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.
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.
|Hardware||Router (MR60)||Satellite (MS60)|
|Dimensions||4.8 x 4.8 x 2.5 in (12.2 x 12.2 x 6.4 cm)||Same as Router|
|Weight (each unit)||0.63lb (286 gram)||ditto|
|Wi-Fi Specs||Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 (1200 Mbps 5GHz, and 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz)||ditto|
|Processors||Quad-Core 1.5GHz CPU||ditto|
|Memory||128 MB Flash and 256 MB RAM||ditto|
|OFDMA||Yes (Uplink and Downlink)||ditto|
|AP (bridge mode) Support||Yes||ditto|
|Dedicated Wireless Backhaul||No||ditto|
|Wired Backhaul Support||Yes||ditto|
|Mobile App||NETGEAR Nighthawk||ditto|
|Ports (each unit)||One Gigabit WAN port, One Gigabit LAN port||One Gigabit LAN port|
|Price (at launch)||$229.99 one router and one satellite||n/a|
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.
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 similar performance to 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.
|Full Name||Netgear Nighthawk AX6 6-Stream AX5400 WiFi Router (RAX50)|
|Wi-Fi Specs||Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX5400|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2.4GHz AX: 2×2 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40MHz, up to 600Mbp|
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||5GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024-QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 4.8Gbps|
|OFDMA||Uplink and Downlink|
|Backward Compatibility||802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi|
|Network ports||4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x Gigabit WAN port|
|USB||1 x USB 3.0 port|
|CPU||1.5GHz triple-core processor|
|Dimensions||11.65 x 8.11 x 2.25 in (295.8 x 206 x 57.2 mm)|
|Weight||1.25 lb (566 g)|
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).
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.
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.