Ultimate hotspot – Nighthawk M6 Pro (review) (2024)


In 2019, Telstra launched its 5G network and smartphone vendors were rolling out their handsets. While at the Telstra building in Sydney’s CBD, we clocked download speeds at 1.5Gbps. Real-world figures on the street were very different, however. The recently launched Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro 5G router, available exclusively from Telstra, is capable in theory of speeds up to 8 Gbps. For some perspective, that would be 160 times faster than the standard 50Mbps home NBN connection! We have our hands on the Nighthawk M6 Pro to see just how fast it can go, and what it can do to supercharge your connectivity.

Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro

Price (RRP)$749
WebsiteNetgear Australia
Warranty24 months
Manual or Support pagesUser guide
Country of ManufactureTaiwan
About:NETGEAR, Inc. is a multinational computer networking company based in San Jose, California, with offices in about 25 other countries. It produces networking hardware for consumers, businesses, and service providers.

Who would benefit from the M6 Pro?

The Nighthawk M6 Pro mobile router is a Telstra 5G battery-powered hotspot with lightning-fast internet speed via Wi-Fi 6 or ethernet.

A mobile hotspot can be purchased from a supermarket for as little as $29, so to spend $749 is a big jump. This jump, however, adds a load of features from battery to internet speed to the number of devices you can connect.

A business could use an M6 as a backup solution if a fixed broadband connection fails. The M6 will support up to 32 Wi-Fi devices connected simultaneously and also has a 2.5Gbps ethernet port that could be connected to the existing office network. The M6 connects to mains power and can be set to automatically take over if your fixed line broadband fails. For those business people on the road or perhaps needing a high-speed internet connection to do a presentation, the M6 offers the best chance of reliable, fast speeds.

For the home user or the remote traveller that may not have access to fixed line broadband or wants an NBN alternative, the M6 will help you future proof. The latest technologies in this router allow the fastest, most reliable connections ensuring that streaming or video calls will be uninterrupted.

Ultimate hotspot – Nighthawk M6 Pro (review) (1)


Fast and reliable internet does require mobile phone coverage, and to take advantage of the Telstra 5G sub-6GHz or 5G mmWave speeds, you will need to be in range. The M6 has two TS9 ports, which allow an external antenna connection. An external antenna will help gain coverage and increase speed in fringe areas. See more details in our sister publication’s guide to better mobile broadband. A recent trip to regional NSW saw my download speeds jump from 8.3Mbps to 52.1Mpbs by attaching an RFI directional antenna.

Netgear has a external 5G MIMO SMA/TS9 Antenna available to pre-order on its website.

Ultimate hotspot – Nighthawk M6 Pro (review) (2)

For remote travellers, a cheap alternate way to increase signal strength and, as a result, internet speed, is to put the M6 in a bucket. Attach a rope to the bucket and raise the bucket up a tree by throwing the rope over a branch. Note the M6 is not weather resistant, but the extra height may make a difference between no coverage and some coverage.

What is 5G millimetre-wave (mmWave)?

The M6 Pro has all the latest technology built in to maximise speed and availability of data connectivity both from a mobile base station and to client devices (PCs, smartphones etc.) These technologies include 5G mmWave, ethernet and Wi-Fi 6E.

5G mmWave is a short-range high-frequency mobile phone standard used to communicate with a compatible base station. This is used more widely in the US and is different to the sub-6GHz 5G network that we have in Australia. However, we expect to see more mmWave in the future given its performance. While the range from a mmWave base station is limited to a few hundred meters, the latency is very low and the speeds speeds can be amazingly fast.

The M6 Pro is backward compatible, so it will connect to any Telstra base station to provide internet access. Telstra, for example, could put a 5G mmWave antenna on a busy railway station but not on a rural highway, as it is not economical. The speed you would get on a train station with 5G mmWave coverage would depend on factors such as how close you were to the base station antenna, how many other people were also using the same internet connection and what speed internet is available to the base station.

For the geeks reading this, the M6pro supports LTE CAT 20, LTE Advanced Pro, 4×4 MIMO, 256-QAM, which are technologies that help maximise internet speed.

Features of the Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro

The M6 supports Wi-Fi 6E and all previous versions. This will ensure a secure, fast and uninterrupted connection back to your router from your client device. The dual-band 5 & 2.4GHz router allows you an aggregate speed of up to AX3600. A feature of the M6 is the ability to change the transmit power of your Wi-Fi. The default setting is low, which will minimise the distance a client can be from the router and save battery power.

The M6 comes with both a USB-C charging cable and an AC adapter. Removing the battery if it is permanently powered from mains is recommended. Leaving the battery in will, however, allow continued operation in the event of a mains power outage.

Ultimate hotspot – Nighthawk M6 Pro (review) (3)

Control of the device can be achieved either from the onboard 2.8-inch touch screen display, the Netgear smartphone app or by entering an IP address on your PC while connected to the router. Network settings, Wi-Fi settings, security, and power-saving features can all be controlled from these interfaces.

