4

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Review

True Score

86
86
2

Experts

92
7,275

Consumers

Product Awards

Top 5

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

Despite its subpar security features, the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 gaming router’s speedy connections, expansive range, and user-friendly setup make it suitable for data-intensive tasks like AR/VR and 4K streaming.    

SAVE $15
$199.88
$184.99

We’re reader-supported. Commissions finance our mission. Our ‘True Score‘ system independently powers ratings. Learn more

Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

Launched in 2018, the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 is a premium gaming router (WiFi 5) that accommodates 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths and has MU-MIMO support. It houses four antennas, ethernet LAN ports, one WAN, and two USB-A 3.0 ports, with a total speed of 2533Mbps (800 Mbps+1733 Mbps), but unlike the best routers, there’s no 6GHz band. It’s also not a mesh system and lacks backhaul. Gaming software features include Geo-fencing, Application QoS, Congestion Control, and Ping Heatmap. Moreover, it offers VPN support for remote access to home setup but doesn’t have WPA3 encryption (only WPA2) or dedicated parental controls. For a budget Netgear router with WPA3 support, read our Netgear RAX20 review

Consensus

our Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 is good for mid to large-sized households with moderately high data consumption. It ensures minimal latency with its swift throughput (104Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 491Mbps at 5 GHz), supporting 4K video streaming and competitive gaming. Its download speeds of 187.95Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 504Mbps at 5GHz are above average and rank in the mid-third of our certified, tested routers, but it will be adequate for most homes. 

Moreover, the router boasts a wide 115-foot range, and although the throughput dips by 60 to 65% at 30 feet, it doesn’t cause connectivity issues. Setting up is a breeze using the mobile app or web browser, but the Traffic Controller doesn’t compensate for the lack of parental controls, and no built-in antivirus could raise security concerns.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Fast Wi-Fi speed
    • The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 router is best suited for medium to large-sized homes that seek 4K, 8K, or VR movie streaming and competitive gaming with minimal latency.

    • With download speeds of 187.95Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 504Mbps at 5GHz, it ranks in the mid-third of our certified tested routers. For an option with a 6GHz band, check out our Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 review. 

  • Wide range
    • With a 115 feet range, the XR500 effortlessly covers an expansive 3500 square-foot area.

  • Quick and easy setup
    • Setting up is smooth via the Netgear Nighthawk app and web browser and includes security questions for an added layer of protection. 

    • NetDuma teamed up with Netgear to create the interactive and customizable DumaOS, with which you can prioritize bandwidth, boost speeds, and monitor network resources.

Reason to Avoid

  • No parental controls
    • While you can use Traffic Controller to block or allow certain content, there are no dedicated parental controls. 

  • Mediocre security
    • There are no built-in antivirus or ad blockers, which pose a security threat when connected to devices. There’s also no WPA3 encryption. 

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Specs

# of LAN Ports# of LAN Ports4
# of Phone Ports# of Phone Portsn/a
# of WAN Ports# of WAN Ports1
App CompatibleApp Compatiblen/a
Available StorageAvailable Storage256MB
Band TechnologyBand TechnologyDual
Data Encryption TypeData Encryption TypeWPA, WPA2-PSK
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
Frequency BandsFrequency Bands2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz
Integrated ModemIntegrated ModemNo
LAN PortsLAN Ports4 Gb Ethernet
MU-MIMO SupportMU-MIMO SupportYes
Mesh SystemMesh SystemNo
Number of AntennasNumber of Antennas4
Parental ControlsParental ControlsYes
Processor CoresProcessor CoresDual
Processor SpeedProcessor Speed1.7GHz
Quality of Service PrioritizationQuality of Service PrioritizationYes
WiFi RangeWiFi Range2500 sq.ft
WiFi SpeedWiFi Speed2.5 Gb
Wired SpeedWired Speed1000 Mb
Wireless StandardWireless StandardAC, N

All Specs

Test Results

2.4 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)187.95
2.4 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0
5 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)504
5 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0
Router Range (ft)0
Latency (ms)0
6 Ghz Download speed (Mbits/s)0
6 Ghz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0

All Tests

Get the Winner of the Day Direct to Your Inbox

Join 1+ million monthly users and become an instant expert with our daily download of reviews, tips and guides.

