Tuesday, March 16th 2021

NETGEAR Introduces Powerful New Tri-Band Mesh WiFi to the Portfolio of Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 Systems

NETGEAR, Inc., the worldwide leading provider of award-winning advanced mesh WiFi for home and office, has today announced the addition of a new tri-band mesh system to the family of Nighthawk Mesh - Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK83). Providing powerful mesh WiFi 6, this latest offering from NETGEAR is designed to blanket the whole home with high-performance WiFi to manage more devices on the network and eliminate dead zones in every room of the house.

The powerful quad-core processor of the Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 system delivers more processing power than WiFi 5, increasing the overall WiFi performance. This enables the mesh system to support the demands of today's homes from streaming, gaming, video conferencing for distance learning and remote work to powering the growth of smart home devices. Get immersed in UHD streaming and enjoy lag-free gaming with Nighthawk's combined WiFi speeds of up to 3.6Gbps that is more than capable of delivering up to Gigabit internet speeds throughout out the home. Newer WiFi 6 technology powers up to four times the performance and capacity of previous generation WiFi 5 (802.11ac) but still provides 100% backwards compatibility to earlier generations of WiFi devices (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) so all devices can connect at top speeds.
Setup and management of the Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System is easy with the Nighthawk App. The app also runs NETGEAR Armor, an advanced cybersecurity solution that makes it easy to run internet speed tests, pause the internet, manage device connections and set up a separate guest WiFi that provides internet access to visiting friends.

The Nighthawk brand of high-performance routers and mesh WiFi systems with advanced network settings and sleek black designs are a favorite amongst tech savvy customers. Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System features the ability to customize household WiFi settings by enabling separate internet connections with different WiFi names. This capability creates new control over home WiFi performance. For example, always-connected smart home devices, such as thermostats, locks, lights, security cameras, garage door openers, and other appliances, can be assigned their own WiFi connection, while personal devices, like computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, game consoles and bandwidth hungry devices are assigned to a different WiFi name. This segmenting of WiFi connections by device maximizes internet speeds and delivers even smoother video streaming. The new Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System also automatically prioritizes video streaming, gaming, and video conferencing applications, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams with the dynamic QoS feature to ensure a seamless experience during work or play.

With the popular dual-band Nighthawk Mesh (MK63) designed to provide WiFi coverage for up to a 4,500 square-foot home at a more affordable entry-level price, Nighthawk customers have been asking for a tri-band version that delivers even greater coverage for a larger home. NETGEAR answered this call with this new Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK83) that comes in a pack of 3 to deliver WiFi coverage for homes up to 6,500 square feet eliminating WiFi dead zones and ensuring the best-in-class WiFi performance. Tri-band WiFi with a dedicated WiFi connection between the mesh Nighthawk WiFi devices delivers speed and coverage for the entire household's needs. There are four gigabit Ethernet ports available on the router and two on each satellite, which provide plenty of ports to connect wired devices like TVs, game consoles and other streaming devices.

The new Nighthawk Mesh WiFi system joins the family of NETGEAR best-in-class tri-band WiFi offerings utilizing the latest WiFi 6 technology. With this introduction, NETGEAR now provides more price performance options to fit the WiFi needs of any household. Nighthawk Mesh WiFi systems range from $299.99 with dual-band WiFi to this latest addition of the Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 system at $499.99 for the router and two satellite kit. Other award-winning solutions include Orbi WiFi 6 Mesh systems that deliver coverage for up to 7,500 square-foot homes and even faster WiFi speeds, which range from $549.99 (RBK753) to $999.99 (RBK853) for the premium performance Orbi three-piece kit.

NETGEAR Armor Cybersecurity
The Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK83) includes a free 30-day trial of NETGEAR Armor to protect your connected home from online threats. Armor's multi-layered cybersecurity is built into the new Nighthawk Mesh system to secure all the connected devices including smart devices, smart phones and computers in a home network from phishing and other online threats. The NETGEAR Armor solution also includes the award-winning best-in-class Bitdefender Security anti-virus, anti-malware, and data protection device software for all your smartphones, and computers to provide security against any cyber threats even when not connected to the Nighthawk Mesh system.

Availability
The Nighthawk Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK83) is now available in the US from NETGEAR.com and other online resellers for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $499.99 USD.
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16 Comments on NETGEAR Introduces Powerful New Tri-Band Mesh WiFi to the Portfolio of Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 Systems

#1
Nater
Why do these routers that cost $100's never have any antenna sticking out anywhere?
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#2
TheLostSwede
NaterWhy do these routers that cost $100's never have any antenna sticking out anywhere?
Because they use internal PIFA or PCB antennas?
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#3
Nater
TheLostSwedeBecause they use internal PIFA or PCB antennas?
But isn't more/bigger antenna better for reception? I mean, I'm thinking of terms of back when OTA HDTV came about, the little TV antenna on my house didn't work. I got a bigger one. Put it on a big mast on top of the house. I was in the Lansing area getting TV channels from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Jackson, etc.

