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Netgear is one of the most reputed router brands in the market. They’re known for high-quality networking products with utmost reliability. If you’re looking for a Netgear router for your home or office, you’re in the right place.

For the past 7 years, I’ve used and reviewed a bunch of Nighthawk routers of different price ranges. I am now well-versed about their strengths and shortcomings. In this article, I shall list and review my top 7 picks for 2024.

Each router on this list has been meticulously assessed and verified to ensure superior speed, coverage, security, consistency, and efficient handling of multiple devices.

7 Best Netgear Routers in 2024

Before beginning, let me assure you that the Netgear Nighthawk routers featured here are “great” for most households and commercial setups and suit several needs, be it gaming, streaming, smart home management, trading, and more.

All you got to do is determine your needs (internet speed, number of devices, etc) and get a device that suits the best. I also have highlighted the benefits and limitations of each so you understand them better.

1. Best Overall: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

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Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 AXE11000
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Tri-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 3,500 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x 2.5G WAN + 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 2 x USB 3.0
  • Number of Devices Supported: 60
  • App Support: Yes

Netgear RAXE500 tops the list owing to high-end features. Powered by the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, multi-gig port, and a beefy Quad-Core processor lets you pair any high-speed fiber or cable internet plan and have an unmatched experience.

It comes as a substitute for RAXE450 which, although it looks similar throughout, comes at a lesser throughput capacity and, in turn, overall performance.

Speeds & Performance

The RAXE500 with tri-band frequency comes at a maximum throughput capacity of 10.8 Gbps, where the band-wise speeds are as follows:

6 GHz: 4.8 Gbps5 GHz: 4.8 Gbps2.4 GHz: 1.2 Gbps

To get a notion of the raw speeds, I put RAXE500 through the usual tests, starting by pairing a 2 Gig Xfinity Fiber plan and keeping the testing device 20 feet away from it.

The download speed was a solid 1.98 Gbps, while the upload speed was valued at 798 Mbps. The distanced speed at 60 feet also fared great results. I got 990 Mbps in download and 402 Mbps in upload.

The Wi-Fi 6E tech makes way for clearer signals and greater usable speeds, so high-end games like Red Dead Redemption 2 played like a breeze.

Alongside, I could stream 4K videos on YouTube, attend Zoom session calls, and trade stocks without any network trepidation.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

In terms of range, RAXE500 performs well as the signal manages to hold its strength in an area of up to 3,100 Sq Ft. It’s great enough for any large to mid-sized homes, which is the above-standard for a standalone router.

If you need a large home router, this one is it. Besides, the device further entails MU-MIMO, beamforming, and OFDMA tech, which does its job of stabilizing the signals transmitted to multiple platforms.

I once had a long list of devices connected to the network, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, and others adding up to 55. Despite the lack of QoS, the signals remained accessible, and devices didn’t lag.

Security Features

The RAXE500 ships with decent security features, with the most notable ones being WPA3, VPN, SPI firewall, auto-firmware update, and access control. With these at bay, expect the shared data to stay secure and tricky to access by external parties.

But if you subscribe to its premium Netgear Armor, you get advanced features like malware protection, weekly scans, and prevent access to malicious websites.

Conclusion

Overall, I had many expectations from the router and can say it matched them well. RAXE50 is undoubtedly the best Nighthawk router on the market.

It delivers fast throughput courtesy of tri-band Wi-Fi 6e and shows great signal strength across all connected devices in a large space. But it comes at a hefty price which can get a bit heavy for most people’s pockets.

For more in-depth analysis, read the full review of the Netgear RAXE500.

Pros

    • Utilizes 6 GHz radio band
    • Massive throughput capacity
    • Multi-gig Ethernet & link aggregation
    • Excellent wireless range
    • Supports 160 MHz channel
    • Top-tier performance

Cons

    • Premium price
    • Advanced security is paid
    • Lacks QoS setting

2. Best Runner-Up: Netgear Nighthawk RAX70

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Netgear Nighthawk RAX70 AX6600
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Tri-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 2,500 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.0
  • Number of Devices Supported: 40
  • App Support: Yes

The next product on my list shares a few similarities with my top recommendation but comes at almost half the price. Irrespective of the downgrades, Nighthawk RAX70, with tri-band and a large throughput capacity, comes as an excellent performer.

