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Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 (AXE7800) Review

Very pricey, but nice if you have a lot of devices, and a 1 Gigabit connection from your ISP, where you can take advantage of the 6 GHz channel
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Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 (AXE7800) Review (Netgear's Nighthawk RAXE300 is a great Tri-Band router that costs less than other 6G capable routers.)
Netgear's Nighthawk RAXE300 is a great Tri-Band router that costs less than other 6G capable routers.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $400 List
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Manufacturer:   Netgear
By Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Dec 9, 2022
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • 2.4 GHz Throughput - 35% 7.0
  • 5 GHz Throughput - 35% 6.0
  • Range - 20% 9.5
  • Ease of Use - 10% 4.3

Our Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 (AXE7800) is a tri-band router that supports dual-band frequencies with above-average performance. It also supports the 6 GHz channel for much less than other capable models available on the market today, making it a great all-around router with 6 GHz support. While it is expensive, it might be considered a good value over other tri-band-capable routers. Additionally, the range of the RAXE300 for the typical 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands is pretty exceptional, making it a great choice for large homes and those trying to connect devices on the back patio, yard, or garage. Get the scoop on how it stands up to the competition in our review of the best WiFi routers.
REASONS TO BUY
Tri-Band (6 GHz) for WiFi 6E compatible devices
Quad-core
Amazing range
REASONS TO AVOID
Poor QoS options
Not the most straightforward setup
Optional yearly fee for parental controls

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $400 List
$260.98 at Amazon
$250 List
$205.99 at Amazon
$130 List
$88.60 at Amazon
$150 List
$124.95 at Amazon
$100 List
$73.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
69
79
68
59
57
Star Rating
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Bottom Line A great choice for taking advantage of the 6GHz bandWe highly recommend this router for its excellent overall performanceA good router overall, and it isn't too expensiveThis middling router is great for those who don't want to break the bankThis middling router doesn't offer a good enough performance to justify its high price
Rating Categories Netgear Nighthawk R... ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) TP-Link Archer AX55... Netgear RAX20 (AX1800) TP-Link Archer AX21...
2.4 GHz Throughput (35%)
7.0
6.0
7.2
5.4
6.2
5 GHz Throughput (35%)
6.0
9.4
7.4
7.2
5.4
Range (20%)
9.5
9.0
5.0
5.5
4.5
Ease of Use (10%)
4.3
7.5
7.3
4.3
7.3
Specs Netgear Nighthawk R... ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) TP-Link Archer AX55... Netgear RAX20 (AX1800) TP-Link Archer AX21...
WiFi Version WiFi 6E WiFi 6 WiFi 6 WiFi 6 WiFi 6
Wireless Specification Tri Band Dual Band Dual Band Dual Band Dual Band
Frequency 6 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
Processor 1.7GHz Quad-core 1.8GHz Dual-core Dual-Core 1.5GHz Quad-core 1.5GHz Quad-core
Memory 256 MB flash
512 MB RAM
256 MB flash
512 MB RAM
512 MB RAM 256 MB flash
512 MB RAM
16 MB flash
256 MB RAM
MU-MIMO Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OFDMA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Beamforming Explicit only Implicit
Explicit
Explicit only Implicit
Explicit
Explicit only
Security WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
LAN Ports Available 5 4 4 4 4
USB Ports 1
USB-C 3.0
2
USB-A 2.0
USB-A 3.0
1
USB-A 3.0
1
USB-A 3.0
1
USB-A 2.0
Antenna 6 3 4 2 4
Wall Mountable Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Wireless On/off button No No Yes No Yes
Led on/off No Yes No No Yes
2.4 GHz 9 ft Unobstructed 146 Mbps 91 Mbps 94 Mbps 100 Mbps 110 Mbps
2.4 GHz 9 ft Obstructed 112 Mbps 92 Mbps 107 Mbps 90 Mbps 101 Mbps
2.4 GHz 35 ft Unobstructed 76 Mbps 89 Mbps 115 Mbps 82 Mbps 84 Mbps
2.4 GHz 35 ft Obstructed 70 Mbps 85 Mbps 96 Mbps 70 Mbps 72 Mbps
2.4 GHz 70 ft Obstructed 34 Mbps 26 Mbps 23 Mbps 21 Mbps 27 Mbps
5.0 GHz 9 ft Unobstructed 335 Mbps 405 Mbps 345 Mbps 364 Mbps 317 Mbps
5.0 GHz 9 ft Obstructed 334 Mbps 416 Mbps 342 Mbps 363 Mbps 323 Mbps
5.0 GHz 35 ft Unobstructed 318 Mbps 399 Mbps 332 Mbps 328 Mbps 325 Mbps
5.0 GHz 35 ft Obstructed 313 Mbps 369 Mbps 325 Mbps 310 Mbps 319 Mbps
5.0 GHz 70 ft Obstructed 83 Mbps 77 Mbps 90 Mbps 71 Mbps 83 Mbps

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


netgear nighthawk raxe300 (axe7800) - netgear's nighthawk raxe300 is a great tri-band router that costs...
Netgear's Nighthawk RAXE300 is a great Tri-Band router that costs less than other 6G capable routers.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

2.4 GHz Throughput


Even if Netgear Nighthawk is capable of 6 GHz data transmission, many peripherals and devices still rely on 2.4 GHz support. Fortunately, the Nighthawk continues to support those devices with a performance that is on par for the course and even outperforms the competition at short distances.


