Netgear's Pricey M6 Pro Unlocked Mobile Router Adds Wi-Fi 6E, 5G mmWave (2024)

Netgear's Pricey M6 Pro Unlocked Mobile Router Adds Wi-Fi 6E, 5G mmWave (1)

While Wi-Fi 6E routers for your home are a dime a dozen these days, that isn’t the case regarding portable routers. Today, Netgear announced the launch of its new unlocked version of the Nighthawk M6 Pro (MR6550), which brings faster internet connectivity to users on the go or for consumers that lack reliable fixed broadband service at home.

Compared to its predecessor, the M6 Pro adds Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and mmWave support for broader compatibility with 5G networks at speeds up to 8 Gbps (up from 2.5 Gbps max). The M6 Pro also features a larger 2.8-inch touchscreen (versus 2.4 inches) and ups maximum LTE speeds from 1.6 Gbps to 2 Gbps.

The mobile hotspot has 3,600 Mbps of available bandwidth (2,900 MHz 5/6 GHz, 700 Mbps 2.4 GHz) and an integrated 2.5 GbE port (the M6 has just a 1 GbE port) on the back. You’ll also find a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port on the back, which is used for charging and data. Another intriguing addition to the M6 Pro are two TS-9 antenna connectors. This allows you to connect external antennas to boost reception beyond what the M6 Pro’s internal antennas can provide (an ideal setup for users that need internet connectivity in more remote regions).

Netgear's Pricey M6 Pro Unlocked Mobile Router Adds Wi-Fi 6E, 5G mmWave (2)

The M6 Pro’s internal battery can also last up to 13 hours per charge, which should be sufficient for even the most demanding users, Netgear told us via video call. I also asked how mmWave connectivity would affect battery life but was assured that endurance hit would be minimal. The M6 Pro’s Wi-Fi coverage is roughly 1,000 square feet on battery power. However, if you connect it directly to a power outlet, coverage doubles to 2,000 square feet.

You might ask why you would want to use a mobile hotspot like M6 Pro when a smartphone can perform the same task. According to Netgear, 88 percent of people purchasing a dedicated mobile hotspot use it as their primary home internet connection. Many Americans live in rural areas with non-existent or substandard broadband connectivity, so a cellular-based solution is ideal — and smartphones can’t simultaneously support up to 32 devices like the M6 Pro can.

Netgear’s research also found that 54 percent of people use portable routers as a “primary” connection in vacation homes, and 50 percent use them inside their vehicles while traveling.

There is one “gotcha” to the M6 Pro, and that's would be pricing. You can get an AT&T carrier-locked version of the M6 Pro for $460 or pay $12.78 per month on an installment plan. However, the unlocked version will set you back $999.99 direct from Netgear (and soon from Amazon). According to Netgear, the unlocked M6 Pro is currently only supported by AT&T and Verizon SIMs that have previously been activated or with T-Mobile BYOD plans. However, it does note that new BYOD activations for AT&T and Verizon will be "coming soon."

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Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

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    Netgear's Pricey M6 Pro Unlocked Mobile Router Adds Wi-Fi 6E, 5G mmWave (2024)

    FAQs

    What is the difference between Netgear Nighthawk M6 and M6 Pro? ›

    Blazing-fast 5G speeds: Equipped with 5G mmWave Technology it offers speeds up to 8Gbps, the Nighthawk M6 Pro is the fastest mobile hotspot available. Nighthawk M6 offers speeds up to 2.5Gbps, which is still significantly faster than many home WiFi networks.

    How fast is the Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro? ›

    Certified with T-Mobile BYOD (up to 50GB) and AT&T Prepaid (up to 100GB) plans; Compatible with Verizon and other major carriers. NEW: Take advantage of cutting-edge 5G mmWave and WiFi 6E technology unlocking 5G speeds up to 8Gbps and WiFi up to 3.6Gbps .

    Does the Netgear Nighthawk M6 support 5G? ›

    Nighthawk® M6 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Hotspot Router for AT&T With 5G Sub-6 bands.