Speeds & Performance

The RAX70 has a speed rating of AX6600, i.e., 6600 Mbps. The respective shares on the three bands are as follows:

5 GHz (1): 4800 Mbps5 GHz (2): 1200 Mbps2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps

With that rating, pretty much every Gigabit plan should be a cakewalk. I had the Spectrum 1 Gbps plan connected, and the close proximity test (20 feet) could yield download speeds of 924 Mbps. While the upload speed reached 34 Mbps.

It means downloading large files would take a mere few seconds. I ran the same test from a 40 feet distance, as it managed speeds of 551 Mbps and 21 Mbps for downloads and uploads, respectively.

The router is best suited for activities like 4K streaming, gaming, and more.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

The RAX70, with its two foldable wings and two powerful beamforming internal antennas, claims to encase an area of up to 2,500 Sq Ft.

My two-story house had hardly any dead spots in the corners. Putting it in numbers is difficult, but approximately it can disperse signals to about 2,200 Sq Ft.

Besides, advanced features like OFDMA and MU-MIMO make it one of the best router choices for handling multiple devices at once.

A total of 33 smart home gadgets, including smart TV, smartphones, laptops, and others, could connect and work seamlessly.

Security Features

Security features of RAX70 are identical to RAXE500 with WPA3 encryption standard, guest access, VPN support, and a few basic parental controls. These features, I reckon, are good enough for standard homes where you don’t deal with sensitive data as such.

Conclusion

Netgear RAX70, with its Smart Connect feature, scans the network and automatically connects the available devices with the best possible frequency, so you don’t have to track it down manually.

Besides, its tri-band setup makes for excellent performance, but staying a bit behind in most aspects than my top recommendation, it’s placed second. Read the full review.

Pros

    • Wi-Fi 6 standard
    • Smooth tri-band operation
    • Excellent speeds and throughput
    • Powerful hardware
    • Decent WiFi range

Cons

    • No multi-gig port
    • Still pricey

3. Best for Gaming: Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000

Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 AX5400
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Dual-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 2,500 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.0
  • Number of Devices Supported: 30
  • App Support: Yes

Following the footsteps of the Netgear XR700, the XR1000 offers plenty of goodies for gamers and streamers. It manages to strike a balance by showing its gaming intents with tasteful red accents and avoids any over-the-top design to turn off adult gamers.

Aside from its classy design, it packs a powerful triple-core processor, Wi-Fi 6, and gaming-oriented features for unmatched performance.

Speeds & Performance

The XR1000 is one of the top gaming routers from Netgear with a speed rating of AX5400, where the respective values on each band are as follows:

5 GHz: 4800 Mbps2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps

On the bandwidth testing with Spectrum Internet Gig plan, the XR1000 puts off some solid scores with a download and upload throughput of 931 Mbps and 32 Mbps, respectively, on the near test (20 feet).

As the distance increases, the respective throughput drops off to 463 Mbps and 18.70 Mbps. While gaming, Destiny 2 posed a healthy 95 FPS without any jitters.

And with eight 4K videos running alongside, the fps was recorded at 87, courtesy of the gamers’ favorite DumaOS 3.0 and efficient QoS.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

Using the WiFi analyzer app in my 2,500 square feet test lab, the XR1000 demonstrated itself as a powerful and reliable router by filling its every corner with powerful signals.

The signal strength wasn’t as poor at the farthest distances, as I could stream UHD 4K content without any issues. As with my previous recommendations, it entails MU-MIMO and beamforming to deliver stable signals on up to 41 devices at once.

Be it streaming, gaming, video conferencing, or others, any internet-related activities should be a breeze.

Security Features

Security features of this Netgear gaming router include the latest WPA3 protocol to deliver advanced protection to the data travelling through the network.

There’s a separate guest network for adding users temporarily to the network and access control to ensure no unauthorized devices are added. Besides, you can opt for Netgear Armor.

