Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000, Wi-Fi 6E Router (network review)

The Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000 Wi-Fi 6E Tri-band, 12-stream, router is the latest Wi-Fi 6E offering from Netgear, and it is a spectacular performer using the 2.4, 5 and 6GHz bands.

First, if you don’t know much about Wi-Fi 6E, we recommend you read Wi-Fi 6E AX 6Ghz, now approved in Australia. What does that mean for you?

The short version is that you need Wi-Fi 6E devices to use the 6GHz band, or there is really no benefit to using a 6E router or mesh. For example (and we won’t mention brands), many so-called 6E-capable smartphones don’t have that feature enabled in Australia because the standard is so new and differs from country to country. One brand we will mention is the Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro and new 6a that will be enabled with the Android 13 OS upgrade.

For now, only the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 4 are the only two 6E phones we can use for the test.

Finally, one thing we are keen to test is range. As Wi-Fi frequencies increase (2.4, 5, and now 6GHz), their distance, ability to penetrate walls etc., declines. We are also going to test Wi-Fi. extenders.

Australian Review – Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000, 12-stream, Tri-band Wi-Fi Router

Price$1099 from Netgear free freight – but shop around
FromIt is a specialist product and may have to be ordered from Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Netgear or Orbi stockists.
Warranty1-year ACL
Country of ManufactureVietnam
CompanyNetgear (Est 1996) is an American computer networking company based in San Jose, California, with offices in about 22 other countries. It makes class-leading NightHawk routers, MESH Orbi systems, Wi-Fi extenders, switches/hubs, Powerline adapters and a massive range of business and service provider networking equipment. Arlo spun out recently as a separate security camera company.
MoreCyberShack Netgear news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – Pass+

I want to go back to Netgear as a company. It is a trusted company – no spyware, backdoors, or data collection other than what it needs to provide the service. NETGEAR has a zero-tolerance policy for both forced labour and human trafficking. It constantly assesses risks related to its supply chain and compliance with the NETGEAR Supplier Code of Conduct. For these reasons, and that it makes excellent and reliable gear, Netgear (and Arlo) have CyberShack’s 100% support.

That is not to take away from Taiwanese-based D-Link, TP-Link or ASUS, which make excellent routers. I would happily use them all depending on need.

The Netgear Nighthawk design looks like Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle. It pleases my Lord Emperor, but it may be an acquired style taste. The Wings contain the antennae and must be folded ‘up’ to function. It can wall mount with the ports at the top or bottom – that is, if you like cables hanging down the wall.

Do you need the Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000 Wi-Fi 6E, 12-stream, Tri-band router?

Some people buy cars that can go from 0-100kph in under 5 seconds. Some buy cars with lots of torque to tow caravans. Some buy the best because they can. Most can get by with a four-cylinder!

This is the ultimate (for now) powerful router. It can support more IoT devices, has stronger signal strengths, supports a 6E band (for those devices only), and has a potent processor to distribute the NBN internet to all attached devices efficiently. It is for larger homes, although you will still need an extender for multiple floors or larger areas. And we are yet to review Wi-Fi 6E mesh from Orbi and TP-Link, so we can’t compare raw horsepower against distributed power just yet.

If Wi-Fi 6 is all you need and you have a typical 300-500m2, single-level home/apartment, this is overkill. Wi-Fi 6 (not 6E), you ask. Yes, it is doubly superior to Wi-Fi 5 AC because it is full-duplex (same speed both ways) and uses lots of new tech to get maximum speeds.

Setup – Easy if you know how our use the Netgear App

We start with the standard advice that you need to plan where the router should go for the best network speeds. The best place is right in the middle of where most of your IoT is. That way, you can connect much by cabled gigabit Ethernet. If you need to know more, read Fix Wi-Fi blackspots fast and often at no cost (guide).

The Android or iOS App is the easiest, although it requires a Netgear account. Remember that Netgear will not sell your data. There are two ways to set the hardware up.

If you have FTTP, HFC, or an Ethernet point (a gateway box from Aris) in your home (in the right place), then you plug an Ethernet cable from the port to the Router internet WAN port.

If you have FTTN, FTTC or even VDSL, you will have a modem/router (usually supplied by the NBN reseller) that may also support a landline phone. Plug the Ethernet cable into the modem LAN port and the other into the Router internet WAN port. Later you can disable the modem/router Wi-Fi.

For the techier

You can access the router by Ethernet to a PC or Wi-Fi and log into its internal web server via the default IP address. The router may change its IP address if this conflicts with any other router on the network.

