Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Netgear RAXE500 Review: An Excellent (Wi-Fi 6E) Router for a Price

As the second Wi-Fi 6E broadcaster on the market, the much anticipated Netgear RAXE500 Nighthawk 12-Stream AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router is the presumed rival of the Asus GT-AXE11000 that came earlier this year.

Apart from the additional 6GHz band, the two have many other things in common. That includes being the de facto “cutting-edge” version of an older similar flag-ship tri-band model — the RAX200 in the Netgear’s case. In fact, you can look at this review as a RAXE500 vs. RAX200 match-up.

(I recommend you check out my take on the latter before continuing.)

Due to the early stage of Wi-Fi 6E, like the case of the Asus GT-AXE11000, the Nighthawk RAXE500, for the most part, is a “dual-band” router for now. And as such, it’s an excellent Wi-Fi machine.

Indeed, it proved to be a more refined experience when working with 5GHz and 2.4Ghz clients in my trial. You’ll enjoy it even when you don’t have any Wi-Fi 6E client, and you likely don’t.

Whether that’s worth the $600 price tag is debatable. But if you’re a Netgear fan, you can’t go wrong with the Nighthawk RAXE500. Get it!

Dong’s note: I first published this post on  January 11, 2021, when the Nighthawk RAXE500 was announced, and upgraded it on April 15, 2021, to a full review after thorough hands-on testing.

The Netgear RAXE500 Router is quite huge
The Netgear RAXE500 Router is a massive yet awesome-looking router.

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

$599.99
8.1

Performance

9.0/10

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

Netgear RAXE500: You pay for what you get

The Nighthawk RAXE500 sure is expensive. In fact, it’s the most expensive home router on the market. And that’s partly because of the support for Wi-Fi 6E with its all-new 6GHz band.

Interestingly, this new 6GHz band is probably not where it’s worth the money. At least not yet.

Limited use of Wi-Fi 6E

Since Wi-Fi 6E is so new, being a later comer has some advantages. For this review, I was able to sort of test the 6GHz band using the Samsung S21 Ultra, which is the first and, so far, only official Wi-Fi 6E-enabled device.

But even then, the Nighthawk RAXE500 still didn’t have much more to shine in my testing than did the Asus GT-AXE11000 a few months ago. That’s because the way I test Wi-Fi requires a “real” (Windows) computer.

(And to be honest, I’d question the validity of any other ways folks use to “test” the Wi-Fi speeds. There are plenty of them out there.)

Unfortunately, there’s no such client yet.

Sure, there’s the Intel AX210 chip that you can install on your computer. But Windows 10 won’t officially support Wi-Fi 6E until later this year. So this review will not include the official 6GHz performance number. I plan to update it with that when there’s an official laptop that supports the 6GHz band.

But the Samsung S21 Ultra — I used two units for the testing — did help show off the power of Wi-Fi 6E, or the lack thereof in certain areas. More on this in the performance section below.

Netgear RAXE500: The RAX200 at heart

The Nighthawk RAXE500 is very much the Nighthawk RAX200 with a 6GHz band in the place of its second 5GHz one. It’s just like the Asus GT-AXE11000 to the GT-AX11000, if not precisely the same case.

(The two Netgear routers share the same futuristic and awesome-looking design. By the way, the Nighthawk RAXE500 also comes with an internal fan, which is never a good thing — moving parts will eventually break. However, this fan rarely ran in my weeks-long testing. Mostly, it turned on for a short while during boot, then remained off.)

But the gist is that while known as a Wi-Fi 6E router, the Nighthawk RAXE500 is a Wi-Fi 6 router at its core. It works with all existing 5GHz and 2.4GHz, just like Netgear’s other high-end dual-band router, the RAX120.

And in my testing, it worked very well with them, if not better than ever before, among Netgear broadcasters.

READ  Wi-Fi 6/E Upgrade: Here's How You Can Add It To Your PC Today

Netgear RAXE500 vs. RAX200 vs. RAX120: Hardware specifications

Apart from the 6GHz band, the new Nighthawk RAXE500 is essentially the RAX200. For one, it’s also is a 4×4 router. It has four streams across the board in all three bands 2.4Ghz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands.

(Like other vendors, Netgear calls this setup a 12-stream router, which is not the same thing — a Wi-Fi device only connects using a single band at a time)

Combined all together, you’ll get the total bandwidth of 11000Mbps, which is the same as the RAX200 (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 5GHz).

