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Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System review

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Quick verdict: Despite impressive technical specifications for the price, Netgear's Wi-Fi 6 capable Nighthawk Mesh router falls well short of expectations in real world use.

  • Simple node design
  • Nodes have ethernet ports
  • Wi-Fi 6 and EasyMesh for future compatibility and speed
  • Poor performance at range
  • Randomly drops connectivity

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Despite impressive technical specifications for the price, Netgear's WiFi 6 Nighthawk Mesh router falls well short of expectations in real world use.
Finder score: 2
How we score our reviews

In the mesh networking space, Netgear is well known and regarded for its range of Orbi-branded products, but it's not its only play in this market. The Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System promises speedy Wi-Fi 6 performance and EasyMesh certification for potential compatibility with other mesh systems at an appealing price point for that kind of technology. It's easy to set up and comes with optional subscriptions for home security packages too.

However, once it's all up and running, and compared to many other mesh networking systems, its overall performance falls way short of what it should be capable of providing.


Design

Design

  • Simple nodes and satellite
  • Ethernet ports on each satellite
  • Power sockets are annoyingly wide
Nubia Z20

Installation

Installation

  • Easy installation
  • Nighthawk app could use better update notifications
Nubia Z20

Performance

Performance

  • Wi-Fi 6 should give it an edge
  • EasyMesh should work with other mesh routers
  • Actual throughput is not great
Nubia Z20

Should you buy the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System?

  • Buy it if you just want the first mesh router you see
  • Don't buy it if you want good performance
Finder score: 2.0

If you were just to read the box for the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6, you might think that it was a next-generation mesh networking bargain, given its Wi-Fi 6 capabilities and EasyMesh future.

However, the reality of actually using the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 shows that this is a system that needs seriously more data shifting muscle than it's got.

Now, it's always feasible that future firmware upgrades like the one it insisted on at launch could solve some of those woes, but I can only assess what's in front of me at the time of testing. Based on its performance figures and asking price, the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 cannot be recommended.

Pricing and availability

Price

RRP $649

Where to buy

The Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 is available with two nodes as the MK62 pack for $449, or in a three-node configuration as tested for $649.


Specifications

Build

Dimensions

121x121x63.5mm

Weight

285g

Colour

Black

LAN ports

2

Nodes per package

2


Connectivity

Ethernet speed

Gigabit Ethernet

Wireless bands

Dual Band


Features

Guest network

Yes

Parental controls

No

Security

Standards-based WiFi Security (802.11i, 128-bit AES encryption with PSK)

VoIP

No

Memory

128MB Flash and 256MB RAM


Best mesh Wi-Fi

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