The NETGEAR Nighthawk MESH Wi-Fi 6 gives you Wi-Fi 5 AX speeds potentially all over the house. It is an interesting low-cost compromise compared to its big brother, the Orbi RBK852.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk MESH Wi-Fi 6 is a compromise – in a good way. It is about half the speed, half the power, half the features, half the coverage and well under half the price. In fact, compared to the Orbi at 2-unit kit at $1399 this two-unit kit is $299 (currently $100 off).
It comprises an AX router (MR60) and one (MK62) or two (MK63) satellites (MS60) that can act quite well as a whole of home MESH system. It also supports Easy Mesh standard to link as an Access Point to an existing router that supports this standard.
What is NETGEAR Nighthawk MESH Wi-Fi 6
First, let’s start at your internet connection. It will be
FTTN in which case you have a CRAPPY CSP supplied modem/gateway with an Ethernet port and usually a telephone socket
FTTP – an Ethernet wall socket (you are existing modem may have a telephone socket so if you use this you will need to keep this modem in place)
HFC – An Arris box with an Ethernet socket (ditto)
Essentially you connect the MR60 router to the Ethernet port on any of the above and run through the setup.
What is does is adds low-cost AX1800 Wi-Fi via the router and one or two (max three) MS60 satellites – all with a maximum connection speed between the AX device and the Satellite of 1266Mbps (note this is not the data transmission speed between AX device and the router).
If you must connect it to the crappy modem/router, turn Wi-Fi off and connect everything to this.
The router and the satellites each have an Ethernet Lan port. You can use wired backhaul between one Satellite and the router. If you want to connect two or more Satellites, buy an inexpensive 6 or 8 port Ethernet hub for the router. You can also have more direct connect devices.
Download the NETGEAR Nighthawk app – it’s the same used for all Nighthawk products
Connect MR60 to the Ethernet port as above and power up
Connect MS60 satellites where you need them (5-10 metres from the MR60) and power up
The app takes you through setting up a NETGEAR account and configuring the system for first use
To make a Satellite wired backhaul simply turn it off, connect the cable to the router and turn it on
You can also access the router web interface via a connected PC or smart device
Please remember that we are testing a lower-specified system – half the speed of the Orbi reviewed here. I don’t expect more than 5-10 metres coverage and commensurately lower signal strengths. It is critical to have a decent signal overlap.
Results are a rounded average of five tests. Test unit Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Wi-Fi AX
-dBM (lower is better)
Mbps (using the 5Mhz band)
1200 (max AX speed)
5m through two walls
-60 (just usable)
As 5m it halfway to the Satellites 1, and it took over and
Satellite 1 Wi-Fi backhaul – 10m line-of-sight to the router
Satellite 2 – Ethernet wired
5m through 1 plaster walls
-60 (just usable)
10m through 3 plaster walls*
Satellite 2 Wi-Fi backhaul at 10m from router though three plasterboard walls.
5m through 1 plaster walls
-66 (barely useable)
10m through 3 plaster walls
These are very credible -dBm signal strengths. I was surprised that the Ethernet connected Satellite 2 shot up to 1200Mbps (Max AX speed).
And don’t fall for the Ookla Speedtest as proof. It is simply the speed of the internet to your device. It bears no relationship to the data transfer rates (up to 2400Mbps) between the Router and Satellite over the home network.
Seamless transfer from Router to Satellite
Transfer was generally seamless, but on several occasions, it required the test device to disable and enable Wi-Fi to switch over to the next Satellite or router.
TOTAL AX1800 made up of 5Ghz/866Mbps 2.4Ghz/400Mbps +Wi-Fi backhaul below
Wi-Fi Backhaul (not dedicated but dynamically allocated)
5Ghz/866Mbps (satellites pair over this channel)
Yes but you may need an Ethernet hub to connect multiple devices to the MR60 router AP (bridge mode) as well (different SSID)
Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA Antenna
Yes Yes (Uplink and Downlink) 2×2 each for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz
NETGEAR Nighthawk (very similar to Orbi)
Ports (each unit)
One Gigabit WAN port (MR60) One Gigabit LAN port (MR60 and MS60)
Use as an Access Point Extender with other routers
The router can act as an Access Point transmitting a different SSID and set up a MESH network with its satellites. We understand that if using a NETGEAR Nighthawk main router you can use the same SSID as well (not tested yet – we will revisit that).
But this means you can get Wi-Fi 6 AX to your home even if you have a Wi-Fi 5 AC router.
GadgetGuy’s take – the Nighthawk MESH Wi-Fi 6 is well priced and great performance if you have the right home
I quite like this inexpensive NETGEAR Nighthawk MESH Wi-Fi 6. Its small, discreet and works well in the right small home, townhouse or apartment. As it is Dual-band its not for masses of connected devices – say a maximum of 10 to each node.