ModelRAXE500RAX200RAX120
Full NameNetgear RAXE500
Nighthawk 12-Stream
AXE11000
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router
Netgear Nighthawk
AX12 12- stream 
AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router
Netgear Nighthawk 
AX12 12-stream 
AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router 
Dimensions11.7 x 3.07 x 8.3 in
(298 x 78 x 211 mm)
11.63 x 8.92 x 2.14 in
(295 x 227 x 54 mm)
12.2 x 7.48 x 1.77 in
(310 x 190 x 45 mm)
Weight3.2 lb (1.45 kg)2.43 lbs (1.1 kg)3 lbs (1.4 kg)
Wi-Fi TechnologyTri-Band AXE11000Tri-Band AX11000Dual-Band AX6000
1st Band4×4 5GHz AX
Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4×4 5GHz AX
Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
8×8 5GHz AX
Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/80+80MHz)
2nd Band4×4 6GHz AX
Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4×4 5GHz AX
Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
None
3rd Band4×4 2.4GHz AX
Up to 1.2Gbps
(20/40MHz)
4×4 2.4GHz AX
Up to 1.2Gbps
(20/40MHz)
4×4 2.4GHz AX
Up to 1.2Gbps
(20/40MHz)
Number of 160MHz Channels7 on 6GHz band
2 on 5GHz band
2 on two 5GHz bands2 on one 5GHz band
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Mobile AppNetgear NighthawkNetgear NighthawkNetgear Nighthawk
Bridge ModeYesYesYes
AP ModeYesYesYes
USB Port2x USB 3.02x USB 3.02x USB 3.0
Gigabit Port4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Link AggregationYes (LAN ports 3 and 4)Yes (LAN ports 3 and 4)Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2)
Multi-Gig Port1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN1x 5Gbps LAN/WAN
CPU64-bit quad-core 1.8GHz CPU
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
64-bit quad-core 1.8GHz CPU
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
64-bit quad-Core 2.2GHz CPU
512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Release DateMarch 26, 2021March 19, 2019November 7, 2018
Price (at Launch)$600$550$500
Hardware specifications: RAXE500 vs. RAX200 vs. RAX120

The new router also comes with four Gigabit LAN ports, one Gigabit WAN port, and one 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port. Finally, it’s, too, powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core processor and the same amount of RAM and flash storage.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500: Detail photos

The Netgear RAXE500 Router out of the box
The Netgear RAXE500 Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6E router with all of its industry-standard unnecessary plastic wrappings and its retail box.

The Netgear RAXE500 Router looks like a race car
The Nighthawk RAXE500 looks like a race car

The Netgear RAXE500 Router
The Netgear RAXE500 comes with two gigantic antennas that dub like its wings

The Netgear RAXE500 Router with antennas colapsed
These “wings” can be folded down on the router’s top.

The Netgear RAXE500 Router side with colapsed antenna
Sure, you can collapse just one side.

The Netgear RAXE500 Routers Underside
The Netgear RAXE500’s underside. Note how it’s wall-mountable.

The Netgear RAXE500 Routers label
Here’s a closeup at the the Netgear RAXE500’s label which contains its setup information.

The Netgear RAXE500 Router has an internal fan
The Nighthawk RAXE500 has an array of status lights on top. Note its internal fan below the surface.

The Netgear RAXE500 Router back angle
The Netgear RAXE500 looks totally nice from any angle, especially this one.

The Netgear RAXE500 Routers ports
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500’s ports. Note the 2.5bps LAN/WAN port and the ability for both WAN and LAN link aggregation.

 

Netgear RAX200 Ports
And here are the ports of the RAX200. Note the similarity.

The Netgear RAXE500 vs Asus GT AXE11000 4
The Netgear RAXE500 next to the the Wi-Fi 6E router, the Asus GT-AXE1100.

Familiar web interface, mobile app, network settings, and features

And there’s more in the similarities between the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 and RAX200. The two share the same web interface, mobile apps, as well as what you can do with each in terms of network settings and features.

Specifically:

  • You can set up the router the way you do any other with a standard web interface. Just visit its default IP, which is 192.168.1.1, and the rest is self-explanatory.
  • There’s an excellent set of network settings and features, including DHCP, Dynamic DNS, port forwarding, VPN, and so on.
  • There’s no built-in online protection, but you can opt for Netgear Armor which costs $70/year.
  • The router has rather limited Wi-Fi settings — you can only set each band to work at “up to” a certain speed grade. That’s useless since there’s no reason why you don’t want to pick the highest number.
  • Apart from the web interface, you can opt for the Netgear Nighthawk mobile app, which is convenient to use but will require a login account — it can be a privacy concern.

It’s worth noting, though, that the Nighthawk RAXE500 doesn’t come with a built-in QoS that helps prioritize the Internet. Instead, it has a Traffic Meter that keeps tabs on your monthly data cap, which is not as useful.

Netgear RAXE500 Wi Fi Settings
The Netgear RAXE500 comes with a standard web interface with a similar set of features and settings. Note its limited Wi-Fi settings in terms of speeds.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500: Great, but incomplete, performance

It took me a long time to test the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500, and I still didn’t get the full picture of its performance.

