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)


    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 .

    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.

    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.

    Is Nighthawk better than Xfinity router? ›

    Yes. Netgear Nighthawk is a much better option than any Xfinity router regarding speed, security, coverage, and data throughput.

    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 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 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.

    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.

    Can you leave a Netgear Nighthawk plugged in? ›

    No. Your NETGEAR router is designed for continuous operation, so you can leave it turned on all the time. You don't need to turn your router off if you aren't using the Internet.

    Does the NETGEAR M6 support eSIM? ›

    M6 is not eSIM capable.

    How fast is Netgear Nighthawk 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

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

    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.

    Is Nighthawk M6 better than M5? ›

    The M6 improves over the M5 by adding bands n12, n14, n29, n30, and n48, but band n46 is still missing. Of course, the M6 falls back to 4G in areas where 5G is not available. The hotspot relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 modem for 5G connectivity, which supports theoretical 5G data speeds up to 2.5Gbps.

    When did the Nighthawk M6 Pro come out? ›

    New NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 and M6 Pro Mobile Routers Now Available through AT&T. Beginning April 22, AT&T customers will be able to access AT&T's 5G Network using the brand new NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 and Nighthawk M6 Pro mobile hotspots.

    How many devices can connect to the Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro? ›

    The Nighthawk M6 Pro Mobile Router is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X65 5G Modem-RF System to deliver premium performance and groundbreaking speeds. This mobile router supports 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz with AXE3600, making it an ideal device to enable secure WiFi on the go for up to 32 devices simultaneously.

    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 the Netgear Nighthawk M6 have an ethernet port? ›

    The Netgear Nighthawk M6 mobile hotspot router delivers advanced features with AT&T 5G and 5G+ compatibility, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port, switchable Wi-Fi 6 and 6E capability, long-lasting removable rechargeable battery, data offloading, and support for up to 32 devices.


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