I recently planned to upgrade my router and wanted to get a gaming one. I didn’t know which one to choose, that’s why I googled and found the Netgear RAXE500 mentioned as a reliable gaming router on ApprovedModems.org, and I bought it. After weeks of testing it, here’s my gaming router review. Read till the end to learn everything about it.
Is it worth the heavy price tag? How does it perform in real life? Is Netgear Armor useful for every household? Does the 6GHz band make any difference? If you’re looking for answers to this question, you’re at the right place.
In this Review of the Netgear RAXE500, you’ll clearly understand its performance and make an informed decision.
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 Specs
|Wireless Standard||Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax)|
|2.4 GHz Speed||1200 Mbps|
|5 GHz Speed||4800 Mbps|
|6 GHz Speed||4800 Mbps|
|WiFi Range||Up to 3,500 Sq Ft|
|Maximum Device Capacity||60|
|Ports||4 x Gig LAN + 1 x 2.5 G WAN + 1 x Gig WAN + 2 x USB 3.0|
|Suitable Internet Plan||Up to 2.5 Gbps|
|Processor||1.8GHz Quad-Core Broadcom BCM4389|
|NAND Storage||512 MB|
|Dimensions||11.7 x 8.7 x 3.1 inches|
|Release Date||January 2021|
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 Review
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 was in charge of my home network for over a month, working in tandem with my AT&T 1 Gigabit connection. In this section of the RAXE500 review, you will find a detailed account of its performance over different parameters like features, coverage, and security.
Note: I also tweaked some router settings for gaming performance and it improved my performance by 25% and in some parts of the review, the gaming performance & experience mentioned is based on the settings.
Wireless Speeds & Suitability
Supporting the latest Wi-Fi 6E standards and operating in tri-band, this device can achieve 1200 Mbps in 2.4GHz, and 4800 Mbps in both 5 and 6 GHz frequencies. The aggregate speeds of 11000 Mbps will allow you to handle the demands of heavy usage automated home.
With my AT&T 1 Gig connection, I was maxing out the speeds on the 6GHz. The speed test in the night hawk app recorded 941 Mbps in downloads and 945 Mbps in uploads closest to the router.
When I moved to the adjacent room the speeds dropped to 780 Mbps in downloads and 650 Mbps in uploads. At 50ft away, my phone was clocking 85 Mbps in downloads and 20 Mbps in uploads. Having a 6GHz band and having fewer devices to share the 5GHz band, lead to substantial improvements even in the peak usage hour.
The downloads racked up 880 Mbps in downloads and 860 Mbps in uploads closest to the router. At approx 30ft, the speeds were 640 Mbps in downloads and 480 Mbps in uploads. At approx 50ft, it trumped the 6GHz performance with 100Mbps in downloads and 22 Mbps in uploads.
On the 2.4GHz frequency, my phone clocked 600 Mbps in downloads and 480 Mbps in uploads, closest to the router. Even at 30 feet away, the download speeds were impressive at 280 Mbps for downloads and 140 Mbps for uploads. At a farther point, over 50 feet away, the long-range performance trumped both 5 and 6 GHz, where the download speeds clocked at 110 Mbps and uploads at 30 Mbps.
Gaming Features & Experience
While the Netgear router has no dedicated gaming features like a dedicated port or VPN or acceleration boost, it has sufficient bandwidth and adequate wired connectivity to ensure a seamless gaming experience.
It cruised through some of the most graphically demanding games like CyberPunk 2077, Assasin creed, and Far cry 6 with no hassle on both PC and Xbox. I had no trouble streaming high-quality videos on both smart TVs at the same time. The streaming was buffer free.
Wi-Fi Coverage & Devices Capacity
The winglike structure encompasses eight internal beamforming antennas. This ensures the signals are strong across your entire household spanning 3500 Sq Ft. Once I nailed the right location, I had no trouble covering the entire 3200-square-foot home. I had access to stable internet in my outdoor garden, which wasn’t the case in the past.
Credit to MU-MIMO and OFDMA, even with over 40 devices hogging down the internet wasn’t enough to slow down the powerful RAXE500. This includes a bunch of CCTV cameras, voice assistants, tablets, mobile devices, laptops, an Xbox 360, and two smart TVs. I had access to a major share of the bandwidth for my TV and gaming console.
Design & Wired Connectivity
The Netgear router comes in a glossy black chassis with a foldable wing-like structure on both sides. The wings rest on a highly ventilated top that allows for good heat dissipation. Weighing 3.25 lbs and measuring 11.7 x 8.7 x 3.1 inches unfolded, it looks like a device for the future. It has sufficient room for all the Ethernet, WAN, and USB ports on its rear.
With the AXE-11000, you will have access to high-speed internet speeds up to 2.5 gigabits. It also has 1 gigabit WAN port and 4 Ethernet ports that are evenly spaced. They can aggregate, which allows you to combine two ISPs to create a more stable internet connection and make the most out of the additional 6GHz and total bandwidth.
I got 965 Mbps in downloads and 915 Mbps in uploads in my Xbox 360 when there was an ethernet cable running to the router. The high-speed USB 3.0 ports are handy for sharing media and printing devices within the entire household.
With Netgear Nighthawk AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6e router, you will have access to the latest WPA3 standards, guest network, and limited access control. If you subscribe to the Netgear Armor, this brings a plethora of advanced security features that would cost you $100 a year.
Your entire household gets protection against intrusions, DDoS attacks, and malicious content. This opens up access to the comprehensive Circle Smart parental controls, which allows you to create custom user profiles with scheduled internet access and website filters. If you run an automated home with a bunch of kids, the Armor subscription ensures peace of mind.
Netgear RAXE500 Setup
While you have a choice of a web portal or a mobile application, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by sticking to an app-based installation. The setup is smooth and guided, and it took hardly 10 minutes to get the device up and running.
Activate the remote management in the portal or the app labeled as “anywhere access” and take control of your home internet while you are on the go. This will allow you to enforce parental controls and monitor exposure and usage.
Hardware & Other Features
Netgear relies on a quad-core Broadcom BCM4389 processor that clocks at 1.8GHz. With 1 GB RAM and 512 MB storage to supplement, you’ll get sufficient power to handle plenty of devices in a large household.
Even with two 4K TV streaming videos simultaneously, the Netgear had enough juice to handle a plethora of mobile gadgets with no hassle. The stability of the device was commendable, where there were hardly any drops in connections owing to overloading or heating.
- Clutter-free 6GHz band
- Simultaneous Tri-band operation
- Multi-gig Internet Support
- LAN Aggregation
- Netgear Armor
- Large footprint
- Limited security & customization without Armor
- What is the Wi-Fi range of the Nighthawk RAXE500?
Netgear rates RAXE500 coverage as 3500 Sq Ft. It has eight internal high-performing beamforming antennas that would deliver strong across a large area.
- How many devices can RAXE500 handle?
It can handle up to 60 devices. With sufficient memory and storage, the Netgear Wi-Fi 6e router relies on the strength of a quad-core Broadcom-based processor and simultaneous tri-band operation to handle a bunch of smart home devices.
- Is it worth getting a Wi-Fi 6E router?
Yes, it is worth it if you have the latest smart gadgets capable of operating at a 6 GHz frequency. The congestion-free band makes a substantial difference to your wireless output. With 6GHz, wireless speeds have closed the gap on wired speeds.
The Netgear Nighthawk AXE11000 also features additional DFS channels that allow you to outmaneuver congestion and interference in tightly packed urban apartments. Despite the heavy price tag, the performance and reliability of the Netgear ecosystem make it a value purchase.