Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 review: a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 6E router

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 provides impressive performance for both Wi-Fi and wired connections.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 on top of a wooden desk
(Image: © Future / Cliff Joseph)

TechRadar Verdict

It’s not cheap, but the Nighthawk router ‘s tri-band Wi-Fi 6E provides impressive speed, along with multiple high-speed Ethernet ports for wired connections. The Nighthawk app is also very easy to use, but it’s a shame that you have to pay extra for other features such as parental controls.


  • +

    Super-fast Wi-Fi performance

  • +

    Tri-band support (2.4/5.0/6.0GHz)

  • +

    Easy to use and set up


  • -


  • -

    Parental controls require monthly subscription

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Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: One-minute review

Netgear is always quick to adopt the latest networking technologies, as it should given the price of its products, and has already introduced the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology into its high-end Orbi mesh systems. The Orbi systems are very much designed for larger homes, but if you don’t live in a Silicon Valley mega-mansion you can now get state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 6E from Netgear’s more conventional Nighthawk range of routers.

Things are a little confusing here, as there are four very similar Nighthawk models in the new RAXE range. Look out for that ‘E’ on the end, which denotes the use of Wi-Fi 6E as opposed to the earlier RAX range of routers which stick with straightforward Wi-Fi 6. The new Wi-Fi 6E models look virtually identical, sporting the eye-catching black, winged design used by previous Nighthawk models.

All four models also support tri-band Wi-Fi 6E, which adds the new 6.0GHz frequency to the existing 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands used by Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. However, the four RAXE models all offer different speeds and prices, ranging from 7.3Gbps up to a colossal 10.8Gbps.

We decided to opt for the mid-range Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300, a Wi-Fi 6 router that sneaks in at just under $400, with a top speed of 7.8Gbps that should be fast enough to stream 8K video or play the latest VR games with headsets. The Nighthawk RAXE300 also provides solid wired connectivity, with multiple Ethernet ports and even USB-C too. The Nighthawk app will get you started quickly and easily but, as we’ve seen before, the app is also a little basic and requires additional paid subscriptions for access to parental controls and other features.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $399.99 (£349.99, AU$699.00)
  • Where is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, the UK, and Australia
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: SPECS

Wireless Connectivity: tri- band WiFi 6E (2.4GHz + 5.0GHz + 6.0GHz)
Wi-Fi Speed: 7.8Gbps
Wired Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet (WAN), 1x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (WAN), 4x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN), 1x USB-C (3.0)
Processor: 1.7GHz, quad-core
Memory: 512GB
Storage: 256MB Flash
Dimensions: 170 x 315 x 208mm
Weight: 1.01kg

Alternatively, speed demons can go for the top-of-the-range Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500, which reaches a blazing 10.8Gbps and costs $599.99/£549.99/AU$1099.00. But, as mentioned, all the Nighthawk routers look virtually identical, so it’s important to pay close attention to the speeds they offer before buying.

The Nighthawk RAXE300 might seem to be a fairly expensive standalone router, costing $399.99/£349.99/AU$699.00. Even so, that’s still less than rival Wi-Fi 6E routers, such as Asus’ top-of-the-range Rapture GT-AXE11000. Customers in the US can save a little money by opting for the entry-level Nighthawk RAXE290, which is only slightly slower at 7.3Gbps. That model costs around $250 in the US, although it wasn’t available in other regions at the time of this review.

  • Value: 3.5 / 5

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 on top of a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Design

  • Eye-catching design
  • Lots of Ethernet ports
  • USB-C for shared storage

The Nighthawk routers are instantly recognizable, with a streamlined, low-profile design and prominent ‘wings’, which make them look like a Cylon battleship from Battlestar Galactica. It’s not just eye-candy, though, as the wings house six internal antennae, holding them up and away from the body of the router to beam the Wi-Fi signal as far as possible.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 on top of a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

There are some impressive options for wired connections too, with no less than six Ethernet ports available on the back panel of the router. There are two ports, marked in yellow, that can be used for your Internet (WAN) connection, offering either Gigabit or 2.5 Gigabit speeds, along with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired (LAN) connections for devices such as a laptop or games console. It’s also possible to ‘aggregate’ two of these LAN ports, combining them to provide 2Gbps over Ethernet. The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 is also the first router we’ve seen that includes a USB-C port to connect a hard drive or other storage device that can be shared with other people on your home network.

Getting started is very straightforward, as the Nighthawk app allows you to simply scan a QR code on the base of the router to connect to its new Wi-Fi network. You can stick with the default network name (SSID) and password printed on the base of the router or create a new name and password for extra security. And, for simplicity, the app also allows the Nighthawk to use the same network name (SSID) and password as the network from your original router, so that you don’t have to change the log-in details on every device in your home.

But while the Nighthawk app is very easy to use, it is fairly basic, and attempts to sell you additional subscriptions to fill in for some of its missing features. The app’s parental controls are very limited, simply allowing you to pause Internet access to your kids’ devices. There are no scheduling features or content filters to block unsuitable web sites without paying for Netgear’s Smart Parental Controls service.