The router measures 105mm by 105mm by 21.5mm, not much larger than most smartphones, and at 256 grams, I have been carrying it around in my jeans pocket.

A GPS function is also available to enable, which could help locate the M6 or perhaps a caravan it is located in the event of theft.

Using the Nighthawk M6 Pro

Once you have inserted an active Telstra SIM, in theory, other than keeping it powered, it is a bit of a set-and-forget device. If it has coverage, it will provide you with mobile broadband.

My baseline for my mobile speed tests is to do several tests using speedtest.net and compare the results. The results will differ based on location, congestion and network upgrades over time. The M6 Pro, although capable of Gbps speeds, provided me with an average of 362Mbps down and 49.8 Mbps up. An older Telstra 5G mobile router showed similar results, not in mmWave coverage. For comparison, my NBN connection provides 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up, and to watch 4K Netflix, a 15-25Mbps connection is required.

I took this one step further and tested the M6 in various locations in Sydney and averaged around 250 – 300 Mbps, which is respectable. The best results I got were 650Mbps down and 153Mbps up. The caveat is that the mobile phone I tested with only supports Wi-Fi 5, not the faster 6 or 6E. We will update this section shortly with some Wi-Fi 6 speeds.

The net result of my tests and the capability of the M6 Pro is the speeds you will get with good coverage will exceed the needs of consumers and small businesses alike. As Telstra improves its network, you will get better speeds, and you will get better speeds as you update your mobile phone, laptop, tablet and other client devices. The support of Wi-Fi 6/6E brings connectivity, reliability and security benefits that will help future-proof the product.

I noticed the M6 Pro occasionally failed to reconnect with my phone automatically; to resolve this, I had to cycle the M6 power. I assume this is a software glitch that will be rectified in a future firmware upgrade.

GadgetGuy’s take

The Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro, exclusive to Telstra, is the best mobile broadband router available today. With its ability to use Telstra’s 5G mmWave network, when and where available, it will provide the fastest non-commercial internet speeds available today. In reality, it will use whatever coverage it can get, whether sub-6GHz 5G, 4G or 3G, and maximise the weakest link in the internet chain speed. The M6 Pro supports clients with a 2.5G Ethernet port and up to 32 devices on Wi-Fi 6 technology. A touch screen display and external antenna sockets allow customisation to maximise the environment it is being used in too.

More router reviews and news on GadgetGuy

Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro



Value for money




Ease of use





Latest mobile and Wi-Fi technologies providing lightning internet speed

Compact design with a touchscreen display

Battery powered and portable

External antenna connection option


Occasional Wi-Fi handshake issues


Ultimate hotspot – Nighthawk M6 Pro (review) (2024)


How fast is the Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro internet? ›

The speed it can deliver is eye-watering: 5G internet up to 4Gbps and Wi-Fi speeds up to 3.6Gbps. The M6 Pro provides a portable, secure Wi-Fi connection with a built-in firewall for up to 32 devices in any place that has cellular coverage.

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

M6 and M6 Pro Features for Travelers

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.

Is the NETGEAR M6 worth it? ›

But if you do require a mobile router then we can wholeheartedly recommend the Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro. Wired or Wi-Fi, battery or mains power, one connected device or two dozen, it's a clever and versatile gadget.

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 the Netgear 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.

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.

What is the range of Netgear Nighthawk M6? ›

The NETGEAR® Nighthawk® M6 Mobile Router features In-Home Performance mode to boost WiFi coverage up to 2,000 sq. ft. at home or, for max coverage and speed, connect M6 to your router or mesh system and use as your primary internet connection for up to 32 devices.

How many years does a NETGEAR router last? ›

Experts recommend replacing your router at least every five years—and every two to three years for those of you who use several high-bandwidth devices and smart home devices. But your Wi-Fi router is an investment, and you're probably hesitant to replace it unless you know that you have to.

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 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.

Does the NETGEAR M6 work 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 far will a Nighthawk router reach? ›

Standalone routers aren't known for their long wireless coverage, and what the Nighthawk RAXE500 offers is the highest you can get. Testing it in a 3,700 Sq Ft thick-walled setting, my calculated range is around 3,000 Sq Ft, covering most of my space.

How fast is Netgear Nighthawk M6 Ethernet? ›

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.

What is the maximum speed of Nighthawk router? ›

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router (R6900P) - AC1900 Wireless Speed (Up to 1900 Mbps), Up to 1800 Sq Ft Coverage & 30 Devices, 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports, Armor Security.

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.

Is Netgear high speed internet? ›

Indulge in the ultimate download and upload speeds with top speeds of up to 10,000 Mbps (that's 10Gbps fast). Gigabit Internet speeds combined with the fastest WiFi available means all of your devices will surf, stream, & game at lightning fast speed.


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