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NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router

VSG

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NETGEAR has improved upon its Nighthawk mobile router lineup with the Nighthawk M5 that adds a 5G modem in addition to WiFi 6 support. These changes make it a viable solution for many, netting download speeds far in excess of wired internet; it even includes a standalone mobile app for remote monitoring and customization.

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Ayy, breh! So many things not covered!

Main concern is the lack of bands used in CA for DL and UL, respectively. Not even the modem category is stated (or I missed it)?

Also, with sustained transfers in 5G, the modem WILL overheat, causing it to trip t310 expiry, effectively severing the NR leg in the EN-DC combo. I see no such tests and results here.

As for the device - too cheap, yet too expensive.
 

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Ayy, breh! So many things not covered!

Main concern is the lack of bands used in CA for DL and UL, respectively. Not even the modem category is stated (or I missed it)?

Also, with sustained transfers in 5G, the modem WILL overheat, causing it to trip t310 expiry, effectively severing the NR leg in the EN-DC combo. I see no such tests and results here.

As for the device - too cheap, yet too expensive.
The router comes in different SKUs for different areas, and the specs table on the first page lists the bands supported by the US version. Also, I didn't experience any overheating in 5G mode during testing so of course I didn't talk about it.
 
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Also, I didn't experience any overheating in 5G mode during testing so of course I didn't talk about it.
You don't need to 'see' it. It communicated to network via signaling.
Just put an iperf or a fat download and you should see it after a minute or so, depending on the settings and cooling of the unit. Speed should drop dramatically when modem in only on 4G.
My point is that advertising a fast 5G router without it being able to sustain 'fast' is no-go. But I wonder how many people are familiar with the 5G NSA stack, and how many people look for reviews of such devices to get such information?
 
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The same what mobile phone does, wavy speed, only works when attached to window glass.
 
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But I wonder how many people are familiar with the 5G NSA stack, and how many people look for reviews of such devices to get such information?
Exactly, not many people,why don't we have reviews for more mainstream networking products?
An IT with networking expertise, Cisco certification or whatever, probably will not check a review like this, it will just try to arrange for a sample from the local Netgear distributor to evaluate it on hand.
Also there is not enough context (sufficient number of similar products to compare them) for example what's the difference with a ZTE MU5001 5G that it has 1/3 of the Netgear price?
 
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The same what mobile phone does, wavy speed, only works when attached to window glass.
Now, there could be literally a hundred things that could cause a throughput fluctuations but I could argue that an experiment can be devised for successfully determining when the modem drops its 5G leg because of overheating.

As for the case you're using - getting the phone to a window TYPICALLY improves the receive and transmit levels, thus the SNR, thus the better and more stable speeds. Actually, physics is the same no matter if it's a phone or mobile router, or whatever.

Exactly, not many people,why don't we have reviews for more mainstream networking products?
An IT with networking expertise, Cisco certification or whatever, probably will not check a review like this, it will just try to arrange for a sample from the local Netgear distributor to evaluate it on hand.
Also there is not enough context (sufficient number of similar products to compare them) for example what's the difference with a ZTE MU5001 5G that it has 1/3 of the Netgear price?
I for one read most reviews even if I'm familiar with a given product. I'm always interested on another take on the said product.

To wit, I was oogling this particular mobile router some time ago. Not too much in a need for it but I would have appreciated it if someone made a decent review of back then.
And all of that while I'm familiar with the field and the technology.

Of course, that's just me speaking, so we cannot generalize by just one opinion (at least in this case).
 
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I don't get it. It seems like a product geared for people who don't have reliable wired broadband...yet, anyone in that group won't have 5G anywhere near them either..sooo?
 
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Looking at the price, you can pick up any used 5G phone and use it as a modem, take one with a cracked screen. You can use a USB ethernet adapter, that works out of the box... if you need wired, including having 2.5GBe.
 
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Decent review - thanks for doing it. As someone who has tried a 5G router to replace my 23Mbit connection at home I'd love to see some more tests:
  • Ping jitter when gaming vs other routers or a landline connection - I get a solid 20ms ping on my landline, but on 5G on other routers have seen it fluctuate between 32 and 600ms within a few seconds
  • Packet loss, both when testing straight from idle to packet loss over a few minutes
  • How responsive is it when going from idle to requesting data? The Huwai 5G router would idle at 4G and when you asked for data it would move to 5G, but that move would add latency and sometimes lose packets. This broke many of my IoT devices and Google & Alexas who had noticeably worse response times (and timeouts) if it went from idle when sending a request. It would also break the connections for some devices that would do intermittent connectivity tests which would trigger the 4G>5G switch, which would have packet loss making the devices think they were offline
  • Sustained download speeds - ask it to download a few GB over an hour or two - does it sustain the speed or drop to 4G when it gets warm? Could W1zzard have sent you his thermal camera to see if heat would be an issue?
I know a lot of jitter/packet loss/latency can be network provider dependent (as is download speed) but I'd love to see if the tests show something up, especially when it comes to latency when moving from idle to downloading/uploading and extended download tests as that's where other similar devices fall down through massive latency/packet loss and overheating causing it to drop to 4G in a 5G area.