Product Comparison

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Review

True Score

86
79
84
72

Ranking

#

4

/

37

#

23

/

37

#

5

/

37

#

40

/

37

Market Context

Launched in 2018, the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 is a premium gaming router (WiFi 5) that accommodates 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths and has MU-MIMO support. It…

Launched in 2018, the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 is a premium gaming router (WiFi 5) that accommodates 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths and has MU-MIMO support. It houses four antennas, ethernet LAN ports, one WAN, and two USB-A 3.0 ports, with a total speed of 2533Mbps (800 Mbps+1733 Mbps), but unlike the best routers, there’s no 6GHz band. It’s also not a mesh system and lacks backhaul. Gaming software features include Geo-fencing, Application QoS, Congestion Control, and Ping Heatmap. Moreover, it offers VPN support for remote access to home setup but doesn’t have WPA3 encryption (only WPA2) or dedicated parental controls. For a budget Netgear router with WPA3 support, read our Netgear RAX20 review

While both the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 and Netgear Nighthawk XR500 achieve a maximum bandwidth of 800Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1733Mbps at 5GHz, the XR700 additionally…

While both the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 and Netgear Nighthawk XR500 achieve a maximum bandwidth of 800Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1733Mbps at 5GHz, the XR700 additionally supports 60GHz bandwidth (4600Mbps) for high data rates and lower latency. It also boasts seven ethernet ports (one WAN and six LAN) for enhanced wired connectivity, while the XR500 has only five (one WAN and four LAN). To know more, read our in-depth Netgear Nighthawk XR700 review.

The ultra-premium Asus ROG GT-AXE16000’s max bandwidth is greater than the lower-priced Netgear Nighthawk XR500. (The GT-AXE16000 has a bandwidth of 1148Mbps over 2.4GHz and…

The ultra-premium Asus ROG GT-AXE16000’s max bandwidth is greater than the lower-priced Netgear Nighthawk XR500. (The GT-AXE16000 has a bandwidth of 1148Mbps over 2.4GHz and 4804Mbps over 5GHz. The XR500 has a bandwidth of 800Mbps over 2.4GHz and 1733Mbps over 5GHz). Moreover, the GT-AXE16000 boasts a robust security system that helps it steer clear of malicious attacks, whereas the XR500 lacks an in-built antivirus. For more information, read our Asus ROG GT-AXE16000 review

The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 boasts a superior throughput than the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 MX5503, ensuring faster and more stable connections. (The XR500 has a…

The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 boasts a superior throughput than the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 MX5503, ensuring faster and more stable connections. (The XR500 has a throughput of 491Mbps over 5GHz. The Atlas Pro 6 is lower at 398Mbps over 5GHz). Both routers feature dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), but the XR500 edges ahead in convenience with an extra LAN port (four total ports vs Atlas Pro 6’s three LAN ports). For more information, read our Linksys Atlas Pro 6 MX 5503 review

# of LAN Ports

4

6

4

3

# of Phone Ports

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

# of WAN Ports

1

1

3

1

App Compatible

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Available Storage

256MB

512MB

256MB

256MB

Band Technology

Dual

Tri

Quad

Dual

Data Encryption Type

WPA, WPA2-PSK

WPA2-PSK

WPA3

WPA2 Mixed Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA3 Mixed Personal, WPA3-Personal

Energy Star Certified

No

No

n/a

No

Dig Deeper

Netgear Nighthawk XR700 Review →

Asus ROG GT-AXE16000 Review →

Linksys Atlas Pro 6 MX 5503 Review →

All Stores

Updated every 24 hours

  • Save $15
    $199.88
    $184.99

    Availability

    In Stock

    Free Shipping

    No
  • Save $15
    $249.99
    $235.00

    Availability

    In Stock

    Free Shipping

    No

Score Card

E

Expert Score

86

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

92

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

86

Expert Scores

  • Kit Guru
    87.57

    Category Trust Rating

    90
    The NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 would be a fairly run-of-the-mill router according to its basic specification… Read More

    By:

    James Morris
  • Tweak Town
    78.74

    Category Trust Rating

    90
    In partnership with NetDuma, Netgear has taken its XR500 platform to another level creating the… Read More

    By:

    Tyler Bernath

Customer Scores