Netgear Introduces RAXE500 – An AX11000-Class Wi-Fi 6E Tri-Band Router

Netgear has a bunch of new product announcements at CES 2021, and the most interesting of the lot is the RAXE500 – their first Wi-Fi 6E router with support for 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands. The key here is the availability of the wide-open 6 GHz band – while the move to 6 GHz doesn’t deliver any extra bandwidth, the absence of interference (and additional free channels) in that band results in more stable throughput in practical scenarios.

The availability of client chipsets – the AX210 from Intel that is already shipping in some systems, as well as the Broadcom BCM4389 for mobile devices – means that we should see fairly rapid adoption and consumer benefits from Wi-Fi 6E compared to the long road that we had with Wi-Fi 6. Netgear shared some test results of 5GHz and 6GHz connections in a RF chamber and open air scenario to bring out the benefits of 6GHz channels.

Coming to the hardware itself, the RAXE500 follows the same industrial design of the other Nighthawk AX routers from Netgear. On the rear, we have two sets of LAN port pairs capable of link aggregation (one of them is capable of acting as a WAN port). There is also a 2.5Gbps LAN port, and two USB 3.0 Type-A ports. Internally, the WiSoC is a quad-core 1.8 GHz processor, and the radio chains are 4×4 each on the 2.4 GHz (at 40 MHz for 1.2 Gbps), 5 GHz (at 160 MHz for 4.8 Gbps), and 6 GHz (at 160 MHz for 4.8 Gbps) – allowing Netgear to claim up to 10.8 Gbps of theoretical throughput.

The additional radios for the 6 GHz band take the MSRP of the RAXE500 up to what the first AX12 (RAX200) was introduced at – $599. Netgear stated that the router should be available in the market by February 2021.

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