The web interface allows complete granular control (advanced), but you need to be techy to use that power. However, there is a Setup Wizard that you can use to get it running. A few things to note:

  • The router’s Internet WAN port defaults to 1Gbps (OK). You can set up a 1+1Gbps multi-gig (Wan and Lan port) or swap the WAN preference to the 2.5Gbps multi-gig port. The 1GBbps WAN port becomes an extra LAN port.
  • I like to change the router LAN IP address to 10.0.X.1 to get it away from the 192.168.X.1 range that can be crowded.
  • You can use a static IP address if your ISP provides it
  • Enable AX Mode, OFDMA in 2.4/5/6Ghz
  • Set Security options to WPA2-Personal [AES] if you have older devices. WPA-3 should be for the 6Ghz band as only newer devices supporting that can join the network.
  • If you use the same SSID name and password as your existing router, all IoT Devices will reconnect without you having to set up new passwords etc.
  • Some IoT devices do not like aggregated Wi-Fi bands (seen as one SSID), so it will allow you to broadcast separate 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz and 6Ghz SSIDs. Do not enable Smart Connect.
  • Use the 2.4Ghz Guest network for IoT (remember to change this to the same SSID/Password).

Test – Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000 Wi-Fi 6E

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with the latest firmware. Speeds expressed as -dBm (lower is better) and Mbps (higher is better)

Distance5GHz6GhzNetgear RAX200 Wi-Fi 6 router comparison 5Ghz
Same room <2m-28/2400-33/2400-31/2400
5m line of sight-42/2400-55/2268-50/2400
5m through 2 walls and cupboards-58/864-65/272-60/812
10m line of sight-47/1397-59/368-50/1361
15m line of site-55/1197-69/244-55/1197

This shows that the 5Ghz signal is stronger and reaches further than the 6Ghz (6E) signal, which essentially becomes unusable greater than -55dB.

We did not expect such a drop in the 6Ghz signal except that the Australian Communications and Media Authority has only approved 500MHz at the low end of the 6GHz band (5925–6425GHz) and limited transmission strength (mW) to ensure that Wi-Fi 6E can’t extend outside the home. We expect the ACMA to relent and give full use and power like in the USA, but there is no time frame.

The distance limitations still apply

Typically 2.4GHz can span 30-40m line-of-site. 5GHz about 10-15m and now 6GHz at 5-7m. If you want whole-of-home coverage, you will need extenders or a mesh system.

Extenders – the jury is out

Wi-Fi 6E extenders transmit the 6E signal further away from the primary router, but they all backhaul over 5Ghz Wi-Fi. And that is where the problems begin.

The Netgear RAXE500 Wi-Fi 6E is. a Tri-Band router – 2.4GHz (1200Mbps), 5GHz (4800Mbps) and 6GHz (4800Mbps).

If you use a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 extender like the Nighthawk EAX80, it uses the first and only 5Ghz band for backhaul. Now that is not disastrous, but if you have lots of 5GHz traffic on the extender, it can overwhelm the available bandwidth.

The Netgear RAX200 Wi-Fi 6 is a Tri-Band router – 2.GHz (1200Mbps), 5GHz 1 (4800Mbps) and 5GHz 2 (4800Mbps). The second 5Ghz band is used for backhaul. As far as we can tell, the RAX200/EAX80 combo gives superior throughput.

In our tests, the maximum speed from the Extender is 1134Mbps on the 5Ghz band only. Adding an extender also saw the router’s 5Ghz band reduce to 1134Mbps.

Mesh – perhaps quad-band or Ethernet backhaul is the answer.

We expect that true Wi-Fi 6E routers and extenders will be more likely to be quad-band (2.4/5/5/6GHz) and/or use Ethernet Backhaul, leaving the first 5GHz band for devices.

Stay tuned for the TP-Link and Netgear Orbi AXE mesh reviews.

Netgear Armour – This may or may not be attractive

Netgear Armour by BITDEFENDER – a subscription service that provides IoT protection, AV end-point for Windows, macOS and Android devices outside the home, a basic VPN and optional Parental controls. If you already have an antivirus/malwre suite and IoT protection, it may pay to use Armour.

Circle parental control (trial – not tested)

It has the usual parental controls and more at extra cost. You can set profiles for each family member, schedules, time limits and bedtimes, automatically blocking a child from using any of their devices past a specific time. More here.

CyberShack’s view – Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000 is a fine router – not sure about Wi-Fi 6E just yet

To be fair to Netgear, we have not had enough experience with Wi-Fi 6E to comment definitively. We will update our experiences with different brands and types of routers as soon as we can.

Right now, Wi-Fi 6E is not a must-have, and the tests prove that 6E devices need to be 5-7m maximum from it to gain any benefit. The loss of the second 5GHz band may be an issue for homes with lots of those devices.

In addition, there is the issue of range extenders and whether we really need a Quad-band router (like the Orbi) to make a real difference in Wi-Fi 6E mesh. These won’t be cheap.


It is our first Wi-Fi 6E, and now we understand it a little better I think the best way to view it is as a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 with limited 6E benefits.

Over the next few weeks, we will test it with the Netgear EAX80 extender and more devices, so we won’t put a rating score on it just yet.

We will say that if and when 6E becomes important, there may be many more options. Then to complicate things, Wi-Fi 7 Networking is coming – should you wait?

Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000, Netgear RAXE500 AXE11000