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Netgear launched today a new unlocked 5G mobile hotspot that lets you access a WiFi 6 wireless network when you’re in range of 5G service.
Netgear said the new Netgear Nighthawk M6 Mobile Hotspot Router raises the mobile broadband experience by upping the maximum 5G speed that can be supported and adding 160MHz capability to connect with the latest WiFi 6 client devices.
Netgear launched the world’s first unlocked 5G hotspot in 2021 with the Nighthawk M5. Now the company is building on that with the M6, which is 20% faster than the M5 at 2.5 Gbps over 5G. It has the capacity to hit a maximum combined WiFi speed of up to 3.6Gbps when connecting to 160MHz WiFi 6 devices.
The way to use it
I could have used this Netgear Nighthawk M6 Mobile Hotspot Router the other day when we had a power outage and my home cable modem went down.
Regarding the M5 model, Netgear sees the majority of people using them for a primary internet connection in their homes, said Ravindra Bhilave, senior director of product marketing, in a press briefing.
“Essentially, people living in the rural areas in remote locations don’t have good alternatives for wired internet connection,” he said. “There are places where you can only get maybe DSL, and then you’re limited to a few megabits per second. You have satellite internet connections, which are pretty flaky. People do find that cellular Internet is a better option compared to everything else available for them.”
The M6 comes with an In-Home Performance Mode which boosts WiFi coverage up to 2,000 square-feet when the device is plugged in, and the battery is removed.
People like me could also use them as a backup internet connection for the whole household, Bhilave said.
“You need a backup if everybody is working from home or learning from home,” Bhilave said. “Because of that trend, people want a backup internet solution where if their primary internet goes down, they still continue to have to have a connection.”
People are also using the internet connectivity while on vacations, such as while traveling in a recreational vehicle.
“These are the primary use cases that we see growing and we want to go after this market segment,” Bhilave said. “With the latest chipset, you get better coverage and more carrier aggregation.”
If you are using it at home, it will work off your cheaper home internet connection. But if that goes down, it will switch to the 5G connectivity.
Beyond using such a hotspot at home during a power outage, you can also use it anywhere you can get your 5G service.
The Nighthawk M6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon SDX62 Mobile Platform, which has dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz AX3600 WiFi 6. It works for a variety of mobile applications, including fast file transfer to high-end video streaming on up to 32 connected devices. A 5040mAh battery lasts up to 13 hours on a single charge.
At home or the office, M6 can be used for both primary or backup internet access, especially in rural areas where reliable and fast wired Internet access is not available. When on the road, the M6 provides the most secure, private WiFi connections for laptops, tablets and phones in airports, hotels, trains and other places offering public WiFi, Netgear said.
When users want to conserve 5G data usage or in areas where only public WiFi but no cellular signal is available, the M6 offloading feature enables tethering to local public WiFi for internet connectivity while eliminating the need to manually connect each device to the local public WiFi.
“We really listened to our customers to determine how they are using these devices and set out to provide a superior WiFi experience whether they need portable and secure access on the road, powerful, reliable internet at home or both,” said David Henry, president of Connected Home Products and Services at Netgear, in a statement. “We are leveraging our more than 25 years of wireless expertise to generate this incredible, next-generation combination of 5G and WiFi 6 in the form of the Nighthawk M6, which will drastically improve the way we stay connected from wherever we live, work and play.”
The M6 is easy to set up and use, and its compact design makes it easy to bring wherever a wireless connection is needed. It has an intuitive color touch screen to conveniently monitor data usage, view the WiFi name/password, check mobile signal strength and manage device and network settings.
The Gigabit Ethernet and USB-C ports make it easy to connect and distribute fast internet speeds to wired devices and external 5G antennas (sold separately) can be connected to the available antenna ports to boost reception in buildings, at remote sites or wherever network coverage is sparse.
The device has reliable and secure 5G internet with speeds up to 2.5Gbps for home or on-the-go. Already in use on smartphones, Sub-6 5G can deliver lifelike video calls and streaming, rapid file transfers and downloads, more competitive multiplayer gaming and more, the company said.
It also has faster speeds with WiFi 6, up to 3.6Gbps and greater capacity to connect up to 32 devices for exceptional performance.
The advanced Qualcomm modem supports 5G’s Sub-6 band, delivering an arsenal of technologies and
power efficiency. The M6 meets the 3GPP Release 16 standard, so it’s upgradable in the future via firmware updates.
The simple-to-use 2.4-inch LCD touch screen lets you conveniently set up, change WiFi settings, share access and monitor your data usage.
You can also avoid the dangers of connecting directly to public WiFi. The Nighthawk M6 is equipped with VPN pass-through support and password protection.
The unlocked device accepts nano SIM cards and works best on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. It also has n77 C-Band support, which ensures you experience the highest possible 5G speed in more places. It also has HPUE support, for better 5G range. You can pick up a 5G signal at the outer edges of 5G coverage areas, even where other devices cannot.
And you can increase your 5G cell reception by connecting external 5G antennae (sold separately) to the available antenna ports.
The Netgear Nighthawk M6 5G Mobile Hotspot Router (MR6150) is available now on NETGEAR.com for a suggested retail price of $800.