Netgear Further Diversifies Wi-Fi 6 Offerings in Coming Months

The Netgear RAX200 (front) and RAX120 are among the coolest Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

Netgear is one of the first networking vendors with a strong showing in Wi-Fi 6. In 2019, it released the Orbi RBK852 mesh system, and a few prominent routers, including the RAX200 and RAX120.

Today at CES 2020, Netgear further diversified its Wi-Fi 6 offerings by announcing four additional products to give consumers even more options. These include an all-new Easy Mesh system, a mid-tier standalone router, an extender, and a cable gateway.

Nighthawk MK62: Netgear’s first Easy Mesh system

The Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System (model MK62) is a system based on the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Easy Mesh initiative. It includes one router (model MR60) and one satellite unit (MS60) with each capable of covering some 1500 ft² (139 m²) of space.

The front and back of the Netgear’s MK62’s router and satellite units. Netgear

For the most part, the two units are identical, looking with the same measurements and weight. However, the MR60 router unit has two Gigabit network ports, one WAN and one LAN, while the MS60 satellite has just one LAN port. This design resembles that of the Orbi RBK13.

The MK62 is a dual-band system with no dedicated backhaul band, but it supports wired backhaul. If two units are not enough, you can add more MS60 units to expand the coverage. It’s important to note that the MK62’s hardware units are not compatible with Netgear’s Orbi hardware, by the way.

The new Nighthawk MK62 Mesh WiFi 6 System will be available later this month at the suggested retail price of $230 for a 2-pack.

The RAX50 looks like a neat Wi-Fi router. Netgear

Nighthawk RAX50: The RAX120’s alternative

The Nighthawk AX6 6-stream AX5400 WiFi Router (model RAX50) is the latest standalone Wi-Fi 6 router from Netgear, aiming at users who want the similar performance of the RAX120 but can’t afford it. That’s, of course, with the assumption that it’s more affordable, which it will likely be when it ships in March this year.

The RAX50’s specs are behind the RAX120, but only in places that don’t matter much. The two share the same Wi-Fi 6 tier on the 5GHz band. In fact, the RAX50 is even slightly better since it supports full 160MHz channel width (and not 80+80 of the RAX120).

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The Netgear EAX20 Wi-Fi 6 extender. Netgear

Netgear EAX20: AX1800 4-Stream WiFi Mesh Extender

Featuring 1×1 Wi-Fi 6, the EAX20 is an entry-level Wi-Fi 6 extender. It’s a dual-band broadcaster with the top speed on the 5HGz band of 1.2Gbps and the 2.4GHz band, .6Gbps.

The wireless broadcaster works with all existing Wi-Fi routers, of all Wi-Fi standards, and probably works best with Wi-Fi 5 ones since it doesn’t have a dedicated backhaul band. That’s because, even with signal loss, it will still deliver Wi-Fi 5-grade speed for clients. It features 802.11k to provide seamless hand-off with working with supported routers and can automatically replicate the host router’s Wi-Fi network.

The extender is relatively compact measuring 9.5 x 6.7 x 2.5 in (241.7 x 169.5 x 63.4 mm). It’s also quite light at 1.1 lb (504.4 g). Other than working as a wireless device, the EAX20 also has four Gigabit LAN ports to host wired clients.

The Netgear EAX20 AX1800 4-Stream WiFi Mesh Extender will ship in February at the suggested retail price of $150.

Netgear CAX80: Nighthawk WiFi 6 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Router

The Netgear CAX80 is essentially a combo box of a Wi-Fi 6 router and a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem. But it manages to be quite distinctive compared to other gateways, especially those you get from the service providers.

The Nighthawk WiFi 6 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Router from Netgear. Netgear

For one, supporting the latest DOCSIS standard, the CAX80 can handle multi-gig broadband speeds. It lt also includes a 2.5Gbps LAN port, in addition to four Gigabit LAN ports, and feature link aggregation where you can combine LAN ports 1 and 2 into a 2Gbps connection.

As for Wi-Fi, the gateway features AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 with the top speed on the 5GHz and of 4.8Gbps when working with a Wi-Fi 6 client. What’s more, it comes in a compact, cool-looking hardware design and works with the Netgear Nighthawk mobile app for easy setup and management.

So, if you have a super-fast cable connection and want a single box that can deliver uncompromising speed, the CAX80 seems like a great fit.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 WiFi 6 gateway will ship as soon as later this month. It’s not cheap, though, with the suggested retail price of $430.

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