If you often need to tether to get internet, Netgear has a very interesting new product — if you can afford it. The Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router (unlocked) takes a 5G SIM card that’s compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. Once installed, it will distribute data over WiFi 6 to a maximum of 32 devices with greater range and speed than your smartphone could ever manage.
Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 Mobile Platform, it delivers maximum theoretical speeds of up to 1.2Gbps over WiFi 11ax. While few if any devices can handle those speeds, the extra throughput will be handy if multiple devices are connected to it. The router also has a dedicated ethernet port that can deliver up to 1Gbps and connect to a device or mesh WiFi network, for instance. On top of 5GNR Sub 6 GHz, it supports LTE CAT 20, LTE Advanced, 4×4 MIMO and 256QAM.
Much like AT&T and Netgear’s original Nighthawk LTE router, the 5G model can display pertinent information like the WiFi password and how much mobile data you’ve used. Other features include VPN pass-through support and password protection, 13 hours on a battery charge (or remove the battery and plug into the wall for all-day use), and the ability to plug in wired internet to conserve data.
There is one pain point: the price. The Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router costs $700, considerably more than other 5G MiFi routers on the market. The main benefits are the fast speeds, the fact that it’s unlocked to any carrier (though Netgear recommends AT&T and T-Mobile) and the ethernet port. If those features are important for you, it’s now available to buy at Netgear’s website.
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