So here with these routers...I see no antenna on these $400+ routers, yet on the little $135 TP-Link will have 4 sticking out the back that you can point in different directions. It just seems backwards.
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#4
micropage7
coz design has cost more than just basic stuff

remember how mobile phone moving from with antenna to internal antenna
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#5
TheLostSwede
NaterBut isn't more/bigger antenna better for reception? I mean, I'm thinking of terms of back when OTA HDTV came about, the little TV antenna on my house didn't work. I got a bigger one. Put it on a big mast on top of the house. I was in the Lansing area getting TV channels from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Jackson, etc.

So here with these routers...I see no antenna on these $400+ routers, yet on the little $135 TP-Link will have 4 sticking out the back that you can point in different directions. It just seems backwards.
It all comes down the the overall design.

See, a WiFi router has a maximum transmit power allowance. On the 5GHz band that is 4W in the US and I think it's only 1W in Europe, much like the 2.4GHz band.
Almost all routers today use power amplifiers and low noise amplifiers to help boost the signal before it even gets to the antenna itself.
Also, not all antennas are built the same, some are simply just a piece of antenna wire at a certain length stuck inside a plastic tube.
See here for a slightly fancier version of that: martybugs.net/wireless/rubberducky.cgi
However, that type of antenna is very hard to make for dual-band routers and as such, some routers only use external antennas for the 5GHz and still hide internal 2.4GHz antennas. There are obviously dual-band ones and multi-band ones, but they usually aren't as good as a single-band antenna.
As such, a well designed PCB antenna placed properly inside the router can be just as good.
PIFA antennas tend to be weaker overall, but costs cents to make, as they're made from stamped sheet metal.
There are some other antenna types too, like flexible PCB antennas, but they're rarely used in routers.

TV is very different though, as you have a broadcast tower that is transmitting in the Mega Watts and it's a one way signal, so having a bigger antenna on your roof in a weak signal area, will allow for better reception. The same is true in theory for WiFi, but only for directional signals, whereas by design, most routers use omni directional antennas.

Part of the reason routers have become a lot more expensive is because they require more and more advanced SoCs with additional co-processors and what not to be able to handle all the complex calculations that are being done on the fly as WiFi is getting faster and more complex. Things like MU-MIMO, OFDMA, spatial frequency reuse, beamforming, coexistence mechanisms and 1024-QAM, as well as things like Dynamic Frequency Selection to avoid weather radar systems don't come without taxing the processing hardware. As such, more and more advanced bits of hardware are required that costs more and more to manufacture, much like how we've seen smartphones evolve.
Sure, at some point there's diminishing returns for most consumers and a lot of these companies do charge a nice premium for their products, at least until they've recuperated some of their R&D costs.

Obviously this is a set of three devices for $500, so $167 a piece.

It might seem odd, but if you look up the latest addition to the 802.11ax standard, the 6E or 6GHz band, you'll see that in the US (the only country where they're allowed so far) the 6E routers are only allowed to operate indoors, so the antennas now have to be fixed to the body of the device, rather than being removable if the manufacturer wanted as in the past. As such, it's likely we're going to see more and more devices with internal antennas, unless it's a high-end device with more than four or maybe six antennas.

Based on a similar model from Netgear, it looks like they're using low-cost PIFA antennas. The one linked below is based on Broadcom rather than Qualcomm hardware though.
fccid.io/PY319200454/Internal-Photos/Internal-photos-MR60-4431845.pdf
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#6
Tom Sunday
Nater....on the little $135 TP-Link will have 4 sticking out the back that you can point in different directions!
Where is this world coming too? $500 routers? Halfway decent Motherboards priced at $500. Basic GPU's when and if finally available at MSRP will be at $600 plus. Will I like some people WIFI-connect my garage door opener, door locks, video door bell, thermostats, CCTV, refrigerator, washer/dryer, home interior/exterior lighting, sprinkler system, emergency generator, ADT home security system and more? Absolutely not. My trusty gaming PC, phone and tablets will need to suffice.