I don't get it. It seems like a product geared for people who don't have reliable wired broadband...yet, anyone in that group won't have 5G anywhere near them either..sooo?

I have a super strong 5G signal but low broadband speeds, which can be quite typical in the suburbs in the UK at least. I've been looking for a reliable 5G router to try as network download speeds can hit 200-250 down here over 5G on my phone but the other routers I've tested just don't work well if you game or have a bunch of smarthome devices.
 

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Decent review - thanks for doing it. As someone who has tried a 5G router to replace my 23Mbit connection at home I'd love to see some more tests:
  • Ping jitter when gaming vs other routers or a landline connection - I get a solid 20ms ping on my landline, but on 5G on other routers have seen it fluctuate between 32 and 600ms within a few seconds
  • Packet loss, both when testing straight from idle to packet loss over a few minutes
  • How responsive is it when going from idle to requesting data? The Huwai 5G router would idle at 4G and when you asked for data it would move to 5G, but that move would add latency and sometimes lose packets. This broke many of my IoT devices and Google & Alexas who had noticeably worse response times (and timeouts) if it went from idle when sending a request. It would also break the connections for some devices that would do intermittent connectivity tests which would trigger the 4G>5G switch, which would have packet loss making the devices think they were offline
  • Sustained download speeds - ask it to download a few GB over an hour or two - does it sustain the speed or drop to 4G when it gets warm? Could W1zzard have sent you his thermal camera to see if heat would be an issue?
I know a lot of jitter/packet loss/latency can be network provider dependent (as is download speed) but I'd love to see if the tests show something up, especially when it comes to latency when moving from idle to downloading/uploading and extended download tests as that's where other similar devices fall down through massive latency/packet loss and overheating causing it to drop to 4G in a 5G area.
Nice ideas for tests in the future if something like this comes up, right now I don't have a valid data SIM to use here anymore.
 
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Decent review - thanks for doing it. As someone who has tried a 5G router to replace my 23Mbit connection at home I'd love to see some more tests:
  • Ping jitter when gaming vs other routers or a landline connection - I get a solid 20ms ping on my landline, but on 5G on other routers have seen it fluctuate between 32 and 600ms within a few seconds
  • Packet loss, both when testing straight from idle to packet loss over a few minutes
  • How responsive is it when going from idle to requesting data? The Huwai 5G router would idle at 4G and when you asked for data it would move to 5G, but that move would add latency and sometimes lose packets. This broke many of my IoT devices and Google & Alexas who had noticeably worse response times (and timeouts) if it went from idle when sending a request. It would also break the connections for some devices that would do intermittent connectivity tests which would trigger the 4G>5G switch, which would have packet loss making the devices think they were offline
  • Sustained download speeds - ask it to download a few GB over an hour or two - does it sustain the speed or drop to 4G when it gets warm? Could W1zzard have sent you his thermal camera to see if heat would be an issue?
I know a lot of jitter/packet loss/latency can be network provider dependent (as is download speed) but I'd love to see if the tests show something up, especially when it comes to latency when moving from idle to downloading/uploading and extended download tests as that's where other similar devices fall down through massive latency/packet loss and overheating causing it to drop to 4G in a 5G area.



I have a super strong 5G signal but low broadband speeds, which can be quite typical in the suburbs in the UK at least. I've been looking for a reliable 5G router to try as network download speeds can hit 200-250 down here over 5G on my phone but the other routers I've tested just don't work well if you game or have a bunch of smarthome devices.
3 words for you - MikroTik Chateau 5G.

Also, 5G NSA (current worldwide implementation) uses 4G for all the signaling and connection establishments. The 5G (NR) leg is added based on operator-configurable parameters. It is also removed the same way.
In 4G (LTE) modems have 2 states: RRC_IDLE and RRC_CONNECTED. These states and the transitions between them can break your upper layers connectivity.
 
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3 words for you - MikroTik Chateau 5G.

Sadly looks like overkill for me - I have a great wifi network at home so just need a 5G router to plug into it.
 
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Sadly looks like overkill for me - I have a great wifi network at home so just need a 5G router to plug into it.
Ironically, this router costs less than the Quectel modem inside it, if you choose the buy the modem alone from retail! :D I'm buying these only to gut them.

You could maybe just get a decent modem and plug it into your router via USB? You'd need a M.2 to USB adaptor but these are cheap. Well, you'd also need the antenae and jumper cables but there are housings with this exact purpose.
 
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Ironically, this router costs less than the Quectel modem inside it, if you choose the buy the modem alone from retail! :D I'm buying these only to gut them.

You could maybe just get a decent modem and plug it into your router via USB? You'd need a M.2 to USB adaptor but these are cheap. Well, you'd also need the antenae and jumper cables but there are housings with this exact purpose.

Think I'd rather go with a modem with ethernet as I'm not sure how well my USB port will perform on my router - I guess I could disable the majority of that router but yeah would still feel wasteful. May have a look at the ZTE MC801A as it's a lot cheaper than the Netgear in the review.
 
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The ZTE you are considering is usually working fine. It's just too bulky for what it does, IMO. But price is usually tolerable.
 
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That comment in the review about broadband availability in the USA just made me feel grateful I'm one of the few here to have 1Gbps up/down.
 
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