Netgear Expands Wi-Fi 6E Portfolio with Affordable Nighthawk RAXE300 Routerby Ganesh T S on January 3, 2022 8:00 PM EST
Netgear introduced their first Wi-Fi 6E routers last year with the launch of the Nighthawk RAXE500 and the Orbi RBKE960. The addition of 6 GHz support makes it necessary to include more antennae and add more RF components to the board. As a result, the pricing of these routers tend to be high - the RAXE500 retails for $581 currently (launched with a MSRP of $600), while the basic Orbi RBKE962 (a router and a single satellite) had a launch MSRP of $1100.
As part of the 2022 CES launches, Netgear is introducing an affordable Wi-Fi 6E router in the form of the Nighthawk RAXE300. Affordable is a relative term here - the new router has a $400 price point. The cost-down has been achieved by adopting a 8-stream configuration - four in the 5 GHz band, and two each in 6 GHz and 2.4 GHz.
Similar to other Nighthawk routers, the RAXE300 also includes the NETGEAR Armor service support, along with a larger number of wired ports compared to mesh systems. A 1Gbps and a 2.5Gbps port are available for WAN connection (the unused one can be repurposed for LAN usage), and link aggregation support is also built in.
The USB 3.0 Type-A ports in the previous Nighthawks has now been replaced by a Type-C port. Netgear is also claiming better antenna placement for improved performance.
In addition to the RAXE300, the company is also launching the EAX50 6-stream AX5400 extender for $180 later this quarter.
Netgear's line of Nighthawk Pro routers has targeted gamers with their Game Booster feature. This allows gamers to restrict connections to geographically close-by servers (based on ping timings and geo-filters), while also providing fine-grained QoS settings to prioritize certain devices / applications over others. Netgear is now adding ad-blocking to the features list.
The service is also being rolled out to Orbi owners, with a 30-day free trial, and then billed annually at $50. In recent years, most hardware vendors have shifted to a service model to create a recurrent revenue stream. It is no surprise that Netgear is adding features to and trying to expand their offerings such as Game Booster and ARMOR.