by Adam Armstrong

NETGEAR Makes Announcements Around Nighthawk & Orbi

At CES this year, NETGEAR made several announcements that made it under our radar. These announcements center around expanding the company’s Nighthawk systems with new models including a mesh WiFi 6 router. NETGEAR also announced a 4G LTE Orbi Tri-bad mesh WiFi Router.

The first time we saw the Nighthawk portfolio was at CES in 2018. At the time Nighthawk was the company’s brand of secure gaming routers. Since then, Nighthawk became a more general-purpose router and extender. Now, NETGEAR has rolled out the Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System. This new mesh router is aimed at the tech enthusiast and comes with features such as Dynamic QoS, which automatically prioritizes both video streaming and gaming traffic. The company teases that there will be more features in the future as needs adapt and change. The new Nighthawk Mesh WiFi router comes with satellites to give entire homes WiFi coverage. The system is easily managed through a mobile app.

The Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 router and its satellites can support dual-band WiFi with up to 1.8Gbps, making it ideal for popular mobile devices as well as the never-ending deluge of smart home gadgets designed to make life easier. According to NETGEAR, legacy devices also will experience enhanced connectivity, as the WiFi 6 backhaul for mesh systems improves utilization of WiFi channels with its use of faster speeds and better efficiencies over WiFi 6. The Nighthawk router comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports (one for internet, one for LAN) and the satellite comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port. 

NETGEAR announced two other WiFi 6 router and extender products during CES:

  • Nighthawk AX6 AX5400 WiFi 6 6-Stream Router (RAX50) – designed for Gigabit WiFi connectivity, ideal for those that stream 4K video content or engage in high-performance gaming. The RAX50 leverages a 1.5GHz Triple- Core processor that NETGEAR states will increase overall network performance. The router comes with 160MHz channel support and 1024 QAM to improve efficiency as well as amplifiers to increase coverage range.
  • AX1800 4-Stream WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (EAX20) – As the name implies, the EAX20 extends coverage to every corner of a user’s home. The EAX20 will take WiFi 6 to all new devices and is backward compatible. 

In other Mesh WiFi system news, NETGEAR announced that they will be releasing a 4G LTE version of their popular Orbi system. This version of Orbi is designed for those that work in areas where traditional wired internet options are limited or missing. On the flip side, Orbi 4G LTE can also be combined with a traditional wired internet to act as a backup if service is lost for some reason. Orbi 4G LTE is capable of up to 1.2GBps over 4G LTE, is combined with tri-band AC2200 WiFi, and can reach up to 2,000 square feet of coverage. Satellites can be added to improve coverage area, and satellites such as Orbi Voice and Orbi Outdoor, can be added for added features. Orbi can be easily managed through a mobile app. 

Availability and Pricing

Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System with one router and a satellite (MK62) is expected to be shipping this month for a suggested retail price of $229.99. Nighthawk AX6 AX5400 WiFi 6 6-Stream Router (RAX50) is expected to be available later in the first quarter of 2020, the pricing will also be announced at that time. NETGEAR AX1800 4-Stream WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (EAX20) is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020 for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $149.99 USD.

Orbi 4G LTE Whole Home WiFi router is expected to be available in April of 2020 for a suggested retail price of $399.99 USD.

NETGEAR Nighthawk


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