With respect to parental controls, you have access to basic features like time scheduling, internet pausing, and tracking total online time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 is a stimulating entry into the high-end gaming category with specially dedicated gaming features.

It comes with the latest DumaOS 3.0 and QoS functionality to prioritize traffic and decent wireless features for smart devices to stay online throughout. But a lesser band and, in turn, capability is the reason it’s ranked third on the list.

For a more detailed look, read my Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 review.

Pros

    • Wi-Fi 6
    • DumaOS 3.0 for gaming boost
    • Adaptive QoS
    • Beamforming and MU-MIMO
    • Great speeds and coverage
    • Powerful triple core processor

Cons

    • Dual-band at a premium price

4. Best Mesh Router: Netgear Orbi RBK752

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Netgear Orbi RBK752 AX4200
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Tri-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 5,000 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 3 x Gig LAN
  • Number of Devices Supported: 40
  • App Support: Yes

If you’re interested in a mesh network, Netgear Orbi RBK752 is one of the best router choices for areas up to 5,000 Sq Ft. The tri-band setup and the latest networking technologies contribute towards an excellent WiFi performance.

Speeds & Performance

Orbi RBK752 comes at a maximum overall speed of 4200 Mbps, where the contribution of each band is as follows:

5 GHz (1): 2400 Mbps5 GHz (2): 1200 Mbps2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps

Right off the track, the RBK752 turns out fast. The speed test with the device at 20 feet away using a Spectrum Gig plan generated a result of 926 Mbps and 31 Mbps, respectively, for downloads and uploads.

Running the same test from 70 feet away manages a great speed of 555 Mbps and 26 Mbps, much faster than my previous recommendations.

It means the mesh WiFi offers a much bigger scope to perform a whole lot of internet-bound tasks at long distances without any issues.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

Wireless coverage is the main USP of this model, as with most whole home mesh WiFi systems out there. Spacing your mesh nodes properly can spread signals to an area as large as 4,600 Sq Ft.

And it beats the standard WiFi repeater tech by letting users move around to stay on the same network without dropping the connection.

Paired with it, its MU-MIMO and beamforming tech establishes a similar bandwidth on up to 35 devices at max. The capacity is lower than my previous recommendation but enough for most household setups.

Security Features

The security features of RBK752 are identical to the Netgear wireless routers I have reviewed so far. These include WPA3, a guest network, and a VPN server for a secure passthrough of data from the source to the recipient.

You can opt for its Netgear Armor security, which comes at a trial period of one year. Besides, its similar parental control features allow you to keep a tab over the time your kids are online and control it accordingly.

Conclusion

The RBK752 is a perfect mesh WiFi system for large homes and commercial settings. With its reliable 5 GHz backhaul channel, it guarantees a seamless transmission of data between the host and the receiver.

For more details, check out the in-depth Netgear Orbi RBK752 review.

Pros

    • Tri-Band + Wi-Fi 6
    • Great wireless speeds
    • Exceptional WiFi range
    • Stable network performance
    • Easy to set up

Cons

    • Middling device handling ability

5. Best for Streaming: Netgear Nighthawk RAX50

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Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Dual-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 2,500 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.0
  • Number of Devices Supported: 25
  • App Support: Yes

Netgear RAX50 replaces the hot-selling RAX43 and brings along a range of upgrades, be it in terms of throughput capacity, range, or port setup.

Its dual-band Wi-Fi 6 setup paired with other networking technologies lets you pair with any high Gigabit plan and is great for high-end media consumption.

Speeds & Performance

The total speed of the RAX50 maximizes at 5400 Mbps, which is split between its two bands as follows:

5 GHz: 4800 Mbps2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps

In my client’s old house, the Netgear router could deliver an ample amount of data when close (20 feet) to my iPhone 13 using the Spectrum 1 Gbps plan.

On my Ookla network testing software, the system registered 921 Mbps data flow for downloads and 30 Mbps for uploads. It stays close to its siblings and can accomplish an equal range of tasks with ease.

At the same time, the RAX50 pushed 498 Mbps for downloads and 18 Mbps for uploads through a wall 50 feet from my testing device.