In our 9-foot unobstructed and 9-foot obstructed throughput tests, the Nighthawk RAXE300 blew the competition away, providing data rates of 146 to 112 MBits.

At the 35-foot distance test, this model was unable to maintain the incredible performance from the 9-foot tests but still provided average data rates compared to the rest of the test group. At 35 feet unobstructed, the Nighthawk supported data rates of 76 MBits per second and 70 MBits when obstructed. Generally, a model focused on the future of data transmission does a more than adequate job of supporting the 2.4 GHz band.

5 GHz Throughput


The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 is fairly consistent at doing a decent job across the entire 5 GHz spectrum, with one impressive exception.


In our short-range tests of an unobstructed and obstructed 9-foot distance from the router, this model benchmarked a decent 335 and 334 Mbits, respectively. We also tested data rates at a more typical household peripheral distance of 35 feet, both unobstructed and obstructed. In our testing, the RAXE300 consistently averaged 318 to 313 MBits.

At the greatest distance that we tested, 70 feet, the Nighthawk managed rates of 83.1 Mbits per second, with obstructions. While it wasn't as fast as the fastest model we tested, it is over 15 Mbits per second faster than the average for the test group.

Range


The Nighthawk has an impressive range and outperformed the other models we tested. For the test, we streamed our standard 1080p test video and moved in increments of 10 feet for both bands and measured how far we could go before our test video started buffering or the connection was lost.


On the 2.4 GHz band, this model streamed our 1080p test video out to 150 feet before buffering. On the 5 GHz band, we lost our connection to the router before buffering occurred at an impressive 170 feet.

Ease of Use


Compared to the other models our team tested, the RAXE300, like all the other Netgear products we tested, is below average when it comes to ease of use.


The experience with the initial app setup of the Nighthawk RAXE300 is only average. Netgear encourages using the app to set up the router, as is standard with modern routers, so that is the basis for our testing. However, should you encounter issues using the app, it is also possible to set up the router via a webpage while connected to the router.

Our team ran into several minor annoyances and issues setting up this router. The app occasionally crashes, and it's easy to accidentally or unintentionally tab out of the setup, requiring you to restart the setup process. We also found that the app likes to disconnect and reconnect during setup, which is exacerbated by any existing routers in the vicinity, as you will have to disconnect from those or face worse disruptions to your new router during the process.

We found the mobile interface friendliness to be above average. The mobile interface is easy to navigate and generally very simple to use. We don't feel that the average person will have any real problems changing router settings or understanding the mobile app.

The Nighthawk did an okay job in our PC interface friendliness testing. The user interface is easy to navigate, but the options could be overwhelming for the layperson, as they are pretty advanced. As such, we have a hard time recommending this model for those who simply want to set up the router and start using the internet on all their devices.

Unlike the good and even great parental controls included with other brand routers, Netgear made the unfortunate decision to make parental controls a paid subscription service that adds about 60 dollars per year to your initial investment, increasing the already high price of the Nighthawk RAXE300. This may not be an issue if you don't have kids and the sole user of this router, but it might be for those who want robust parental controls included with the router.

The quality of service (QoS) on the Nighthawk is pretty standard across all the Netgear routers we tested and leaves a little to be desired. With a router that boasts the next evolution in wireless bands for data transmission, our team expected much more robust QoS options and support. The QoS setup can only be accessed by a web login, which is an annoyance when mobile device use is so prevalent for most tasks these days. When you do access QoS from the web page login, the options are limited and lack customizability.

netgear nighthawk raxe300 (axe7800) - the nighthawk app and the setup process could be a little bit better.
The Nighthawk app and the setup process could be a little bit better.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300?


If you own and want to use devices capable of using 6G, and your budget allows it, then the Nighthawk RAXE300 is the WiFi router for you! Things may change as other router models roll out greater support for 6G, but for now, the Nighthawk is one of the only options for WiFi routers with 6G support that doesn't require even more significant investment. Unfortunately, this model also requires a paid subscription service to Netgear for parental controls. If this model is already close to breaking the bank and you need parental controls, that service will likely put it over the top.

netgear nighthawk raxe300 (axe7800) - the nighthawk raxe300 is a great way to get started with a tri-band...
The Nighthawk RAXE300 is a great way to get started with a tri-band capable radio.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other WiFi Routers Should You Consider?


If you don't need a 6G capable router, then there are a variety of options worth considering, and most are much more affordable than the Nighthawk RAXE300. A good example is the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700). We found it was the best all-around dual-band router we tested, providing more than sufficient performance for most users, and it costs significantly less than the RAXE300.

The TP-Link Archer AX55 is also a much more affordable model at less than half the price but performed almost as well as other top dual-band routers.

At the far end of the spectrum, the Netgear RAX20 is a good WiFi router, with one potential issue. If you require parental controls, you can expect to pay for Netgear's subscription-based parental control service. If you don't need parental controls, you are golden. If you do, then it might be worth considering the TP-Link Archer AX55.

Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok