4x LAN, 1x WAN, and 1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN) and two USB 3.0 ports.

They also have the top-notch Wi-Fi configuration with 4×4 in all three bands and supporting the venerable 160MHz bandwidth in both 5GHz and 6GHz bands. Both have a combined wireless bandwidth of up to 11000Mbps.

And finally, both have a full web user interface with a standard set of network settings, plus an optional mobile app. Oh, both are expensive, too — this is the key.

Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Hardware specifications

Asus GT-AXE11000
ROG Rapture Tri-band
Wi-Fi 6E Gaming Router
Netgear RAXE500
Nighthawk 12-Stream
AXE11000 Tri-Band
Wi-Fi 6E Router
ModelGT-AXE11000RAXE500
Wi-Fi TechnologyTri-Band Wi-Fi 6E AX11000Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E AX11000
First Band2.4GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 1148Mbps
2.4GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 1148Mbps
Second Band5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
Third Band6GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6E
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) SupportYesYes
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh-readyYes (AiMesh 2.0)No
160MHz Channel SupportYesYes
Number of 160MHz Channels7x on one 6GHz band
2x on one 5GHz band
7x on one 6GHz band
2x on one 5GHz band
Gigabit Network Port4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Multi-Gig Network Port1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
LAN Link AggregationYes (LAN ports 1 and 2)Yes (LAN ports 3 and 4)
WAN Link AggregationYes (WAN + LAN4)Yes (WAN + LAN1)
Dual-WANYes (WAN + USB 
or LAN4 or 2.5Gbps)
Yes (WAN+LAN1/2.5Gbps)
USB2x USB 3.02x USB 3.0
Mobile AppAsus RouterNetgear Nighthawk
Processing Power1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.8GHz 64-bit CPU
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Dimensions (no antennas)10.4 x 10.4 x 2.9 in 
(26.4 x 26.4x 7.4 cm)
11.7 x 8.3 x 3.07 in
(29.8 x 21.1 x 7.8 cm)
Weight3.94 lbs (1.79 kg)3.2 lb (1.45 kg)
Price (at Launch)$550$600
Wi-Fi 6E routers’ hardware specifications: Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500
The Netgear RAXE500 vs Asus GT AXE11000 3
Network ports: Asus GT AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE11000.

Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Differences

These two have quite a few differences. You can see that in their looks alone.

Indeed, the Netgear RAXE500 shares the same physical design as the RAX200 as one of the coolest-looking routers you can find. It resembles something that can fly or at least an object that moves fast — it’s neither. It comes with huge antennas that dub as “wings” that can fold on its top.

The Asus GT-AXE11000, on the other hand, is a better-looking version of the GT-AX11000, which is ugly by any standard. It’s now with non-detachable antennas — it’s easier to handle. Still, it’s simply a square box with a large Aura gaming light on top.

And that brings us to the biggest difference between them: The Asus is a gaming router with a ton of online gaming-related features. It also comes included with a free-for-life online protection feature, QoS, and parental control. The Netgear has none of those out of the box, and you’d have to pay extra for its Netgear Armor.

Netgear Armor, by the way, requires the Netgear Nighthawk mobile app to work. The app itself requires a login account with Netgear which can be a privacy issue.

The Asus Router app, on the other hand, is somewhat the mobile version of the web interface. In fact, it uses Dynamic DNS for remote management. In short, you won’t need to connect to Asus to use it. So no worries on the privacy front.

What’s more, the Asus comes with the support for AiMesh, which allows the GT-AXE11000 to work as part of a mesh system. This feature was still a bit wonky in my testing for now, but it sure is a valuable option.

On top of that, the Asus has a lot more to offer, including in-depth Wi-Fi settings and other useful networking tools, like Wake-on-LAN.

In return, the GT-AXE11000 seemed a bit like a work-in-progress, similar to most Asus routers at launch. (Asus does release new firmware more often, however.) The RAXE500 proved to be more stable right out of the box.

