As 5G mobile networks continue their slow but steady rollout across the country, mobile internet seems like it is increasingly becoming a viable alternative for users tired of having their internet delivered through a prehistoric coaxial cable with questionable reliability. With 5G capable of delivering download speeds up to one or two gigabits/second, with a strong enough signal reaching a home, it could theoretically deliver more than enough throughput for everything from streaming 4K content to online gaming.
Netgear’s Nighthawk M5 Mobile Router includes features that are now standard on most hotspots, including a dedicated touchscreen display for accessing its settings, showing its connection status, and keeping an eye on how much data you’ve used, and your monthly limit. What other hotspots don’t have is the ability to connect to not only the next-generation 5G mobile networks, but also the next wave of Wi-Fi 6 devices which promise the fastest wireless performance and minimal bottlenecks, even with several smartphones, tablets, computers, and IoT devices all connected at the same time.
Netgear is also positioning the Nighthawk M5 as both an alternative to getting your home internet through wires, and as a reliable backup for when your cable internet or even fiber service goes on the fritz. The M5 includes a removable rechargeable battery so that when used at home, you can instead plug into an outlet. Because hotspots typically don’t have the same Wi-Fi range as larger routers or even mesh networking hardware, the mobile router also includes a gigabit ethernet port so you can connect it to a dedicated Wi-Fi router that will provide a stronger signal throughout your entire home.
The Nighthawk M5 won’t be available until sometime in the second half of 2020 at the earliest, with pricing being revealed at that time. And it will also be dependent on a mobile plan, and a carrier who’s operating a 5G network in your area. In other words, ditching cable internet is going to be an expensive proposition when this thing arrives, but the ultimate conveniences could easily outweigh the cost.