Again, that’s because while Wi-Fi 6E might be the reason why Netgear makes this new router, the standard is still in a very early stage, and there’s no official computer that supports it yet. To compare apples to apples, I’d need at least one for the official tests.

READ  Internet or Wi-Fi Speed Test: How You Can Figure Out the Correct Numbers

But one thing is clear: This is a formidable Wi-Fi machine. It worked well with all clients tried with it with no issues at all.

Wi-Fi 6E: (Easily) fast but short range

While I have no numbers to show you here, I can say for sure that, the new 6GHz band has a much shorter range than that of the 5GHz band.

I used two Samsung S21 Ultra phones connected to the 6GHz and 5GHz bands of the router. As I walked around, the phone clearly showed the difference in the bands’ ranges.

Wi Fi 6E vs Wi Fi 6 Speeds Samsung S21 Ultra
These two Samsung S21 Ultras connected to the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500’s 5Ghz and 6GHz band at 45 feet (14 m) away within the line of sight. Note the difference in negotiated speeds.

At 45 feet (14 m) away, within line of sight, the 5GHz band has a full bar and a negotiated speed of 2.4Gbps. The 6GHz now lost a bar and connected at 816Mbps. These Mbps numbers fluctuated and weren’t precisely indicative of real-world speeds, but they did show the two bands’ signal powers over range.

Wi Fi 6E vs Wi Fi 6 Signals Samsung S21 Ultra
Here’s another picture of the two phone, still at 45 feet away, showing the signal bars of the two bands.

In terms of actual speeds, in my anecdotal testing, the 6GHz had the exact speed as that of the 5GHz when connected at 160MHz channel width. That was true as long as the clients were no more than 30 feet away. Farther out — or when I put a wall between them and the router — the 5GHz was clearly faster.

Most importantly, I could connect to the 5GHz from almost everywhere within a house of some 2000 ft2 (186 m2) but couldn’t do so consistently with the 6GHz. In fact, most outer parts of the house had zero 6GHz signal.

It’s my preliminary estimate that Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) has just about 60% or even 50% of the Wi-Fi 6 (5GHz)’s real-world coverage depending on the number of walls in the house.

So what’s the point of the 6GHz, you might ask? Well, in a small house with a lot of open space, you can always connect at 160MHz, while the 5GHz band might switch to a slower bandwidth (80MHz or even 40MHz) in most cases. So 6GHz, when available, kind of guarantees fast speeds.

You can read more in this updated post about Wi-Fi 6E. But open space is the key for this new band.

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

Excellent speeds on 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands

As if to make up for the drawback of the 6GHz band, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 excelled on the 5GHz, topping the chart with more than 1500Mbps of sustained speed at a close range of 10 feet (3m). I used a 2×2 160MHz Wi-Fi 6 client for this test.

Netgear RAXE500 Wi Fi 6 Performance
Netgear RAXE500’s Wi-Fi 6 performance on the 5GHz band.

Most impressively, farther out at 40 feet away, it still averaged north of 1200Mbps. This was partly thanks to the router’s 2.5Gbps port which I used as a LAN port for the testing.

Netgear RAXE500 Wi Fi 5 Performance
Netgear RAXE500’s Wi-Fi 5 performance on the 5GHz band.

And the router did well with Wi-Fi 5 clients, too, averaging between almost 600Mbps and faster than 700Mbps at up to 40 feet.

On the 2.4GHz band, which had the long-range but crazy low speed — this band caps at 40MHz channel bandwidth for all Wi-Fi 6 routers — the Nighthawk RAXE500 did well, too. It wasn’t the fastest but well above the average.

Netgear RAXE500 2 4GHz Performance
Netgear RAXE500’s Wi-Fi 6 performance on the 2.4GHz band.

Excellent range and signal reliability

The Netgear RAXE500 passed my week-long stress and real-world test with no issue at all. And it had stellar coverage — and I’m talking about the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands here.

It’s safe to say it can take care of a house of up between 2000 ft2 (186 m2) to 2500 ft2 (232 m2) with no problem at all. Chances you’ll get even more with strategic placement, but that all depends on how your home is.

Fast NAS performance

Thanks to the 2.5Gbps port, the Netgear RAXE500 proved to be an excellent mini NAS server when hosted a storage device.

I tested it with the last SanDisk Extreme Pro and got the type of performance that was totally fast enough for a viable network storage device.

Netgear RAXE500 NAS Performance
Netgear RAXE500’s network-attached storage performance.

While the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 doesn’t support Time Machine backup, it’s worth noting that it comes with ReadyShare, practical technology for those who want to share data securely via the Internet. And course, you can share data locally via the popular SMB protocol, just like most USB-enabled routers.

Conclusion

If you’re expecting to be wowed by Wi-Fi 6E in certain ways, the Netgear RAXE500 Nighthawk 12-Stream AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router probably won’t deliver all that, nor will any other routers of its type, including the Asus GT-AXE11000.

