Netgear found a clever way Wi-Fi 6E The speed of aging computers. The new standard comes from Netgear’s Nighthawk AXE3000 USB 3.0 Adapter, which can be plugged into a computer and upgraded to Wi-Fi 6E.
Wi-Fi 6E has been steadily rolling out in recent years, allowing devices to access the 6GHz band on top of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This standard allows for “faster speeds, more connections, and less congestion.” However, there are still not many devices or accessories that support Wi-Fi 6E, limiting its coverage.along with Nighthawk AXE3000 (opens in new tab)you’ll retroactively add to Wi-Fi 6E connections for laptops and desktops that don’t have native support.
The AXE3000 takes the form of a USB dongle that plugs directly into a computer’s USB port. According to NETGEAR, it automatically detects the router’s Wi-Fi band so that devices can connect to the correct band — whether it’s the 2.4GHz band, 5GHz, or 6GHz. Connection speeds range from 600Mbps (megabits per second) on 2.4GHz to a peak of 1200Mbps on 6GHz. Because of these speeds, the company claims people will experience smoother data transfers and suffer from “less lag” [while] gamble. “
If the concept sounds a bit retro, it’s because, as those with a long memory will remember, we used to add basic Wi-Fi to some computers by plugging in a USB-based Wi-Fi antenna.
You’ll also notice the stand for the AXE3000. NETGEAR says it’s a dock that can be used instead of plugging the dongle directly into the computer. With the dongle in the dock, you can unfold the AXE3000 and use it as a Wi-Fi 6E antenna. On the other end of the base is a USB cable for connecting to a computer.If you are concerned about safety, the AXE3000 comes with Wi-Fi Alliance’s WPA3 Protocol (opens in new tab) to ensure your device is protected.
Note that you still need to buy a Wi-Fi 6E router, which can be quite expensive. The AXE3000 is just an adapter that allows you to access those speeds, and it’s compatible with any Wi-Fi router and mesh system so you don’t have to lock yourself into a NETGEAR device.However, the company does recommend buying a 6E router with support for mesh systems such as Orbi 960 Series Access those high speed.
You’ll also need a computer running Windows 11, because at the time of this writing, it’s the only version of Windows that natively supports Wi-Fi 6E (and its promised speeds).Officially, the AXE3000 does work on Windows 10 computers Specification Table (opens in new tab)but you’ll miss those high speeds.
The AXE3000 adapter will be available at the end of September for $89.99, but only in the US, one of the few countries in the world that supports Wi-Fi 6E. A company representative told us that as more countries adopt 6E, dongles may be released elsewhere, but did not specify which ones.
If you’re in the market for a new Wi-Fi 6 router, we recommend checking out TechRadar’s recently updated list of the best routers. Just be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars for a 6E entry.