Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: One Minute Review
Netgear is always quick to adopt the latest networking technologies, as it should be given the price of its products, and has already introduced the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology into its high-end Orbi mesh systems. Orbi systems are very much designed for larger homes, but if you don’t live in a mega mansion in Silicon Valley, you can now get state-of-the-art 6E Wi-Fi from Netgear’s more mainstream Nighthawk line of routers.
Things are a little confusing here, as there are four very similar Nighthawk models in the new RAXE lineup. Watch out for the ‘E’ at the end, which denotes the use of Wi-Fi 6E as opposed to the previous RAX line of routers that use Wi-Fi 6 direct. The new Wi-Fi 6E models look virtually identical, sporting the eye-catching black winged design used by previous Nighthawk models.
All four models also support tri-band Wi-Fi 6E, which adds the new 6.0GHz frequency to the existing 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands used by Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. However, all four RAXE models offer different speeds and prices, ranging from 7.3 Gbps to a whopping 10.8 Gbps.
We decided to opt for the mid-range Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300, a Wi-Fi 6 router that costs just under $400, with a top speed of 7.8Gbps that should be fast enough for streaming 8K video or playing the most VR games. recent with headphones. The Nighthawk RAXE300 also offers solid wired connectivity, with multiple Ethernet ports and even USB-C. The Nighthawk app will get you started quickly and easily, but as we’ve seen before, the app is also a bit basic and requires additional paid subscriptions to access parental controls and other features.
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Price and Availability
- How much does it cost? $399.99 (£349.99, AU$699.00)
- Where is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: SPECIFICATIONS
Wireless connectivity: Triband WiFi 6E (2.4GHz + 5.0GHz + 6.0GHz)
WiFi Speed: 7.8 Gbps
Wired connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet (WAN), 1x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (WAN), 4x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN), 1x USB-C (3.0)
Processor: 1.7 GHz, four cores
Memory: 512 GB
Store: 256MB Flash
Dimensions: 170 x 315 x 208 mm
Weight: 1.01 kg
Alternatively, speed demons can opt for the top-of-the-line Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500, which clocks in at a whopping 10.8Gbps and costs $599.99/£549.99/AU$1,099. But, as mentioned, all Nighthawk routers look virtually identical, so it’s important to pay close attention to the speeds they offer before purchasing.
The Nighthawk RAXE300 might seem like a rather expensive standalone router, costing $399.99/£349.99/AU$699.00. Even so, it’s still less than rival 6E Wi-Fi routers like Asus’ top-of-the-line Rapture GT-AXE11000. US customers can save a little money by opting for the entry-level Nighthawk RAXE290, which is only slightly slower at 7.3Gbps. This model costs around $250 in the US, although it is not available in other regions at the time of this review.
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Project
- attractive design
- Many Ethernet ports
- USB-C for shared storage
Nighthawk routers are instantly recognizable, with a streamlined, understated design and prominent ‘wings’ that make them look like a Cylon battleship from Battlestar Galactica. It’s not just eye candy, as the wings house six internal antennas, keeping them away from the body of the router to transmit the Wi-Fi signal as far as possible.
There are some impressive options for wired connections too, with no fewer than six Ethernet ports available on the back panel of the router. There are two ports, marked in yellow, that can be used for your Internet (WAN) connection, offering Gigabit or 2.5 Gigabit speeds, along with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired (LAN) connections to devices such as a laptop or console. of games . It is also possible to ‘bundle’ two of these LAN ports, combining them to provide 2Gbps over Ethernet. The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 is also the first router we’ve seen that includes a USB-C port for connecting a hard drive or other storage device that can be shared with others on your home network.
Getting started is very simple as the Nighthawk app allows you to simply scan a QR code on the base of the router to connect to your new Wi-Fi network. You can keep the default network name (SSID) and password printed on the base of the router, or create a new name and password for extra security. And to put it simply, the app also allows the Nighthawk to use the same network name (SSID) and network password as your original router, so you don’t have to change login details on every device in your house. 🇧🇷
But while the Nighthawk app is very easy to use, it’s pretty basic and tries to sell you additional subscriptions to fill in some of its missing features. The app’s parental controls are very limited, allowing you to simply pause internet access on your children’s devices. There are no scheduling features or content filters to block inappropriate websites without paying for Netgear’s Smart Parental Controls service.
There is a 30-day trial available on the app. But after that, the service costs $7.99 per month (approximately £6.50 or AU$13.00) or $69.99 per year (approximately £57.50 or AU$112.00). That’s disappointing given the Nighthawk’s hefty price tag – especially when some rival routers provide good parental controls at no extra cost. The app also offers a 30-day trial for Netgear’s Armor security service, with subscriptions costing $99.99 per year (approximately £82.00 or AU$160.00).
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Performance
- Attractive wings do a good job
- Provide fast WiFi
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Benchmarks
Single and mixed network
okla speed test
Within 5 feet, no obstructions: 150Mbps/150Mbps
Within 30 feet, three dividing walls: 150Mbps/150Mbps
20GB Steam download
Within 5 feet, no obstructions: 19MB/s
Within 30 feet, three dividing walls: 19 MB/s
As you’d expect, the top-end Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 delivers impressive performance as well as a good range that allows us to provide fast Wi-Fi even in our building’s back office, which is normally something of a Wi-Fi Dead Zone. Nearby devices in the same room as the Nighthawk show no obvious improvement, as the Nighthawk registers the same speeds as our regular router, at 150 Mbps for the Ookla speed test and 19 MB/s for Steam downloads.
However, the Nighthawk’s attractive wings do a good job of firing up its Wi-Fi in that back office, maintaining top speed for Ookla and Steam as we grab our laptop and wander down the hall to that back office.
Should I buy the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300?
Don’t buy if…
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Bulletin
|Value||We can’t fault the hardware design or performance, but at this price the Nighthawk app needs to provide better parental controls – without a monthly subscription.||3.5/5|
|Project||The Nighthawk RAXE300 looks great but comes with the latest technology for both Wi-Fi and wired networking.||4/5|
|acting||Wi-Fi 6E might be even faster, but 7.8Gbps is more than fast enough for most home broadband services.||5/5|
|Total||The Nighthawk RAXE300 offers sleek design and impressive performance, but the hard sell of additional subscriptions is disappointing at this price point.||4/5|
- first review November 2022
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