This rush or push to spending more and more tech $$$ has to end or finally coming down to common sense. Especially for people like me who represent the man on the street. As such a new 'very basic router' replacement later this year, I hope will still run me less than $80 and without having to be forced into a router company account set-up, a cloud based or remote router management program and carrying an additional complimentary and included router Antivirus program. Enough said!
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#7
TheLostSwede
Tom SundayWhere is this world coming too? $500 routers? Halfway decent Motherboards priced at $500. Basic GPU's when and if finally available at MSRP will be at $600 plus. Will I like some people WIFI-connect my garage door opener, front door lock, video door bell, thermostats, CCTV, refrigerator, washer/dryer, home lighting, sprinkler system, ADT home security and more? Absolutely not. My trusty gaming PC, phone and tablets will need to suffice. This rush or push to spending more and more tech $$$ has to end or finally coming down to common sense. Especially for people like me who represent the man on the street. As such a new 'very basic router' replacement later this year, I hope will still run me less than $80 and without having to be forced into a router company account set-up, a cloud based or remote router management program and carrying an additional complimentary and included router Antivirus program. Enough said!
A bit late to the game are we? We've had $500 for at least 3-4 years already, since we got 802.11ad routers that proved to be utterly useless as no-one made anything that could take advantage of them.
Also, no-one's making you buy the latest and greatest. In fact, if you can still get one, the Netgear R7800/X4S with Voxel's firmware is one of the best routers out there. Mine hasn't missed a beat in over five years. Yes, It set me back around $250 when I got it, but considering how well it has worked, it was a worthwhile investment.

Keep in mind that as internet connection speeds improve and get faster, your router might be what's holding you back. A lot of people still sit on really old routers, because they work, but they haven't upgraded the firmware in a decade and are most likely open to hacks, which is another reason to get a new router from a reputable company that issues regular updates, or at least one that's supported by someone like Voxel or Merlin.
For $80, I'm sorry to say, you won't get anything good.
This is the very least you want to get, at least if you care about getting some kind of firmware updates. It's less than $120 at least.
www.amazon.com/ASUS-Dual-Band-AiMesh-Router-AC1900/dp/B00FB45SI4/
The R7800/X4S is still going for $200 and that's for a refurb. Seems like you can get some cheaper second hand ones on Amazon too.
www.amazon.com/R7800-100NAS-Nighthawk-Compatible-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07JVMPFL6/
Both of these meet your requirements, as no app is needed.
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#8
MikeMurphy
TheLostSwedeA bit late to the game are we? We've had $500 for at least 3-4 years already, since we got 802.11ad routers that proved to be utterly useless as no-one made anything that could take advantage of them.
Also, no-one's making you buy the latest and greatest. In fact, if you can still get one, the Netgear R7800/X4S with Voxel's firmware is one of the best routers out there. Mine hasn't missed a beat in over five years. Yes, It set me back around $250 when I got it, but considering how well it has worked, it was a worthwhile investment.

Keep in mind that as internet connection speeds improve and get faster, your router might be what's holding you back. A lot of people still sit on really old routers, because they work, but they haven't upgraded the firmware in a decade and are most likely open to hacks, which is another reason to get a new router from a reputable company that issues regular updates, or at least one that's supported by someone like Voxel or Merlin.
For $80, I'm sorry to say, you won't get anything good.
This is the very least you want to get, at least if you care about getting some kind of firmware updates. It's less than $120 at least.
www.amazon.com/ASUS-Dual-Band-AiMesh-Router-AC1900/dp/B00FB45SI4/
The R7800/X4S is still going for $200 and that's for a refurb. Seems like you can get some cheaper second hand ones on Amazon too.
www.amazon.com/R7800-100NAS-Nighthawk-Compatible-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07JVMPFL6/
Both of these meet your requirements, as no app is needed.
I recently separated my WiFi from my router hardware by purchasing a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4 and repurposing my wifi routers to be dumb WiFi access points. What motivated me to take that steps is that there was NOTHING that could run custom firmware and handle full symmetrical gigabit traffic.

The 7800 is special due to its beefy SOC but even the 7800 would fumble symmetrical gigabit.

Hardware is becoming more expensive because demands are increasing.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheLostSwede
MikeMurphyI recently separated my WiFi from my router hardware by purchasing a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4 and repurposing my wifi routers to be dumb WiFi access points. What motivated me to take that steps is that there was NOTHING that could run custom firmware and handle full symmetrical gigabit traffic.

The 7800 is special due to its beefy SOC but even the 7800 would fumble symmetrical gigabit.

Hardware is becoming more expensive because demands are increasing.
Eh? Plenty of people use it for symmetrical Gigabit. Considering the WiFi is offloaded on a custom dual core NPU, there isn't a lot of other things for the two CPU cores to do.
Yes, it's an old router now, but it kicks the crap out of most Broadcom based 802.11ac routers, if not all of them.
The Ethernet throughout had actually improved since Smallnetbuilder did their review five years ago. Voxel's firmware had further improved performance.

That said, I use a couple of cheep-ish Tp-Link devices to improve the WiFi coverage in the house, as concrete + rebar + metal beams are not a good combination with WiFi. Also Qualcomm based for best compatibility, as one is a wireless bridge, with the other being in AP mode.