That’s because, as I suspected, Wi-Fi 6E, while fast, has a comparatively terrible range due to the high frequency. That’s not to mention you likely don’t have a real 6GHz client yet anyway.

But if you’re looking for the best Netgear Wi-Fi 6 router that can also do Wi-Fi 6E, the Nighthawk RAXE500 is as good as it gets. Have a big chunk of change lying around? You can pre-order it now on Amazon or get it today at Netgear! By the way, did I say it looked awesome?

(On the other hand, if you want something a bit less refined for now — buggy, that is — but with lots more customization, go with the Asus GT-AXE11000. Among other things, you’ll save $50.)

107 thoughts on “Netgear RAXE500 Review: An Excellent (Wi-Fi 6E) Router for a Price”

  1. Mister Dong! Is there a way show older comments first, and new comments last? Like any other website in the universe? haha
    I just can’t get used to this. It is so hard in my little head.

    Reply
    • Yes, P, explain to me why that makes sense (other than it’s “convenient for me!”), and I’ll make it happen. Since a post can be updated, the oldest comment might not be applicable. On the other hand, the latest comment is always applicable, no matter it’s an original post or an updated one.

      Reply
      • Just saying because any other website on the internet works like that. Whether is a store, a blog, any place where people comment, the latest comment goes at the end. This is actually the first and only place where I ever saw that happening. But no big deal I guess, it just feels very strange, and it makes it incredibly awkward to look for prior comments and replies.

        Reply
  2. Great review Dong! I have a question about this router:

    Quick and dirty: Should I get this or wait for the TP Link Archer AX206? (I’m not in any rush)

    The details: I want to get a WiFi 6e router that will maximize my wireless connection speed to my 10gbe NAS. I currently use a 4-port 10gbe switch (4 combo ports, the copper ones support 1/2.5/5/10) that is then hooked up to a pretty old WiFi router with a 1gbe connection. I plan to buy the new 16” Apple silicon Macbook pro heavily rumored to support WiFi 6e and release later this year. My question is: will the 2.5gbe port on this router create a bottleneck in this scenario? If I’m close to the router (which I often will be) how likely is it that I would saturate that 2.5gbe connection to my 10gbe switch when connected to the router over WiFi 6e?

    Reply
    • The RAXE500 has no 10Gbps port so it’s not good for your NAS, the only that is, for now, is the Asus RT-AX89X. As for saturation, remember that you only have 2×2 Wi-Fi 6(E) clients that cap at 2.4Gbps. Also don’t expect magic from Wi-Fi 6E, it has terrible range. More in this post.

      Reply
      • I don’t think we can talk about range when we don’t even have a default working client yet. There are mobile devices but you can’t compare with a computer client. Mobile clients are an absolute joke, always way slower and with way worse reception compared to a PC client. Mobile clients can’t be used to get a valid conclusion of the potential the 6ghz or any other band has. Not even in a home environment.
        There are no magic registry changes coming from a guy living in his mom’s basement. If they are not working right now is because they’re still not ready.
        And more than likely new 4×4 clients will eventually appear with dedicated 6ghz antennas. Simple physics would tell you that can’t be much difference between 5ghz and 6ghz. Way less difference than between 2.4 and 5ghz. Range will never, ever be an issue in the future once everything is working properly, and you’ll get to see it.
        Then again, Wi-Fi has its limitations, then we need cables.

        Reply
      • What it actually sucks is that with everything being already passed and approved, we don’t even have a proper working client yet.
        And yes so many would say, “well you don’t need a 4×4 client, those intel chips are super fast”, but a good 4×4 client would make a huge difference in signal reception, constant high speeds and reliability, like the ASUS PCE-AC88 did for AC. But I guess it will take years to get there…

        Reply
  3. Hey Dong, I have the Asus axe11000 and my problem I am having is with Nest Cameras. I have 6. All constantly disconnect throughout the day. I have been in contact with asus support for weeks now and I guess they are looking into it. Signal strengths also appear to be lower on this model. I have one camera at the far in outside my home. It will connect just fine on the 5ghz band with my old rax120, but will barely connect with the asus axe11000 on 2.4ghz.

    Reply
    • Maybe try with the 5ghz band as you did with your previous router.
      I’m having the same issue with my nest cam, but I have the raxe500. I tried every single configuration except for the 5ghz band. Signal strength inside the house is fine, but ass soon I step out sucks.

      Reply
      • Dang the suggestion for the nest and the guest network didn’t work and I was thinking of getting the Raxe500. But now I guess not. My signal strength on the Asus is horrible. This thing is hot trash.

        Reply
        • You know? Who knows lol
          People seem to have different issues.
          There’s one thing that I’ll bet money on. Signal strength reachability has to be better on the ASUS. Yeah I’m sure there is lots of engineering on the raxe500 wings, but you can’t compare with exterior antennas.

