Review NETGEAR RAXE500 Nighthawk Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router Reviewed

Product Review

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
netgear_raxe500_product.jpg
NETGEAR's RAXE500 Nighthawk Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router is the most expensive 6E router right now, but delivers good performance on all bands.

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Gabebear

New Around Here
I see you recommending the RAXE450, Netgear’s website doesn’t list 1024QAM on the RAXE450, they only list 256QAM… I’m super confused on what the differences between the RAXE450 and RAXE500 are.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
The difference is shown in the side by side spec difference graphic. They are just limiting the maximum link rate for the E450 on the 2.4 and 5 GHz radios.

Since you only achieve 1024 QAM with very strong signals, I don't think it would make a big difference in real life.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
That is such a bizarre thing to differentiate on… I’m just having a hard time believing that is the only difference.
Not so unusual. It's what NETGEAR has done on other Costco-exclusive products.

FCC documents cover both routers, so they are the same design.
 

Bill Koerner

New Around Here
Any idea the type of connector used on the board to connect to the antennas? I know, I know, you are not supposed to replace the antennas, but I need to connect a SMA cable/connector to the board so that I can run conducted tests on the router.
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
And yet another router with a single faster than 1Gbps port... :mad:
For close to $600, this router should've had a least two.
Also, that fan... Just no, no...
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
Any idea the type of connector used on the board to connect to the antennas? I know, I know, you are not supposed to replace the antennas, but I need to connect a SMA cable/connector to the board so that I can run conducted tests on the router.
See internal photos in the link below.
 

Killhippie

Senior Member
And yet another router with a single faster than 1Gbps port... :mad:
For close to $600, this router should've had a least two.
Also, that fan... Just no, no...
Whats the issue with the fan? I have a RAX120 with a fan and no issues with that at all. It does not run 24/7 just when the router gets really hot like mid summer and you are doing a lot of work, I cant see the issue tbh. It has a heat sync too for passive cooling. Not that all this matters much as its not released in the UK or many other countries and support for 6E is very limited, I think wifi 7 will be here before wifi 6E even takes off at this rate sometimes.
 

Clark Griswald

Very Senior Member
From the article "I never heard the fan during testing."
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
Whats the issue with the fan? I have a RAX120 with a fan and no issues with that at all. It does not run 24/7 just when the router gets really hot like mid summer and you are doing a lot of work, I cant see the issue tbh. It has a heat sync too for passive cooling. Not that all this matters much as its not released in the UK or many other countries and support for 6E is very limited, I think wifi 7 will be here before wifi 6E even takes off at this rate sometimes.
I guess you don't live in a hotter climate? Also, small fans like that, whine or are guaranteed to whine at a later point in their life.
I would not buy a product with a tiny fan like that. And yes, I have tested those kind of fans, as my CEO considered it when I worked at Securifi, but luckily I managed to convince him to go with a heatpipe instead.
 

Poseidon

Senior Member
The RAXE500 is a superb router. Been testing mine for a couple of weeks now (replaced Orbi RBK852 mesh) and much to my surprise, this single router is covering my entire small concrete home and out to the garage (where previous single routers never reached previously).

I have well over 40 devices connected including multiple 4K streaming and it has performed great! Haven’t rebooted once and all my devices (mostly Apple) have stayed connected and are getting full speeds in every room/location.

Another factor is my IoT devices are performing as expected. No unresponsiveness or disconnects. Don’t let the price scare you away.

I tried the Asus ROG AXE11000 a while back and it required constant reboots and my clients kept calling off repeatedly and getting slow speeds when 20 feet away from router. Disappointing.
 

Killhippie

Senior Member
I guess you don't live in a hotter climate? Also, small fans like that, whine or are guaranteed to whine at a later point in their life.
I would not buy a product with a tiny fan like that. And yes, I have tested those kind of fans, as my CEO considered it when I worked at Securifi, but luckily I managed to convince him to go with a heatpipe instead.
@ tears and no whining, and since the fan is not on constantly when it does fire up you don't hear it, so if it is ever goinhg to whine I'll be long gone from the RAX120 by the time it does.

No I don't live in a hot country but last summer in the UK got hot and my office is on the very sunny side of the house, even then the fan only came on now and then. Maybe its just the fans themselves as they alll seem to have different noise pitches, what you are saying is like "oh no they put a fan in a PS5, bet thats going to be noisy" well yes and no depending on brand of fan and luck of the draw, position and heat.

The RAX120 has powerful hot CPU in tat casing along with a network processor and amplifiers for the antennae so heat pipes may have been looked at and they went for fans instead for whatever reason (cost I would imagine or the fan is cooling more than one area) also it has a huge heat sync too so its not all fan related. I beta tested that router and most of the testers said its heat was a issue, the fan really does help and not at a volume thats intrusive or on to long, but the fan does not spin fast enough to really be noticed from its positioning high up in my room I have to say. My gripe would be its a very bad single point of failure but again its fan profile seems to be cool excessive temps down quickly but quietly and use the heat sync as much as possible.
 

Killhippie

Senior Member
The RAXE500 is a superb router. Been testing mine for a couple of weeks now (replaced Orbi RBK852 mesh) and much to my surprise, this single router is covering my entire small concrete home and out to the garage (where previous single routers never reached previously).

I have well over 40 devices connected including multiple 4K streaming and it has performed great! Haven’t rebooted once and all my devices (mostly Apple) have stayed connected and are getting full speeds in every room/location.

