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The USB 3.0 Type-A ports in the previous Nighthawks has now been replaced by a Type-C port.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.

Source: Netgear

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  • ikjadoon - Monday, January 3, 2022 - link

    Another year, more ambiguity of

    At this eyewatering $400 to $600 price point for a consumer Wi-Fi router, I'd expect included Matter controller hardware, especially as it won't be shipping for months anyways. Nada? Not even a ZigBee bridge?
  • ikjadoon - Monday, January 3, 2022 - link

    *more ambiguity of software updates (sigh...when you have too many thoughts and not enough QA)
  • shabby - Monday, January 3, 2022 - link

    At this pace we might get one 10gbps port on a router in 5 years 🙄
  • lightningz71 - Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - link

    Probably about 2 years. The last of the 10 Gbps patents expires within the year.
  • shabby - Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - link

    Are you serious? There's a patent holding it back? Any more info on this?
  • Zenthar - Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - link

    400$ is now considered affordable for a router ???? Maybe "more affordable" would have been a better wording.
  • shabby - Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - link

    I think with wifi6e routers everyone will be charging more because you get a third band rather than just two on wifi 6.

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