          Reply
          • Well comparing my RAX120 with the ASUS AXE11000, the signal from the RAX is better. I’m also using a beta firmware version provided by ASUS, so its more current than the released version.

          • The signal issue could also be that now in the ASUS, 4 of the antennas are exclusively dedicated to the 6ghz band. More than likely a similar situation for the RAXE500.
            When you have the router facing you at the front, where the “republic of gamers” text is, those two front antennas, and also the two on the left are 6ghz.
            Not need to be an engineer to know that has to have a negative impact on the signal for the 2.4ghz, 5ghz or both.

          • Some good info to know. Wish I knew it before placing a pre- order. Now that I know those antennas are basically useless any suggestions how to orientate the others? My router is on the second floor of a two story home and high on an entertainment center.

          • I don’t know which ones are the 5ghz or 2.4ghz ones. Or if that’s even the case, maybe the rest of the 4 are serving both bands, no idea.
            Most routers these days spread the signal everywhere with no issues, but my preference is always to use the first floor for the router. I never had a problem on a second floor when using the router on the first floor, but I had problems doing it backwards.
            But since you have it on the second floor, maybe you can try to put the antennas vertically, which will spread more waves horizontally. Contrary of “common sense”, if you spread the antennas horizontally, you’ll increase the waves going vertically.
            You can always do some interesting testing with some of the Wi-Fi analyzer apps out there. Those apps are totally reliable to see how’s the signal spreading around the house, and if you’ll be able to get some changes by moving the antennas.

          • Also I don’t know if your ASUS have this option, but the RAXE500 gives you the option of disabling the AX mode, and for what I read, it could solve many issues. I disabled it for a little bit and noticed no difference on internet speed, and that will be the next and last thing to try if I still have issues.

          • Yeah AX is not the problem, that should not affect signal strength or nest cameras for that reason. But it can be disabled, no effect. Trust I have had time to toggle every feature on and off one at a time with a reboot in between, and nothing makes a difference. As for the 2.4ghz signal strength. I have even disable usb 3.0 hoping that would increase range, nope.

          • I remembered I had a problem with my ASUS PCE-AC68 not being able to connect to the 5Ghz band, and I thought ok let see why. So that thing can’t connect to any dfs channel for some reason. I thought ok maybe that’s the reason I can’t connect the camera neither, since I have an older nest indoor cam. But not the case, the camera sees the 5ghz band at all times but can’t connect at all. Tried everything, non dfs, dfs and my mother in law…
            Another issue that I have with the raxe500 is to be able to last more than few minutes on a dfs channel. If I factory reset it can be on a dfs channel for a few days, but after that I get kicked out so quickly; I change the channel and there it goes instantly kicked out. And then I can’t never connect back to the same channel, ever again lol. That’s supposed to be like 30 minute restriction or whatever, but of course not. A day later and get the same message, “you can’t connect because the radar bs”…
            So this router is ultrafast when it works, but with all this issues I’m getting rid of it. Especially because of the camera problem, which I have it on a window recording everything that happens at the front of my house. I would give them a chance with firmware and crap, but I can’t be with the camera cutting off every few minutes. I also absolutely hate the settings on this thing. So I’ll buy a cheap router, and whenever I can get my hands on the ASUS I’ll buy it again.

          • Yeah I gave Asus a chance with the firmware, two betas in and no resolution, now I’m past my return period and stuck with it. Of course Nest says it’s a Asus problem because if it worked before that router, it’s the router. Just feel screwed over. If it’s happening with the Raxe500, then it’s something these two routers are doing different than previous routers that Nest cameras do not like. People need to know this before they buy.

          • True. I still have some wishful thinking about the ASUS since is the one I’m going to get. But at least we know ASUS improves like crazy overtime.
            I got very lucky today and bought the ASUS on best buy, which means that I’ll buy a cheap $5 router on craigslist or whatever and use it to get the 15% off recycling discount. $505.99 total.
            But based in what you’re saying, I’ll count on having the same problem. These routers are having issues with the 2.4ghz band, and then the freaking camera can’t connect to 5ghz band lol.
            Nest was right, it can’t be their fault, even if it was, they don’t have to make a product compatible with technology that doesn’t even exist yet. I’ll blame ASUS, Netgear etc.
            I noticed no camera drops when using it at low quality, but the image looks terrible. At mid level is kind of acceptable quality and way less drops. Then again we buy those cameras to see a great image…
            Maybe the 5ghz and the 6ghz together are causing some slight issues with the 2.4ghz band. No idea…
            I also had an Archer ax11000, with some other issues, but the signal was incredible, indoor and outdoors, zero problems with the cameras either or neither, whichever one, I never remember lol
            In this case this is my last one. Hopefully I don’t have to get a replacement haha. I can’t handle this anymore. I’ve being switching routers since November 2020. I’m very tired of all this…
            Plus Dong Ngo must be a very good person, but I know he’s probably tired of seeing my weird explanations haha.

