NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router Review 16

NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router Review

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It's been a while, but this review is effectively the third in a series of mobile networking solutions from NETGEAR that began with the home-based Orbi LBR20 4G LTE router using a SIM card-based mobile data source as a backup to primary Ethernet connectivity from a modem and led to the fully mobile Nighthawk MR2100 4G LTE hotspot router which uses an internal battery for internet connectivity via LTE with broadband speed parity. I thought the Nighthawk MR2100 was a hard sell in many places, and NETGEAR clearly agreed given the lack of retail availability in the US. Future-proofing it in an increasingly 5G-ready world would have been difficult, let alone with the lack of WiFi 6 and internet speeds not that much faster than basic fiber connections in such regions as the UK. I had mentioned in its review how NETGEAR had something cooking that was arguably the answer, and thanks to the company for providing TechPowerUp a review sample to better answer the question of whether mobile routers and hotspots are finally viable.

The NETGEAR Nighthawk MR5200, also referred to as the Nighthawk M5, certainly has impressive specifications for the form factor. This is another mobile router meant to be used wirelessly in areas without a wired internet connection, or situations where you want a backup plan but are unable to use a wired network. A 5G antenna is first among the updates relative to the Nighthawk M2, and the downstream end similarly gets WiFi 6 with up to AX1800 throughput to challenge many standalone WiFi 6 routers. The Nighthawk M5 was released in more regions too, including the US and UK in combination with many of the major phone network carriers. There is a lot to talk about, so let's cut right to the chase and begin with a look at the product specifications in the table below.


NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router (US version)
Technology/Bands:5G: n2/n5/n25/n41/n66/n71/n78; LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B12/B13/B14/B25/B29/ B30/B38/B41/B46/B48/B66/B71; 3G: B1/B2/B5/B8
Battery:Removable Li-ion battery (5040 mAh)
Dimensions:105 (L) x 105 (W) x 21.5 (H) mm
External display:2.4" Touch LCD Panel
Throughput:AX1800 max (1.2 Gbps on 5 GHz + 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz)
External ports:Gigabit Ethernet Port, USB-C Port, Dual TS-9 external RF antenna connectors
Weight:240 g (with battery)
WarrantyOne year
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Jul 2nd, 2022 10:08 EDT change timezone

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