    What is the difference between NETGEAR M5 and M6? ›

    If you require the latest technology, faster speeds, and advanced security features, the M6 is the better choice. However, if you're looking for a reliable router that offers good performance at a more affordable price point, the M5 is still a solid option.

    How many devices can connect to Nighthawk M6 Pro? ›

    The M6 features 5G Sub-6 and WiFi 6 connectivity with 4x the capacity and speed of 4G. Connecting to up to 32 devices at once, the entire household can enjoy smooth and crisp 4K streaming, gaming, and uninterrupted video calls.

    Which Netgear router has the strongest signal? ›

    1. Best Overall: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500. Kicking off the list with a top WiFi 6e router, Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 packs a multitude of high-end features to be tagged as the best wireless router to cover long areas.

    Why is the Nighthawk M6 so expensive? ›

    With so many advanced broadband and mobile connectivity features, it's no surprise that the M6 Pro comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

    How do I extend the range on my Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro? ›

    With In-Home Performance Mode, you can enjoy expanded coverage throughout your living space. By activating this mode, your M6 or M6 Pro Mobile Hotspot extends its reach, ensuring that your WiFi signal blankets your entire home, doubling coverage up to 2000 sq ft.

    Which Netgear router is the fastest? ›

    • Nighthawk® X10 Smart WiFi Router. Industry's fastest router for media streaming with Plex media server.
    • NIGHTHAWK X10 + PLEX. Chock-Full of Sweet Features. Now enjoy your media on all your devices.
    • Nighthawk® X10. World's Fastest Router. Best for 4K Streaming & VR Gaming. ...
    • View More Details. WIFI SPEED. 7.2 Gbps.

    Does Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro have Ethernet port? ›

    NOTE: To reduce power consumption and extend the battery life, this mobile router by default has Ethernet disabled. 2.5G Ethernet port can only be enabled when the battery is removed. You can go to Power Manager to change to custom profile settings.

    Is the Nighthawk M6 Pro unlocked? ›

    Nighthawk M6 Pro is unlocked, giving you the freedom to select the carrier of your choice. Simply get a SIM card and data plan that meets your needs. M6 Pro supports international roaming in up to 125 countries.

    Is Netgear Nighthawk M6 compatible with Verizon? ›

    Product description. Introducing the Nighthawk M6 Pro: a compact 5G router delivering high-speed Verizon C-Band and mmWave connectivity with 4G fallback. Designed for businesses, it's portability meets power, ensuring uninterrupted internet access everywhere.

    How fast is Netgear M6 Pro? ›

    Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro vs. M6: Hardware specifications
    Netgear MR6550 Nighthawk M6 Pro Mobile RouterNetgear MR6110 Nighthawk M6 Mobile Router
    5G Speed (up to)8Gbps2.5Gbps
    5G TechnologySub 6 and mmWave(9xCA)Sub 6(2xCA)
    4G Speed (up to)2Gbps1.6Gbps
    4G TechnologyCAT 20 LTE A(5xCA)CAT19 LTE A(5xCA)
    20 more rows
    Jun 1, 2023

    Is there a better router than Netgear? ›

    Best of all, when tested against other, similar routers from names like Asus and Netgear, the AX21 held its own with faster download speeds, better range and low latency too.

    What is the difference between Nighthawk M6 and M6 Pro? ›

    Compared to the standard M6, the unlocked M6 Pro lands you a larger 2.8-inch touchscreen, support for up to 8Gbps speeds on mmWave for the US version, and the full sub-6 5G spectrum instead of just C-band on the M6.

    What is the range of Netgear Nighthawk M6? ›

    Nighthawk M6 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Hotspot Router, Unlocked, Up to 2.5Gbps. Remove battery and use power adapter to boost WiFi coverage up to 2,000 sq. ft.

    Which Nighthawk mesh extender is best? ›

    Which Netgear extender is best? The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is the best Netgear extender you can buy today. It offers dual-band support, speeds of up to 6 Gbps, and four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology.

    Does Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro have ethernet port? ›

    NOTE: To reduce power consumption and extend the battery life, this mobile router by default has Ethernet disabled. 2.5G Ethernet port can only be enabled when the battery is removed. You can go to Power Manager to change to custom profile settings.

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