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Nighthawk RAXE300: Netgear’s Latest Wi-Fi 6E Router Gets Reasonable Pricing

If you’re looking for a Netgear Wi-Fi 6E router and can’t stomach the cost of the RAXE500 — and I don’t blame you! — there’s now an alternative. Today, the networking vendor unveiled the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 8-Stream AXE7800 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E router.

Just from the name alone, you’ll note that this is a lesser version with a total bandwidth of 7800Mbps compared to the 11000Mbps of the previous model.

But maybe that’s all you’d need anyway.

Wi-Fi 6E: The pros, cons, and its novelty

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 AXE7800 Wi-Fi 6E router shares a similar "spaceship" design as the RAXE500 model.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 AXE7800 Wi-Fi 6E router shares a similar “spaceship” design as the RAXE500 model.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Half the goodness of Wi-Fi 6E

The most significant difference between the RAXE300 vs the RAXE500 is the fact the new router features 2×2 hardware specs on the latest 6GHz band and therefore has only half the capacity — that’s 2400Mbps (2.4Gbps) instead of 4800Mbps (4.8Gbps).

However, since we only have 2×2 clients, namely the Intel AX210 chip, in real-world usage, you might not see any difference, the client can only connect at 2.4Gbps anyway.

But when there are multiple active 6GHz clients in the network, the RAXE300 will deliver slower real-world speed than the RAXE500.

The RAXE300 also has a lesser 2.4GHz band, which is less of an issue since this band is generally slow anyway. On this frequency, chances are you’ll see no difference in real-world experience between the two.

On the 5GHz band, which is still the most popular, the RAXE300 shares the same 4×4 top-tier specs as the RAXE500. That means it can deliver up to 4800Mbps of bandwidth, or 2400Mbps if you live in an area with a radar station due to the use of DFS channels.

Hardware specifications: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 vs RAXE500

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300
8-Stream AXE7800
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
12-Stream AXE11000
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router
Model RAXE300 RAXE500
Wi-Fi TechnologyTri-Band AXE7800 Tri-Band AXE11000
First Band2.4GHz 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 574Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2.4GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 1148Mbps
(20/40MHz)
Second Band5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Third Band6GHz 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E
Up to 2402Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
6GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6E
Up to 4804Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi 6E 
(6GHz) Support
YesYes
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh-readyNoNo
Number of 160MHz 
Channels
7x on one 6GHz band
2x on one 5GHz band
7x on one 6GHz band
2x on one 5GHz band
Gigabit Network Port4x LAN, 1x WAN/WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN/LAN
Multi-Gig Network Port1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
LAN Link Aggregation Yes 
(LAN3 and LAN4)
Yes 
(LAN3 and LAN4)
WAN Link AggregationNoYes (WAN + LAN1)
Dual-WANMaybe
(WAN+LAN1/2.5Gbps)
Yes (WAN+LAN1/2.5Gbps)
USB1x USB 3.02x USB 3.0
Mobile App Netgear Nighthawk Netgear Nighthawk
Processing Power1.7GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 512MB RAM
1.8GHz 64-bit CPU
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Dimensions (no antennas)11.86 x 8.16 x 3.23 in
(30.13 x 20.79 x 8.2 cm)
11.7 x 8.3 x 3.07 in
(29.8 x 21.1 x 7.8 cm)
Weight2.23 lb (1.01kg)3.2 lb (1.45 kg)
Release DateJanuary 2022January 2021
Price (at Launch)$399.99 $599.99
Netgear Wi-Fi 6E routers’ hardware specifications: RAXE300 vs RAXE500

Similar design and feature set

Despite the different specs, on the inside, the RAXE300 inherits the same feature set and network settings as the RAXE500.

The new router comes with a web user interface and the Netgear Nighthawk app. You must opt for the app (and sign up for a login account) some extra features, including Netgear Armor online protection or Parental Controls. Both are available as annual subscriptions.

Considering Netgear has been neutering its home routers’ web interface in favor of the mobile app, the RAXE300 will likely have fewer network settings or built-in features than the RAXE500. But that’s to be determined.

Netgear says the new Nighthawk RAXE300 can blanket some 2500 ft2 (232 m2) in terms of Wi-Fi coverage. That’s a ballpark, and likely exaggerated number — a router’s Wi-Fi range depends on the environment, so your mileage will vary.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 Network Ports
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 Wi-Fi 6E router has the standard 1x WAN and 4 LAN ports, plus a 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port.

Pricing and availability

Netgear says the new Nighthawk RAXE300 Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E router will be available in the first quarter of 2022 and carry a more reasonable price tag of $399.99 — that’s some $200 less than the RAXE500.

Considering its middling specs, the price might still seem a bit high. However, if you have primarily 5GHz clients and just a few 6GHz devices, which is the case with most homes, this new router seems to be a more sensible purchase than its older cousin.

That’s if you’re a fan of Netgear. Otherwise, check out Wi-Fi 6E routers from other vendors for more options.

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2 thoughts on “Nighthawk RAXE300: Netgear’s Latest Wi-Fi 6E Router Gets Reasonable Pricing”

  1. I’m I the only one tired of high end routers only having 4 ports on the back? With all the Dongles & Hubs modern routers should have at least 8 ports

    Reply

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