And finally, at launch, the GT-AXE11000 costs $550 — it’s the most expensive home Wi-Fi broadcaster from Asus. The RAXE500 beats that, with a $600 price tag.

The Netgear RAXE500 vs Asus GT AXE11000 2
The Netgear RAXE500 vs Asus GT AXE11000: The first two Wi-Fi 6E home routers on the market.

Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Performance

I tested both the Asus and the Netgear the same way. Specifically, they only had official scores for the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.

That’s because, for right now, there’s no official 6GHz client suitable for my testing yet. I plan to finish the testing on them when that’s possible. But keep in mind that the 6GHz of both routers proved to deliver the same speeds as the 5GHz, but it had a much shorter range.

That said, the two delivered a similar performance in my testing with similar ranges.

Asus GT AXE11000 vs Netgear RAX500 Perf

Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Ratings

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 Wi-Fi 6E Gaming Router

$549.99
8.4

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Tri-band with Wi-Fi 6E support
  • Excellent 5GHz and 2.4GHz performance
  • Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full support for AiMesh 2.0
  • 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Wi-Fi 6E is not fully available
  • Only one 2.5Gbps port, no 10Gbps port
  • Bulky design, not wall-mountable, buggy firmware (at launch)

Netgear RAXE500 Nighthawk 12-Stream AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router

$599.99
8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Wi-Fi 6E-ready
  • Collectively excellent Wi-Fi speeds and range
  • 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations
  • Robust web interface, helpful (optional) mobile app
  • Beautiful design
  • Fast network-attached storage when hosting a storage device

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Wi-Fi 6E is still in early stage
  • No 10Gbps port, only one 2.5Gbps port
  • Limited Wi-Fi settings, no built-in QoS or Parental Controls
  • Online protection requires a subscription
  • Internal fan, a bit buggy (at launch)

Which to get

Neither for now.

Sure both can work quite excellently with existing 5GHz and 2.4GHz clients, but in that case, neither is as much better than their respective vendor’s top-notch dual-band routers as they are more expensive. They are not worth the costs, yet, that is.

But, again, if you want on the bleeding edge, get the Asus GT-AXE11000 if you’re into tinkering with home networking, looking to build a wired mesh network later, or a gamer.

On the other hand, if you want something that works right out of the box with a minimum amount of issues — it does have a fair share of hiccups — the Netgear RAXE500 is a slightly safer choice, though not necessarily enough to justify the $50 additional cost.

Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.

4 thoughts on “Asus GT-AXE11000 vs Netgear RAXE500: Patience is a Virtue”

  1. DN,

    I think the Asus software is more robust & free. Also for those of us travel the Asus is auto-voltage…(aka Free Volt aka 110-240) while the Netgear is LABELED as only 110….

    Netgear is trying to milk you on subscriptions which after time is just a rip off as we paid a lot already…

    Did you get your shots?

    Reply
    • You’re prolly right, John. The Asus is a bit buggy though. And yeap, I got my 2nd Pfizer shot 💉 two weeks ago tomorrow! 🙂

      Reply
  2. I’ve got the first major appliance (client) coming soon that can actually use the bandwidth of 6E, but I s’pose this article means the routers themselves aren’t ready. Samsung’s new 2021 8K TVs are shipping with Metrik’s WiFi 6E chip, although oddly enough, Samsung is marketing the TV as straight WiFi 6, while Metrik is saying it’s the first commercial TV shipping out with 6E capable — I’ve got an email out to them asking what they tested it with, or what spec they built it to. I s’pose my AX86U will work w WiFi 6 until WiFi 6E gets certified, but just curious if this a case where the router has to certify it works with the client, vice versa, or the standard itself has to be “certified” and all client devices employ a chip that’s built to that certified standard? ‘Cause I’m a tad confused as to how they’re building to a Wifi 6E receiver spec that’s not official?

    Reply

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