Anyone could technically make a router, all you need is a spare computer with two network cards in it and some software. It would most likely be faster than anything ARM or MIPS based, but for most people that's not an ideal option, just like most people don't build their own NAS.
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#10
Caring1
That thing resembles an art deco ashtray.
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#11
MikeMurphy
TheLostSwedeEh? Plenty of people use it for symmetrical Gigabit. Considering the WiFi is offloaded on a custom dual core NPU, there isn't a lot of other things for the two CPU cores to do.
Yes, it's an old router now, but it kicks the crap out of most Broadcom based 802.11ac routers, if not all of them.
The Ethernet throughout had actually improved since Smallnetbuilder did their review five years ago. Voxel's firmware had further improved performance.

That said, I use a couple of cheep-ish Tp-Link devices to improve the WiFi coverage in the house, as concrete + rebar + metal beams are not a good combination with WiFi. Also Qualcomm based for best compatibility, as one is a wireless bridge, with the other being in AP mode.

Anyone could technically make a router, all you need is a spare computer with two network cards in it and some software. It would most likely be faster than anything ARM or MIPS based, but for most people that's not an ideal option, just like most people don't build their own NAS.
I don't think the R7800 does simultaneous symmetrical gigabit does it? 1up + 1down = 2 Gbps routing??

With hardware offload enabled (only available on ancient stock firmware) the R7000 (1ghz dual core ARM) does something in the range of 600 mbps total. The R7800 has quad core ARM at 1.7ghz I believe but I don't think the performance scales linearly. I'm curious to hear back from you on that.
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#12
TheLostSwede
MikeMurphyI don't think the R7800 does simultaneous symmetrical gigabit does it? 1up + 1down = 2 Gbps routing??

With hardware offload enabled (only available on ancient stock firmware) the R7000 (1ghz dual core ARM) does something in the range of 600 mbps total. The R7800 has quad core ARM at 1.7ghz I believe but I don't think the performance scales linearly. I'm curious to hear back from you on that.
The R7000 is Broadcom based, you can't compare that to the R7800 which is QCA based, massive difference in terms of how they do things internally.
The R7800 is a dual core Krait with two NPUs.
I don't have fast enough internet to test our over WAN, but I have seen people that use it on Gigabit connections without any complaints.
That said, older firmwares might not allow you to reach those kind of speeds, but with the latest ones from Netgear or Voxel, 950Mbps+ is doable.
Not saying it's the ideal router for that kind of connection, but it can handle it.
Posted on Reply
#14
MikeMurphy
TheLostSwedeThe R7000 is Broadcom based, you can't compare that to the R7800 which is QCA based, massive difference in terms of how they do things internally.
The R7800 is a dual core Krait with two NPUs.
I don't have fast enough internet to test our over WAN, but I have seen people that use it on Gigabit connections without any complaints.
That said, older firmwares might not allow you to reach those kind of speeds, but with the latest ones from Netgear or Voxel, 950Mbps+ is doable.
Not saying it's the ideal router for that kind of connection, but it can handle it.
Thanks for this. Most speed measures don't test simultaneous upload and download performance, but rather one after the other. Consequently if a router can hit 1gbps it would appear to be capable of managing the connection at full speed, but it's not quite the case. I noticed on my ISP hardware with a 1gbps symmetrical fiber connection that when I was uploading then my download speeds were compromised. Is it good enough? Sure, but for a tech enthusiast paying for symmetrical gigabit it's a lousy compromise.

Having said all that the routing performance of the R7800 is impressive and seems like the ideal option short of much more expensive prosumer equipment.
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#15
TheLostSwede
MikeMurphyThanks for this. Most speed measures don't test simultaneous upload and download performance, but rather one after the other. Consequently if a router can hit 1gbps it would appear to be capable of managing the connection at full speed, but it's not quite the case. I noticed on my ISP hardware with a 1gbps symmetrical fiber connection that when I was uploading then my download speeds were compromised. Is it good enough? Sure, but for a tech enthusiast paying for symmetrical gigabit it's a lousy compromise.

Having said all that the routing performance of the R7800 is impressive and seems like the ideal option short of much more expensive prosumer equipment.
Well, it's an old piece of kit now and based on the Smallnetbuilder tests, it seems like the Synology AC2600 router might be a wiser choice. That thing is based on an Annapurna Cortex-A15 SoC, which only seem to be available to the NAS makers. Synology is at least still updating it and it has a lot more software features than any other router out there.
But yeah, I know most routers have been unable to do it, but a lot of it comes down to software actually. When I worked for a router company we were tuning the Samba performance and went from around 30MB/s to over 100MB/s with a USB 3.0 drive connected. I'm fairly certain that network throughput can be tuned on a lot of router hardware as well, it's just that a lot of the so called router manufacturers takes whatever software the hardware maker gives them, put their UI on it and call it a day. D-Link was notorious for this as an example, not sure if they still do it.
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