          • Yes I’m a good person. And I’ve told you multiple times not to get these cutting-edge routers. Patience is a virtue. 🙂

          • Yeah, but you know how people are haha
            At least the Netgear helped me to figure out my issues at home. Now I know I’m screwed with DFS channels. I just hope the Asus doesn’t give me any trouble with the cameras, and I will patiently wait for the 6ghz as stated.

          • Asus told me last night that for whatever reason the nest cameras are not hearing the beacons from the router, therefore they are sending the response back to just disassociate itself, casing the disconnect. I also decided to turn off my 6ghz band to see if it had an affect and now have found out that my Samsung s21 ultra connects to the router (2.4 or 5ghz band) but will not have internet access. Does not matter if you forget the network it will never connect with internet access. I am so over this.

          • Now that’s weird what’s going on with your S21Ultra. With the raxe500 I noticed that if deactivate the 6ghz band, the two other bands work like crap…

          • I just can’t use it right now. I boxed it up. I did have the 6ghz band deactivated but my 2.4ghz band would not pull anything over 5mbps up or down and I have 1gig up/down. I tried ever channel 1 – 11.

          • That’s very bizarre. It will drive me nuts…
            I got a $26.99 router at amazon, I’ll wish myself luck until I can get the ASUS. I’ll report if I have the same camera issues.
            You didn’t mention which cameras are failing, which model.
            For example, I’m having problems with the nest cam indoor. Which is quite old, but had zero issues with my nest hello.
            And as I mentioned in another comment. They talk about being backwards compatible, but that’s not always the case. My ASUS PCE-AC68 can’t see any DFS channel. The entire band disappears while using the router with a DFS channel. Even what works doesn’t work as well like it would do with a good AC router.

          • Nest cam indoor and outdoor. Nest hello has no issue, neither does Nest hub max. Google chromecast or Nest protects.

          • I have no problem with my thermostat neither, which is the 3rd generation from 2015. So the age of the product has nothing to do with it to some degree. Then again a thermostat doesn’t require much bandwidth anyway. Maybe if we had the latest cameras we wouldn’t have any issues, as the doorbell seems to be showing us. Still upsetting. I’m not excited at all about getting a new camera…

  4. I was doing different changes on my wireless settings and saw a quick message saying that I wasn’t allowed to choose the same DFS channel because of whatever interference issue.
    So basically the router switch your channel, we all know that. But considering that I can get up to 1.4gb+ speed with this router, and when that happens I maybe get around 800mb down, my guess is that it switch you to a lower non DFS channel.
    The part that sucks is that it keeps you there and never switchs you back again to a higher faster channel. That really sucks a lot, and will happen with any AX router I guess. I just want to have fast speeds in my computer without having to go into the settings every freaking day…
    I’m trying the smart connect to see if it solves the issue, but they only mention bands, not channels, so I have no idea if the router will this way keep you on a faster channel all the time. I guess we’ll see…

    Reply
    • We’ll it didn’t took too long to confirm that is even worse lol.
      I missed the fact that even on smart connect you still have to choose the channel on both bands. Maybe I’ll try auto channels alone and see what happens then.
      The freaking smart connect just put me on the 2.4 ghz band lol

      Reply
  5. I currently have the RAX120 and saw your chart above but can you give clarity as to the viability of ditching it for this RAXe500 ?

    Reply
  6. Got my raxe500, signal strength is wonderful. Found a possible glitch, under my configuration as soon as I turn on guest WiFi my routers 5ghz completely disappears forcing me to restore from configuration with guest WiFi turned off. Aside from the one glitch it’s great router!

    Reply
      • Wanted to give an updated. It’s not doing it anymore the bug must of worked itself thru. No more issues turning on guest WiFi. Just wanted to say though the race 500 is replacing my synology rt2600ac but now using the synology as a wireless router to use all of its awesome features (Threat prevention, DNS over https), then attaching my new raxe500 to it for everything else.

        Reply
    • The thing I’ve found is a decrease of signal strength and consequently speeds. It doesn’t happen as often as my previous router, but if it happened to me with another ax router, my guess is that is a channel change due to the dfs rules. I live 6 miles away from an airport… Change the channel again or reboot it and everything goes back to normal. Hopefully doesn’t get worse. And I’ll keep it anyway for whenever the 6ghz start working.
      I jist hate to be checking the link speeds…

      Reply
  7. Is there any WiFi 6E access point anytime soon from Netgear? I.e. not a router, just a plaint PoE powered access point.

