Netgear markets two 6 mesh wifi systems: the Orbi and the Nighthawk. The latter are more compact and customizable. The Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK62-100PES) is equipped with wifi 6 with a cumulative speed of 1800 Mb/s.
The Netgear Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK62-100PES) has emerged in the shadow of the Orbi kits. And for good reason, it offers on paper the same features as the Orbi RBK352, but in a different format. This mesh system is composed of two modules: a router and a satellite - a version with three modules exists under the reference MK63. Equipped with a yellow Ethernet plug, the router connects directly to your box. The satellite, without yellow Ethernet plug, is placed in your home halfway between the router and the area to be covered.
As we wrote above, the Nighthawk MK62 has the same wifi characteristics as the Orbi RBK352 from the same manufacturer. The standard used is the 802.11ax wifi, better known as wifi 6. Two bands are supported: 5 GHz with a bandwidth of 1200 Mb / s and 2.4 GHz with 600 Mb / s of speed. We therefore find the 1800 Mb / s announced by Netgear.
No third band for communication between the router and the satellite, usually reserved for high-end models of Netgear, like the Nighthawk MK83. The speeds will therefore theoretically be divided by two for devices connected to the satellite.
The router has two RJ45 Gigabit sockets. The first one, highlighted in yellow, is a WAN socket that is used to connect the module to your carrier box, the second one being a LAN socket to connect any other device. Owners of multiple devices will have to pay for it. The only solution will be to equip yourself with a switch, at the risk of reducing the bandwidth.
The satellite, for its part, only has a Gigabit RJ45 socket compatible with the Ethernet backhaul function. This is useful if your home is already wired and avoids taking up bandwidth for communication with the router.
The rest of the connectivity is common to both modules, namely a power socket, a reset button and another for synchronization. A led is also present on the front panel, indicating the status of the modules, but is not deactivatable.
The Nighthawk MK62 system combines matte black and glossy black with an embossing on the top. This artifice allows to hide the air vents if you look at the module from the front. Beware of the glossy part, which is particularly sensitive to fingerprints and other scratches - it is also a real dust magnet, as our photos show. As for the size, it is minimal, with 12.3 cm on each side and 7 cm high. The router weighs 297 g and the satellite 289 g, which is a real featherweight.
There are two options for setting up the Netgear Nighthawk MK62: the Android/iOS Nighthawk app or the web interface for advanced users by logging in at routerlogin.com, or for more resourceful users at IP address 10.0.0.1.
The application guides the user step by step, from the connections to the update of your modules, with diagrams. Don't forget to reconnect to the newly created network (NetgearXX) to avoid getting stuck.
Once the installation is complete, the Nighthawk MK62 mesh system will emit a single SSID (wifi network name). The 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands, as well as the SSIDs of the router and the satellite are therefore identical, so it's up to the connected devices to juggle the frequency bands and access points to get the best speeds.
Like the Orbi application, Nighthawk remains relatively limited in its settings. However, the app allows for routine management of the mesh system: activation of the guest network, analysis of the wifi network, network settings, etc.
For advanced settings, it will be necessary to connect to the web interface of the router, accessible at the IP address 10.0.0.1. It offers a lot of settings similar to those of a classic router, from DHCP range to port forwarding, QoS, and VPN management.
Netgear still offers its security suite Netgear Armor. Free for 30 days. Despite this 30-day trial, it is difficult to know the benefits of such protection, especially since it requires the installation of the BitDefender Security suite (included in the subscription) on the connected devices to be fully operational. Moreover, it does not offer any real parental control with user management, visited sites or time slots.
To evaluate the performance of the Netgear Nighthawk MK62 mesh system, we connected the router to our operator box to which we connected a laptop via an adapter to the 2.5 Gb/s socket. We transfer a file (a disk image) of 4.73 GB from the first laptop to a second one equipped with an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 chip, but also to a fixed desktop PC located upstairs and connected to a Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 PCIe card equipped with an external antenna, and now updated with the Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip
In wifi 6 on the 5 GHz band, this Netgear Nighthawk offers an average speed of 620 Mb/s when receiving our 4.73 GB file. A transfer carried out in 1 min, that is to say an average speed of 77.5 Mb/s. The sending speed of the same file is slightly lower with 581 Mb/s.
The measurement at 1 m from the satellite is as expected at least divided by two. The modules sharing the bandwidth, 600 Mb/s are thus theoretically available at the satellite. In practice, this gives at best 266 Mb/s, or an average speed of 33.25 Mb/s in sending and 231 Mb/s in receiving (28.8 Mb/s). Note that the wifi card of our fixed PC prefers to connect to the nearest satellite rather than to the router which offers better speeds.
On the farthest point n°5, the Nighthawk MK62 allows to obtain speeds of 175 Mb/s in reception and 131 Mb/s in transmission, without instability. In practice, it is quite possible to watch 1080p content from your favorite platform.
On the 2.4 GHz band, the speeds are strangely of the same order of magnitude at 1 m from the router and as much from the satellite. On paper, the router should normally offer 600 Mb/s, and the satellite 300 Mb/s. But the difference does not appear in our measurements. This is not a major problem, as the 2.4 GHz band is now mainly used for connected objects and for the compatibility of old wifi cards.
The remote antenna of our fixed PC allows to take advantage of the 2.4 GHz band with 186 Mb/s on average in reception and 155 Mb/s in sending.
On our point n°5, the Nighthawk MK62 does well with 110 Mb/s in reception and 58 Mb/s in transmission. These speeds allow once again to fully enjoy streaming services. On the other hand, sending files is slow (7.25 Mb/s).
The Nighthawk MK62 is in direct competition with the Orbi RBK352, which has the same characteristics, but is about 100 Mb/s slower on all our measurement points. The compactness offered by the Nighthawk MK62 allows Netgear less latitude on antenna orientation, antenna size and thus overall performance.
The consumption of the satellite is 3 W at rest and 5 W when heavily used. The router consumes 5 W at rest and up to 8 W under load, bringing the total consumption to 8 W and 13 W under load.
Netgear provides two transformers of 18 W each, equipped with a bipolar connector. A flat RJ45 cable is also provided in the box.
The Netgear Nighthawk MK62 WiFi 6 mesh system is easy to install and allows you to enjoy decent speeds in a home of almost 150 m². The small size of the modules is a plus for discretion, but at the cost of slightly lower raw performance. With its Nighthawk kit, Netgear plays the balancing act so as not to compete with its other Orbi range. A complicated balance, the Nighthawk MK62 offering more settings, but less connectivity.