Besides, it passed my saturation test, where it distributed data to a number of devices used for streaming videos & audio, playing games, stock trading, and more. The sound and audio were lag-free without any drop-outs, freeze-ups, or artifacts.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

The four-beamforming antenna setup claims to cover up a space of up to 2,500 Sq Ft, the size of a three-bedroom house. In my test, the router stays true to its promises as it spreads signals to up to 2,200 Sq Ft two-story house with ease.

My WiFi analyzer app displays that the signals in the nooks stay stable, much of which is attributed to MU-MIMO and beamforming. These further assist in pairing a plethora of devices (25), including laptops, computers, smartphones, and others.

Security Features

Security-wise, I would give it a score of 5 out of 10 because the features like WPA3, VPN, guest network, and auto-firmware updates maintain a basic level of security on your network.

The Netgear app lets you check the devices connected to the bandwidth and manually remove any suspicious ones.

Other than that, the internet dashboard on the app shows the detailed time a user is online and lets you pause the internet at any time.

Conclusion

Netgear RAX50 with dual-band Wi-Fi 6 support and a four-antenna setup deliver good performance over the connected devices.

The network stability with this is out of the question, courtesy of features like MU-MIMO and beamforming, making it an ideal device for gamers, streamers, and others.

But the thing is, compared to its siblings, it doesn’t cost much less but slashes a lot on the features. You may also read the full review here

Pros

    • Wi-Fi 6
    • Excellent close-up speeds
    • Customization potential
    • Quick setup
    • Decent range

Cons

    • No tri-band support

6. Best with Armor Security: Netgear Nighthawk RAX54S

In search of the most secure router for your home or office network? Nighthawk RAX54S comes with Netgear’s premium Armor subscription worth $100 free for 1 year.

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Netgear Nighthawk RAX54S AX5400
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Dual-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 2,500 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.0
  • Number of Devices Supported: 30
  • App Support: Yes

If you run a business, indulge in essential data activities, and are concerned about the confidentiality of the transferred and stored data, opt for the Netgear RAX54S.

Aside from the top security, its powerful triple-core processor paired with ample RAM and Wi-Fi 6 makes it an ideal router for small businesses and households.

Speeds & Performance

The maximum throughput capacity of RAX54S stands at 5400 Mbps, split over its two bands as follows:

5 GHz: 4800 Mbps2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps

As I did with RAX50, I used the same 1 Gbps plan to test the practical speeds of RAX54S. Its download and upload score of 912 Mbps and 28 Mbps on the close-proximity test was a hair slower than its elder sibling.

However, its respective scores of 497 Mbps and 17 Mbps at 40 feet stayed on par with it. And as you anticipate, any internet-bound tasks are feasible at such speeds.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

In terms of coverage, the RAX54S utilizes a four external antenna configuration that effectively blankets an area of 2,000 square feet without difficulty. This makes it an excellent option for mid-sized workspaces accommodating up to 25 devices.

The signals on these devices remained stable, allowing me to engage in various internet-related activities effortlessly, thanks to beamforming, OFDMA, and MU-MIMO technologies.

Security Features

As opposed to a 30-day trial in most Netgear routers, you get to access the Netgear Armor security free for a year, which otherwise costs $100.

This Bitdefender-powered antivirus software is a holy grail for small business owners as it delivers all-around protection to the devices from viruses, trojans, and malware and inhibits access to any infected websites.

Besides, standard features like WPA3 encryption, VPN, DDoS protection, and guest access for added network security.

Conclusion

Netgear RAX54S is a versatile device that offers a variety of useful features, encompassing fast speeds, extensive coverage, and dependable reliability.

You get a whole year of Netgear Armor subscription that keeps you safe from data theft or network breach, which isn’t available with other Netgear routers. But its inferior device-handling capacity has pushed it down to the penultimate position.