Another factor is my IoT devices are performing as expected. No unresponsiveness or disconnects. Don’t let the price scare you away.

I tried the Asus ROG AXE11000 a while back and it required constant reboots and my clients kept calling off repeatedly and getting slow speeds when 20 feet away from router. Disappointing.
Its a shame you cant get them in the UK. I think they might have been delayed.
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
@ tears and no whining, and since the fan is not on constantly when it does fire up you don't hear it, so if it is ever goinhg to whine I'll be long gone from the RAX120 by the time it does.

No I don't live in a hot country but last summer in the UK got hot and my office is on the very sunny side of the house, even then the fan only came on now and then. Maybe its just the fans themselves as they alll seem to have different noise pitches, what you are saying is like "oh no they put a fan in a PS5, bet thats going to be noisy" well yes and no depending on brand of fan and luck of the draw, position and heat.

The RAX120 has powerful hot CPU in tat casing along with a network processor and amplifiers for the antennae so heat pipes may have been looked at and they went for fans instead for whatever reason (cost I would imagine or the fan is cooling more than one area) also it has a huge heat sync too so its not all fan related. I beta tested that router and most of the testers said its heat was a issue, the fan really does help and not at a volume thats intrusive or on to long, but the fan does not spin fast enough to really be noticed from its positioning high up in my room I have to say. My gripe would be its a very bad single point of failure but again its fan profile seems to be cool excessive temps down quickly but quietly and use the heat sync as much as possible.
Dude, you clearly have no idea who I am or what I have worked and am working with, so please, less snark.

I have spent over a decade of my life as a hardware reviewer and tech writer, starting in the UK, working for one of the big computer magazines back then and the more recent decade I've been involved in developing hardware, so I have a pretty good understanding of cooling of these kind of products.

I'm glad your fan doesn't make any noise now, but trust me, it will, sooner or later. I live in a place where it's hot and humid in the summers and electronics don't like that, so things with tiny fans go crazy. I'm also well aware that most router makers cut corners when it comes to cooling their devices, as they can save 25p, which is a few 100k in their pocket every year. I really dislike it, as it's a major reason why a lot of electronics don't last. Something like PA's in a router get extremely hot and if they're not sufficiently cooled, you're soon going to see a drop in range, as the components wear out ahead of time.

To see a product at this kind of price, having that poor cooling, is just sad. The PS5 on the other hand, has quite well designed and quiet cooling fans, as Sony is a company that seems to be learning from past mistakes, unlikes many of the hardware makers from the PRC.
 

Killhippie

Senior Member
Dude, you clearly have no idea who I am or what I have worked and am working with, so please, less snark.

I have spent over a decade of my life as a hardware reviewer and tech writer, starting in the UK, working for one of the big computer magazines back then and the more recent decade I've been involved in developing hardware, so I have a pretty good understanding of cooling of these kind of products.

I'm glad your fan doesn't make any noise now, but trust me, it will, sooner or later. I live in a place where it's hot and humid in the summers and electronics don't like that, so things with tiny fans go crazy. I'm also well aware that most router makers cut corners when it comes to cooling their devices, as they can save 25p, which is a few 100k in their pocket every year. I really dislike it, as it's a major reason why a lot of electronics don't last. Something like PA's in a router get extremely hot and if they're not sufficiently cooled, you're soon going to see a drop in range, as the components wear out ahead of time.

To see a product at this kind of price, having that poor cooling, is just sad. The PS5 on the other hand, has quite well designed and quiet cooling fans, as Sony is a company that seems to be learning from past mistakes, unlikes many of the hardware makers from the PRC.
I was not using snark and if it came over that way I apologise and I dont go by the acronymn 'dude' either I'm just pointing that out. Now back to the subject at hand. My fan wont make that noise because it would take years of running 24/7 for it to do that and since it does not I cant see that happening. Also my hearing and yours are probably very different I don't know how old you are but I'm sure at my age its not as sharp as it should be. Now as I said the router is not young, my friend has one thats been running two years now and makes no noise from that fan either, in this climate. So your observation and (I conceed I have heard noisy fans on computers) that run almost 24/7 365 days a year but one that runs less than 10 seconds at a time a few times a year isn't going to worry me or make noises within the routers lifepan I imagine. Now please can we move on as this subject is not going anywhere. Lets agree to disagree as there are more important things in the world to worry about than router fans.
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
I was not using snark and if it came over that way I apologise and I dont go by the acronymn 'dude' either I'm just pointing that out. Now back to the subject at hand. My fan wont make that noise because it would take years of running 24/7 for it to do that and since it does not I cant see that happening. Also my hearing and yours are probably very different I don't know how old you are but I'm sure at my age its not as sharp as it should be. Now as I said the router is not young, my friend has one thats been running two years now and makes no noise from that fan either, in this climate. So your observation and (I conceed I have heard noisy fans on computers) that run almost 24/7 365 days a year but one that runs less than 10 seconds at a time a few times a year isn't going to worry me or make noises within the routers lifepan I imagine. Now please can we move on as this subject is not going anywhere. Lets agree to disagree as there are more important things in the world to worry about than router fans.
You'd be surprised how quickly small fans like that start making noise. We tested half a dozen and after a week of 24/7 operation half of then were whining. Three weeks later all of them were to some degree.

I guess in this case the fan is just there as a backup for hotter climates, so it's not an issue in the UK, but if I was a being man, I would bet that they are making noise in other parts of the world.
 

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