In 2019, Netgear was first to market, the . Now, as 2020 begins, the company is adding a to that Wi-Fi 6 lineup -- and at $230, it'll cost less than what you'll currently pay for competing systems such as or , which .
Dubbed the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System and due in stores later in January, the two-piece setup is a dual-band router with a design that's nearly identical tothat we reviewed . For about $100 more, the Nighthawk system paints the hardware black, adds an Ethernet port to the back of each satellite and, most importantly, adds in support for Wi-Fi 6.
Support for Wi-Fi 6 means that the Nighthawk mesh system can transmit data. Netgear clocks those top speeds at 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz band. For comparison, the Wi-Fi 5 version of Netgear Orbi specs in with top speeds of 400Mbps and 866Mbps on the two bands, respectively.
Those speed gains are, which is a reflection of the budget-minded price tag. Same goes for the antennas. With two of them inside each unit, the Nighthawk mesh system supports 2x2 MU-MIMO connections, which allows the router to send signals from both antennas at once. It's a feature that can boost speeds to devices that include multiple antennas of their own, but other routers -- including the Nest Wifi router, which includes four antennas on the 5GHz band -- can do more with it.
For a mesh router that takes better advantage of that Wi-Fi 6 potential, you'll need to spend hundreds more on a high-end system such as the, the , the or , which can move data at stated speeds of up to 2,400 Mbps on the 5GHz band.
That Netgear Orbi 6 system currently costs $650, though. For many, an alternative that costs more than $400 less will likely serve as a welcome addition to Netgear's catalog.
We'll test the new system out just as soon as we can get our hands on it -- expect to see more of this system on CNET in the very near future.