There’s a 30-day trial available in the app. But, after that, the service costs $7.99 per month (approx. £6.50 or AU$13.00) or $69.99 per year (approx. £57.50 or AU$112.00). That’s disappointing, given the Nighthawk’s high price - especially when some rival routers provide good parental controls at no extra cost. The app also provides a 30-day trial for Netgear’s Armor security service, with subscriptions costing $99.99 per year (approx. £82.00, or AU$160.00).

  • Design: 4 / 5

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 on top of a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Performance

  • Eye-catching wings do a good job
  • Provide fast Wi-Fi
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Benchmarks

Single, merged network

Ookla Speed Test
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps/150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps/150Mbps 

20GB Steam Download
Within 5ft, no obstructions:  19MB/s
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 19MB/s

As you’d expect, the state-of-the-art Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 provides impressive performance, as well as good range that allows it to provide fast Wi-Fi even in the back office of our building, which is normally something of a Wi-Fi dead zone. Devices close by in the same room as the Nighthawk don’t show an obvious improvement, as the Nighthawk records the same speeds as our normal router, at 150Mbps for the Ookla speed test and 19MB/s for Steam downloads.

However, the Nighthawk’s eye-catching wings do a good job of firing its Wi-Fi into that back office, maintaining full speed for both Ookla and Steam as we pick up our laptop and wander along the hall to that back office.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300?

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 on top of a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Buy it if...

You just bought a new iPad
The new iPad Pro from Apple marks the arrival of Wi-Fi 6E as a mainstream technology. However, most of us are still using devices with Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6, so the Nighthawk isn’t an essential upgrade for most people.

You need speed
The Nighthawk RAXE300 uses three frequency bands - 2.4GHz, 50GHz, and 60GHz - to provide total wi-fi speeds of up to 7.8Gbps. That will be fast enough for gaming, 4K or 8K video, or prancing around with a VR headset.

You have lots of gadgets
As well as being seriously fast, both Wi-Fi 6 and 6E are designed to transmit data more efficiently to large numbers of devices all at the same time. And, with the addition of its new 6.0GHz band, Wi-Fi 6E provides a new frequency band that is specifically designed for the next generation of computers and mobile devices.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget
The new Wi-Fi 6E standard is far faster than most domestic broadband services, so many of us can get by with a far less expensive router that sticks with ye olde Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6.

You just want to watch Netflix
Netflix states that you only need wi-fi running at around 15Mbps in order to stream 4K video (other streaming services are available, natch). So a router with Wi-Fi 6E running at 7.8Gbps is total overkill for most homes.

You have lots of bedrooms
For all its speed, the Nighthawk RAXE300 is only designed for smaller and medium-size homes of up to 2,500 sq.ft.  Larger homes might need a mesh system with two or more routers to provide wider coverage.

Also consider


Linksys Hydra Pro 6
The Hydra Pro is a good, mid-range option for upgrading an older router. It provides dual-band Wi-Fi 6 running at 5.4GBps, and will be able to handle most online tasks for around $225.00/£225.00/AU$350.00.

Read our full Linksys Hydra Pro 6 review


Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E
When you sell your startup and become a billionaire, you can spend a mere $1499.99/£1499.99 (approx. AU $ 2100.00) to cover your Silicon Valley mansion in super-fast Wi-Fi 6E.

Read our full Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E review


Asus Rapture GT-AXE1100
Very much designed for hard-core gamers with lightning reflexes, Asus’ Rapture router provides crazy fast tri-band Wi-Fi 6E running at 11Gbps. But it’ll cost you a whopping $549.99/£479.99 (approx. AU$850.00).

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300: Report card

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueWe can’t fault the hardware design or performance, but at this price the Nighthawk app needs to provide better parental controls - without a monthly subscription.3.5 / 5
DesignThe Nighthawk RAXE300 looks great, but it’s packed with the latest tech for both wi-fi and wired networking.4 / 5
PerformanceWi-Fi 6E can go even faster, but 7.8Gbps is more than fast enough for most home broadband services.5 / 5
TotalThe Nighthawk RAXE300 provides slick design and impressive performance, but the hard-sell for additional subscriptions is disappointing at this price.4 / 5
  • First reviewed November 2022

How we test

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

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Cliff Joseph is a former Editor of MacUser magazine, and a freelance technology writer with 30 year’s experience in the industry (and old enough to remember when Apple was close to going bust…).

His first job involved using Macs for magazine sub-editing and typesetting, which led to the realisation that these computer-thingies might actually turn out to be useful after all. After a few years specialising in the Mac side of the market, he went freelance and embraced the wide world of digital technology, including Windows PCs, digital audio and hi-fi, and networking. Somewhere along the line he also developed a bit of a gaming habit and has stubbornly waved the flag for Mac gaming for far too many years.