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NETGEAR Launches One of the First WiFi 6E Wireless Routers

Monday, January 11th, 2021 (5:52 pm) - Score 5,424

A number of router manufacturers are looking to launch devices based off the new WiFi 6E standard this year, which adds support for the new 6GHz band to the 802.11ax standard. One of the first out of the gate is NETGEAR’s Nighthawk RAXE500 AXE11000 kit, which promises theoretical wireless speeds of 10.8Gbps and WPA3 security.

The router also features a 64Bit 1.8GHz Quad-Core Processor, a single 2.5Gbps LAN port (plus 4 x 1Gbps ports and the ability to aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports for faster file transfers), two USB 3.0 ports and a lot more (sadly though they didn’t include any phone ports for VoIP). But it’s a big beast, weighing 1.45kg and with dimensions of 298 x 78 x 211 mm – you’d certainly notice this one in your living room.

Obviously though the key change here is the new WiFi 6E standard, which delivers up to 1.2Gbps via 2.4GHz, 4.8Gbps via 5GHz and another 4.8Gbps via the 6GHz band. The usual catch applies to this, which is that you’ll only be able to take full advantage of all that performance if your other devices also support the WiFi 6E standard and to a similar level of capability as the router (it’ll be a while before 6E becomes the norm).

The biggest downside of this new router, which was announced at today’s virtually-hosted CES 2021 event, is that the price will burn a huge hole in your pocket at $599.99 (£443) and it won’t even begin to ship until mid-March 2021 (initially that’ll just be for the USA). As for the spec sheet..

NetGear Nighthawk RAXE500 AXE11000 Specs

• WiFi 6E (IEEE® 802.11ax) Tri-Band WiFi (AXE11000)
– 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
– Backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
– Supports new WiFi 6E devices on 6GHz WiFi band

• OFDMA§—Improved capacity and efficiency
• 1024-QAM—25% data efficiency and faster speeds than a 256-QAM router
• MU-MIMO‡—4-stream MU-MIMO enables up to four (4) 1×1 devices at the same time
• Two (2) USB 3.0 ports
• Powerful 64-bit quad-core 1.8GHz processor
• Longer range with 8 high-performance antennas

• Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports + one (1) 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port (configurable)
– LAN: 4xGbE (2x port aggregation LAN) + 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port (configurable)
– WAN: 1 GbE or 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port (configurable)
– Multi-Gig: Ability to aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports and two Gigabit WAN ports (configurable) concurrently

• One (1) 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port (configurable)
• Memory: 512MB NAND flash and 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
• Additional DFS channels reduce interference from neighboring networks
• IPv6 Support (Internet Protocol Version 6)
• On/Off LED light switch

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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16 Responses
  1. Billy Nomates says:

    bit weird not to put a 10G ethernet port on it tho. Then again, I’m looking at 5G routers that have theoretical bandwidths over 1Gbit but only have a 1Gbit port … wait sort of like my Huawei that I have now that only has 100mbit port.

    1. NE555 says:

      This router *does* have 2.5G LAN and WAN ethernet ports – and the ability to bond 2 x 1G.

      It remains to be seen whether XGS-PON ONTs support the 2.5G standard, which is still somewhat esoteric, or jump straight to 10G. Until you know how your >1G WAN connection looks like, it’s not going to be worth buying such a router.

    2. Marek says:

      Many XGS ONTs won’t support 2,5 gbs. 10gbs was first to market, just like jump from 10 to 100 to 1gbs by tenfold/x10 bandwidth. 2,5gb/5gb was later to market as upgrade to reuse old cabling, cat5e while 10gb requires cat6 for 55 meters and cat6a for 100 meters (think structured cabling in walls of office, just like your electricity cables). Unless you will be suplied with recent model of ONT your device may work only at 1gbs speeds.

  2. Buggerlugz says:

    Touch optimistic expecting 1gb from the UK’s 5g ever isn’t it? Honestly?

    1. City Dweller says:

      I mean, I’ve got ~600mbit in the middle of the day on Vodafone’s 5G before – it surely wouldn’t be that difficult to reach gigabit speeds with the current network given good conditions.

      If this is the 3.5GHz range, I imagine Three’s 100MHz block of spectrum could probably achieve Gigabit speeds. Of course, once MMwave gets rolled out, it (should) be easily gigabit capable, albeit in only a small radius of the node.

    2. Caracal & serval says:

      Do you know the difference between 5G and 5Ghz?

    3. Marek says:

      What 5G? This is Wifi router with wired LAN, not 5G router with sim card slot.

    4. John says:

      Not sure what this article has to do with 5G?

    5. mike says:

      It’s not a 5G router

  3. A_Builder says:

    I hope the link aggregation is better than on their routers.

    Tried using a pair of 10gb Ethernet between two identical Netgear routers: reliably locked them up. Hopeless. I thought it was me but then looking at forums my experience was with the majority.

    1. John says:

      What Netgear router does 10Gb link aggregation?

    2. John says:

      Will I answer that for you?

    3. john says:

      Netgear don’t have any.

  4. Midge says:

    For nearly £500 I’d have expected a better CPU (for OpenVPN).

  5. Ronski says:

    @Marek good quality CAT5e will do 10Gbps just fine up to around 30 meters. That’s what I’m running at home, I researched it before buying the kit, and NIC manufactures even state it.

    PS Ridiculous price for a router. Price of that easily covers the cost of my 10Gbps kit for three computers, including the switch!

  6. Tammy Elissa says:

    When will the ASUS router and the full 6GHZ frequency be released in the UK for consumers?

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