    Reply
  8. Come on is time for the real review! Can’t wait to see the graphics speeds comparison. The more you wait the more I’m going to keep exposing the raxe500 in my crappy ways haha

    Reply
  9. I guess I don’t need more settings, but kind of hate Netgear settings.
    I am unable to set up ipv6, not that I need it I guess… So many options, tried so many combinations. Maybe someone let me know how to do this with Comcast.
    Another huge dislike is that netgear doesn’t show the mhz of each channel.

    Reply
    • I was also trying to use the 6ghz band. Find it, couldn’t connect but didn’t bothered any longer, whenever is time to work properly I’ll use it.
      I noticed full signal strength, you know, Wi-Fi bars wise lol. I have no doubts that is not going to be a problem with reaching.

      Reply
        • Yeah! Agree, I thought, was the point of changing registry if is not even going to work 100%? And then this thing is so incredibly fast that I don’t even need it. I was even getting blue screens while trying to connect and stuff hehe.
          I read a lot of people complaining about the ASUS having speed inconsistencies, but this thing is rock solid for me right now. The interface is kind of buggy and stupid, but I’m very happy with this thing, it just works.
          I noticed that outdoors doesn’t reach as well as other routers with the eight antennas, but nothing that bothers me.

          Reply
  10. Hi Dong, thanks for this review. I’m currently doing an entire home renovation, and in the market for a router from now till I move in in June 2021. I was wondering if I should pull the trigger and get WiFi 6E routers (such as this Netgear RAXE500, or ASUS ROG AXE11000) for future proofing.

    Reply
      • I must violated some reddit rules no idea…
        Basically I purchased with 2 day shipping and they sent it by ground haha.
        From California to Florida, a $600 router…
        After that I noticed they changed their 2 day shipping to standard.
        At least I got $20 credit adjustment.

        Reply
  11. Very sorry for what I’m sure is an extremely stupid question to tech-savvy people, but why is there a 1G Multi-gig Internet port and also a separate 2.5G Multi-Gig port? Wouldn’t everyone connect their cable modem to the 2.5G port to ensure the highest bandwidth? Or is the 2.5G port not an Internet input port or something like that? Again, sorry for my ignorance.

    Reply
    • Most people would do what you suggested, but I guess is all about different options. I would connect to the 2.5gb port from my modem, even if I didn’t had a 1gb+ connection at home. You’ll read people around these forums talking about switches etc, complaining about the lack of ports, the speed of the ports, but trust me those are the 0.00000000000000001% of people. Most people just use the router to connect to internet with their wireless devices.

      Reply
  12. TLDR: is there any point in getting a WiFi6e router with a 10gbe port, instead of 2.5gbe?

    Medium version: I want to be able to connect to a 10gbe NAS over WiFi at the fastest possible speeds. Currently the NAS is plugged into a switch with 4 10gbe combo ports (that is plugged into a crappy WiFi router provided by my broadband company). I plan on upgrading to the ARM-based Macbook Pro (whenever it comes out) that is heavily rumored to have WiFi6e, as well as to a more competant router. My question is, would a good WiFi6e connection be bottlenecked by a 2.5G connection to my switch or is WiFi6e not able to saturate 2.5G? I ask because I see other WiFi6e routers on the horizon with 10gbe ports. (Note:my broadband connection is 1G and not going to get faster anytime soon, so I won’t need 2.5/10G ports on a new router for anything other than connecting to my switch)

    Reply
  13. Netgear blaming the delivery of this router on Fedex and the weather…
    Production issues? False promises? Nahh…. I’m going to lose my prime membership returning crappy routers…

    Reply
      • True, but I think they’re using it as an excuse, they gave me a random expected delivery date of April 7th…
        When you say that it does work well, does it work better than the rax200? Because according with the test numbers from Dong Ngo, the gt axe11000 is way better than the gt ax11000. I was wondering if the raxe500 would also take things further when it comes to speeds, or if it is just about the same than the rax200.

        Reply
        • Like it sucks than netgear doesn’t share anything about improvements, if any. We know the chipset is the same, but Asus made huge improvements on their pcb design and that shows in the speed results. I just can’t believe that no one reviewed this thing on YouTube, took it apart, whatever…

          Reply
  14. Shipping tomorrow! Hellouuu!!!
    Come on guys give us that info!
    Wth I’m going to get it first and then I’m going to give my crappy point of view, confusing readers haha

    Reply
  15. I ended up ordering this RAXE500 on Netgear’s website.
    I got screwed by Amazon like never did before…
    Preordered the ASUS on February 13. The router was “coming” early this Wednesday 3, but somehow got “lost”… Never happened to me before with Amazon, plus the tracking was a TBA one…
    More than likely stolen by a scalper thief… Then I was told that I would get a replacement by March 10, and then a random representative issues a refund that I never requested… “Oh sorry is out of stock, order again, thanks”. Yeah thanks!!!
    Can’t get any worse than that.
    Not happy getting this, I like to configure stuff, but if it is fast and works well that’s what matter.
    I ordered this and a minute later was out of stock. I don’t even understand where people get the money for this stuff. Also I never thought Netgear would be that desired by the tech community, since their firmware settings really suck. I guess the performance is good.
    I got a TP-Link AC1750 to get by hahaha. This thing is absolutely terrible, way worse than my old R6250.

