Lower-priced Netgear Nighthawk RS300 kicks down Wi-Fi 7 barrier

Netgear Nighthawk RS300 Wi-Fi 7 router launch
Image: Netgear.
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Bringing the latest and greatest wireless technology to a more affordable price point, the Netgear Nighthawk RS300 Wi-Fi 7 router takes advantage of upcoming hardware.

At less than half the price of Netgear’s Nighthawk RS700S router, the new model is one of the cheapest Wi-Fi 7 routers available. Building on the 6GHz network band introduced by Wi-Fi 6E, the newer technology doubles channel width to 320Hz, enabling more data to be sent at the same time.

Another big benefit of Wi-Fi 7 is Multi-Link Operation (MLO). It lets devices access multiple network bands simultaneously, like 5GHz and 6GHz, so there are no dropouts when moving out of range of one and into another.

Nighthawk RS300 router front and back

Reflecting its lower price, the Netgear Nighthawk RS300 wields a total bandwidth of 9.3Gbps, compared to the RS700S’ 19Gbps. It also doesn’t have any 10Gbps Ethernet ports, instead offering two 2.5Gbps and two 1Gbps ports. For the overwhelming majority of Australians, that’s still plenty, considering that multi-gigabit residential internet isn’t here yet.

Netgear advertises its newest router as covering up to 230 square metres and supporting up to 100 concurrent device connections. Again, that should be fine for most Aussie households. Data from NBN Co claims that the average home has 22 simultaneously connected devices at any time.

You can also use the router as a media-sharing server via its USB port, set up guest networks and so on – all standard router stuff in 2024.

Netgear Nighthawk RS300 price and release date

Available now in Australia, the cheaper Wi-Fi 7 router costs $649 via retailers and Netgear’s official store. Meanwhile, the higher spec RS700S model costs a hefty $1,499 at retail. The router comes with a 30-day subscription to Netgear Armor, adding various security features and in-depth parental controls. Afterwards, it costs $10.99 a month or $99 a year.

Netgear also recently launched its Orbi 970 Wi-Fi 7 mesh system, which costs $1,599 for a single satellite. Alternatives include TP-Link’s Archer BE800 ($999) and Deco BE85 mesh system (from $1,199).

Wi-Fi 7 isn’t cheap, largely a result of how new the technology is. Official certification of Wi-Fi 7 devices only started earlier this year, and not many devices have been able to take advantage of the higher bandwidth.

That’s about to change, with next-gen laptops from Intel, AMD, and Microsoft set to support Wi-Fi 7 networking. Netgear’s Nighthawk RS300 is a signal that Wi-Fi 7 is about to enter the mainstream, accompanied by more attainable prices.

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