As predicted, we are starting to see more products announced with WiFi 6E at CES 2021

Netgear has announced their latest flagship router, the Nighthawk RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi router, this follows the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 Router which was announced last year but only because available this week.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 vs RAX200 – What's different?

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Similar to the Asus, Netgear have taken their existing top of the range RAX200 router, which is tri-band with 2.4Ghz+5Ghz+5Ghz, and swapped a 5Ghz  radio for a 6Ghz. Or at least the Qualcomm chipset they use has done that.

Beyond that, everything looks the same, and technically, the WiFi performance will be about the same with a spec of:

  • 2.4GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40MHz, up to 1.2Gbps
  • 5GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 4.8Gbps
  • New 6GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256- QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 4.8Gbps

However, that lovely congestion-free 6GHz frequency has 7 available 160Mhz channels all of which are DFS free, so all your WiFi 6E devices should be able to use 160MHz and connect at 2400Mbps on 2×2 with ease.

Nighthawk RAXE500 Price & Availability – US & UK – 6Ghz could delay UK launch.

Price is predictably high, being $50 more than the Asus at $599. However, the older RAX200 also launched at $599 then was available for $499 for most of this year.

In the UK, it looks like the RAX200 launched at £500 and is now currently £409 on Amazon. So I would expect the same here.

You can pre-order the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 now from Netgear in the US which shipping starting in March.

However, UK and EU launch date and pricing to be confirmed. With this using the new 6Ghz frequency, Ofcom needs to authorise its use. Ofcom published a statement back in July allowing this but this decision then needs to be written into policy, and it is not 100% clear if this has happened yet.  

Full Press Release

CES 2021, the introduction of the world’s first all-purpose WiFi 6E router, the Nighthawk RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi router. Promised to elevate the WiFi experience by providing speeds up to 10.8Gbps, this latest addition to the Nighthawk line of performance routers ushers in a new era of fast connectivity on the new 6Ghz band, free of interference and congestion.

Working, learning, and video streaming from home has placed greater demands on home WiFi networks. Devices in these ultra-connected households have been in a constant contest for bandwidth on crowded WiFi networks. WiFi 6E resolves these congestion issues by adding previously unavailable 6GHz WiFi spectrum that can be used to broadcast WiFi signals and connect to more devices with faster speeds and reliability. Up until the introduction of WiFi 6E, WiFi routers have been limited to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The new third 6GHz band will dramatically increase the capacity of networks to support more devices.

“The proliferation of Wi-Fi over the last few decades first stressed the 2.4 GHz band and then eventually the 5 GHz band with Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “As regulatory bodies around the world open up the 6 GHz band, Wi-Fi 6E networks will provide enabled devices with the breathing room to use large channels even in dense and congested areas with higher average data rates and lower latency.”

A CES 2021 Innovations Award Honoree, the Nighthawk RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi router is designed to provide the fastest WiFi speed possible with higher-capacity, lower latency, and the latest WPA3 security. With cutting-edge technology, the new WiFi 6E router from NETGEAR expands WiFi for more capability, capacity, and experiences for a new world of uninterrupted connectivity while simultaneously conducting distance learning, video conferencing, and 4K/8K video streaming. With the new 6GHz band, this Nighthawk performance router delivers the faster speeds, smoother streaming, less interference, and improved latency for devices and WiFi-hungry applications for an overall enhanced experience.   

“Our mission at NETGEAR is to provide products with cutting edge technologies to enable people to work, learn, stream and game more effectively in a connected world,” said David Henry, senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR. “We are pleased to be recognised by the Consumer Technology Association for our commitment to this mission with the introduction of the industry’s first all-purpose WiFi 6E router. The Nighthawk RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi Router will capitalise on the available bandwidth afforded by the new 6Ghz channel, delivering an increase in speed and capacity that has never been experienced up until this moment.”

Technical Specifications:

  • New 6GHz Band–– with up to 200% more available spectrum than dual-band (5GHz and 2.4GHz) WiFi alone.
    • Ultra-Low Latency—Very few devices on new 6GHz band means lower latency for gaming and real-time traffic.
    • More High-Bandwidth WiFi Channels—Blazing-fast speed and less interference with 3X more high-bandwidth 160MHz WiFi channels.
  • 12-Streams Tri-Band WiFi— Four streams of 6GHz, four streams of 5GHz, and four streams of 2.4GHz equates to more available bandwidth and less congestion for all devices on WiFi.
  • WiFi 6E Optimised Powerful Processor— Ideal for Gigabit Internet speeds,  a 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core processor ensures smooth 4K/8K UHD streaming and gaming.
  • Multi-Gig Ethernet Port 2.5G––2.5X the wired speed of a typical Gigabit port, to be used for LAN or Internet connectivity.
  • Five (5) Gigabit Ethernet Ports—Connect more wired devices for faster file transfer and uninterrupted connections. Aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports and two Gigabit WAN ports (configurable) concurrently.
  • Pre-optimised Antennas––Unfold and set antennas on the router; no further adjustment required. The Nighthawk RAXE500 antennas come pre-optimised for the best WiFi performance.
  • NETGEAR® Armor™ Cybersecurity for your Home––Advanced cyberthreat protection for your home network and an unlimited number of connected devices. Learn more at netgear.com/armor.
  • Automatic firmware updates—Latest security patches delivered to the router without the need for user intervention.

NETGEAR®Armor™ Cybersecurity:

The Nighthawk RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi router includes a free 30-day trial of NETGEAR Armor™ to protect the connected home from online threats. Armor’s multi-layered cybersecurity is built into the RAXE500 router to provide the peace of mind that you have the best-in-class anti-virus, anti-malware, and data protection for your smart devices, smartphones, and computers. NETGEAR Armor provides protection for all your connected devices from cyber threats on the WiFi network as well as when off network and on-the-go.

Availability:

The NETGEAR® Nighthawk® RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi router is currently planned to be available within the first quarter of 2021 from NETGEAR.com and other online resellers for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $599.99 USD. UK and EU launch date and pricing to be confirmed.

Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API