In brief: If you find yourself needing better WiFi coverage in your home, mesh routers can be the way to go. Netgear introduced its WiFi 6 capable tri-band Orbi system last fall at a very steep price point. To relax your pocketbook a bit the company announced it is launching a cheaper dual-band alternative.
Netgear unveiled a new addition to its Nighthawk line of routers at CES this week.
As the name implies, the Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK62) creates a mesh network with WiFi 6 support. The basic kit, which includes a router and one satellite can cover up to 3,000 square feet with speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps, depending on your internet connection.
The router has two ethernet ports — one for internet and one for LAN, while each satellite has a single networking port. Like other Netgear hardware, setup is made simple when using the Android or iOS Nighthawk networking app. However, when we tested the company’s Orbi mesh kit back in August, we found its mobile app lacking and preferred to use the more capable web interface instead.
The company’s Orbi WiFi 6 mesh routers (RBK853) are more powerful and offer more features such as Alexa and Google voice control, but sell for $1,000 for the base and two satellites. The Nighthawk router and its single extender will be retailing for $230, so the price of entry is much easier to swallow. Plus, Netgear promises to add more features in the future.
The Nighthawk mesh kit is slated to start shipping before the end of the month. Netgear will also be offering a three-node bundle sometime in the first quarter of 2020 but did not wish to reveal pricing yet.