Pros

    • Wi-Fi 6 support
    • Free 1 year of Netgear Armor
    • Great Wi-Fi speeds
    • Decent WiFi coverage
    • Easy to install

Cons

    • Below-par device-handling capacity

7. Best Budget Option: Netgear R6700AX

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Netgear R6700AX AX1800
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Band Frequency: Dual-Band
  • WiFi Range: Up to 1,500 Sq Ft
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN
  • Number of Devices Supported: 20
  • App Support: Yes

The last option on my list is the budget find, R6700AX, an upgrade to Netgear R6700 with many decent features at bay, especially its dual-band Wi-Fi 6 support.

It’s not a high-performer by any angle but still gets coverage of 1,500 Sq Ft, 1800 Mbps throughput, and a stable performance behest of its powerful quad-core processor.

Speeds & Performance

Putting the benefits of the future-proof Wi-Fi 6 on the table, the R6700AX comes at a speed rating of AX1800. It’s divided into its two band frequencies as follows:

5 GHz: 1200 Mbps2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps

Depending on your required speeds, you can subscribe to an internet speed of 500 Mbps to up to 1 Gbps. I got the Spectrum 600 Mbps plan and got speeds at 561 Mbps and 28 Mbps at close proximity for downloads and uploads, respectively.

And close to the entrance (around 40 feet away from the router), my testing device managed maximum speeds of 245 Mbps and 13 Mbps, respectively.

With such speed, I could stream 4K movies in the farthest corners of my parents’ house. And up close, the router cruised through intense gaming sessions of God of War, Fifa, and Fortnite in their highest quality. There wasn’t even a blip during the entire session.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

The R6700AX, with its three external beamforming antennas, claims to cover a maximum area of up to 1,500 Sq Ft.

Testing the device at my parents’ two-bedroom apartment (around 1,300 Sq Ft) generates positive results, but nothing was accessible in the basement or garage. For that, I had to get a Netgear extender to pair it with.

Besides, I used my WiFi analyzer app to conduct the congestion test, where I connected multiple devices to the bandwidth.

And with features like MU-MIMO and OFDMA working in tandem, around 15-18 devices, including gaming consoles, TVs, smartphones, and other devices, were going on the full flow.

Security Features

To safeguard your home network from unauthorized access, the router utilizes WPA 3 encryption to ensure secure passwords.

However, similar to my recommended models, the router’s free security features, apart from the guest network, VPN, and simple access filter, are somewhat limited.

When it comes to parental controls, there are minimal options available for managing and controlling your internet usage.

Conclusion

To conclude, Netgear R6700AX is an ideal budget Netgear router for those with a family of 4 and fewer than 20 devices. It sports future-proof Wi-Fi 6 and a decent range of features. For a closer look, read the dedicated Netgear R6700AX review.

Pros

    • Wi-Fi 6 standard
    • Budget-friendly
    • Quad-core processor
    • Good throughput
    • User-friendly app

Cons

    • Lesser range

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Netgear routers good?

Netgear is a well-established name in the networking industry and offers a wide range of routers to suit the various needs and budgets of users. Most of their routers are known to deliver good performance in terms of speed and range, so you can trust them for your home networking setup.

Which Nighthawk model is best?

Amongst the models I have reviewed in this guide, I find the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 the best amongst the rest. It comes with a tri-band Wi-Fi 6E setup with a max speed of 10.8 Gbps, a range of 3,500 Sq Ft, and a multi-gig port to deliver unmatched performance to users. But all of it comes at a price that is unaffordable for many.

What security option is best on a Netgear router?

If you afford to spare around $99 a year, then it’s best to subscribe to the Netgear Armor software, which entails a number of advanced security tools to offer unmatched security to the connected devices.

Verdict

I hope, by now, you’ll have picked one for yourself. If you still couldn’t, just figure out your needs and budget to get an ideal piece for your networking setup. If you can’t make a decision, here’s a list of the top Netgear routers in each category:

  • If you have a budget to spare and need a top-notch router loaded with features, then Nighthawk RAXE500 is the newest Netgear router you can get.
  • If you can compromise on the features and want a mid-range offering, Netgear Nighthawk RAX70 is your best bet.
  • If you’re a professional gamer, opt for Nighthawk Pro XR1000.
  • And finally, if you want a budget router suitable for your mid-tier plans, consider investing in the Netgear R6700AX.

With that comes an end to my recommendations. Goodbye and take care!