    Reply
      • It works great on the 2.4 and 5.8 bands…however Netgear hasn’t released the fw that will enable the 6ghz yet (should be tomorrow) and then I will be able to see how well the 6ghz propagates.

        Reply
    • Still early to give us your thoughts? 6ghz working with the ax210? Hehe.
      Release date is coming! I’m supposed to get mine by March 17/18. No idea about how reliable is Netgear with their sales and distribution. Never purchased straight from them before.

      Reply
        • I can say that it just plain sucks right now. 6ghz isn’t very powerful..thanks to the FCC, the power levels have been neutered and I feel like it would be easier/cheaper to just run a cat5 than try to use 6ghz right now.

          Reply
          • So we the buyers are going to be left with a crippled “dual band” router at a high price?
            I don’t really have any previous technology transition experience to remember, like in this case. But if that’s the case for any longer, is a total shame. No matter who is to be blamed. Paying these prices we should have a totally functional device, buggy if you wish, but functional. No wonder why lots of people are pissed, and I actually feel stupid getting one of these when I know what’s going on… Just hopping for the best…

          • Agree. But I have no router and not going to buy something else for nearly as much money. Hopefully they fix it sooner than later…

          • It’ll get better before the year is out. In the meantime, don’t go freeze yourself! Dual-band is not that bad. 🙂

  16. Hi Dong
    Great reviews.
    I’m currently using the RT-AX88U and pretty happy with it, that said there is a dead spot/ slow speed area in the house approx. 2000 ft2 / 186 m2.
    I would like to solve the issue using a single unit and I have the opportunity to test the RAX200. Would you think the RAX200 has the better range/coverage than the RT-AX88U? If the RAX200 won’t do the trick I will buy the
    RT-AX86U and create aimesh with the RT-AX88U > would you recommend using the AX86 as the node or the AX88?
    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • The RAX200 (or any other tri-band router) highly likely won’t help at all with your coverage issue, Sponk. More here. Try to move the RT-AX88U to a more centered place, or get another unit.

      Reply
        • It doesn’t matter as far as the mesh go. But the 86 has a 2.5Gbps port and more gaming feature. You want to use wired backhaul if possible.

          Reply
      • I agree, except if you get a very cheap router you’ll definitely have a range problem. I wonder how much you have to spend to reach the point where it doesn’t make any difference to go more expensive for that matter.
        Also with Wi-Fi 6 I noticed that even when you have one little Wi-Fi bar “far” outside, the device doesn’t disconnect intermittently and works great!

        Reply
  17. This is a tough one… either this or the GTX-AXE11000. Though the looks are so much better on this, I am leaning towards the Asus instead of Netgear one for a couple of more usefulness to me, such as the USB 3.2 vs 3.0, the AiMesh setup, etc. Definitely will be seeing your reviews on these two side-by-side comparison!

    Reply
          • Not what Intel says, well see. Definitely disappointing if that’s the case. Hopefully we hear more in detail from you soon. I’ll be really angry after spending so many hundreds on this stuff…

      • I’ve been using gateways thus far, so this is the first time I’m going to use a separate modem & router. I’ve ordered the RAXE500 and also the CM2000 for my cable modem. From what I can tell they should work great in tandem with each other. I’ve read this can increase the WiFi speed to my laptop. What’s your opinion of this combo together? Also, I’m very excited that it purports to handle more connected devices concurrently (up to 60 I think). I have about 50 connected devices now which causes all kinds of problems with my current Nighthawk C7800 gateway.

        Reply
        • The combo will likely work well, but the faster Wi-Fi speculative and the more clients notion is just a matter of bandwidth. It might work out but I’d recommend not having too high expectations you’ll be disappointed.

          Reply
          • Thanks for the quick reply! I hear what you are saying about the faster WiFi and more clients so I’ll keep my expectations reasonable. I just feel good knowing that should Xfinity at some point in the future start rolling out faster data plans than 1 Gbps I know the hardware can deliver.

            I’m guessing because I’m using a separate dedicated cable modem rather than a gateway that I won’t have to activate a ‘bridge mode’ and the setup should nearly take care of itself, as long as I can activate it with Xfinity. I’m not a tech dummy, but I’m no expert either. This is new territory for me, but I expect I’ll be able to handle it without having to be an expert. I can’t wait to report my experience when I receive everything.

          • Xfinity raised their speeds again, “I’m getting” 1.2gb speeds now with them. Can’t wait to get a decent router…

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