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18/07/2018

Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile LTE Router Review

The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is a mobile LTE router designed to provide other devices fast Internet access. In addition, it offers some interesting features, which we will explain in the following article in more detail.

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Nighthawk M1 Overview

If you also want to use the Internet on your notebook or tablet while traveling, you either need a device with a SIM card slot or use your smartphone as a hotspot, or you can get a mobile router like the Netgear Nighthawk M1. The small router uses the LTE network and is designed to allow mobile Internet access for devices without LTE modem.

Technical specifications

WLAN standard

WLAN 802.11 b / g / n 2.4 GHz; WLAN 802.11 a / n / ac 5 GHz

MIMO

4 × 4 MIMO

Frequency bands

LTE CAT. 16, LTE Advanced 4-band CA.

Up to 4X Carrier Aggregation

LTE / 4G 700/800/900/1800/2100/2300/2500/2600 MHz

3G 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

Chipset

Qualcomm MDM9x50

Connections

1x Ethernet, 1x USB Type A, 1x USB Type C

Dimensions

105.5 x 105.5 x 20.35 mm

Weight

240 g

 

Package Content

  • Netgear Nighthawk M1
  • Replaceable lithium-ion battery (Li-ion)
  • AC charger and USB cable type C
  • Quick start Guide

 

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Design & Features

The Netgear Nighthawk M1 measures 105.5 x 105.5 x 20.35 millimeters and is therefore small enough to go through as a mobile router. The case is made of plastic, with battery; the router brings a weight of 240 grams. On the top there is a circular screen that provides information about data usage, number of connected devices, connection status and battery level. The upper plastic frame contains the power button, which is also used to navigate through the various displays on the screen.

The ports are integrated into the lower part of the frame, including an Ethernet port and a USB Type A and Type C port. Both USB ports allow you to connect external media to share the files on the network of the Nighthawk M1. The Type C connector is also used to charge the battery, whereas the Type A connector can charge other mobile devices. The connectors are flanked by TS-9 connectors for optional 4G/3G antennas. When not in use, the connections are protected by a cover.


The back cover can be removed to expose the replaceable 5.040 mAh battery. Below the battery is the slot for a micro SIM card. The test also worked well with a Nano SIM card, as long as it is correctly positioned on the contact points. A microSD card slot is also included, which can be used, for example, to stream movies or other files through the Netgear Nighthawk M1.

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The interior is simple and can be completed in a few minutes. In the first step, a device (notebook, smartphone, tablet) must connect to the Netgear Nighthawk M1 via WLAN. The network name and key can be found on the screen of the router. Thereafter, the control access takes place on mobile devices, at best via the Netgear Mobile App and on PCs and notebooks via the web browser.

 

Accessing the Nighthawk M1 requires entering a username and password that can be set at first login. Subsequently, only the SIM card must be unlocked by PIN and the router is ready for use. Versatile settings can be made in the app or web interface, such as whether the router is to build a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WLAN or instead only one network should be active. In addition, the SSID and the password can be changed or a monthly consumption overview including data limit can be set up. Owners of an Arlo home security system are pleased to use the Nighthawk M1 as a base station for the Arlo cameras.

 

 

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We tested the Netgear Nighthawk M1 in Vodafone LTE network. Since Gigabit LTE is only offered in a few German cities so far, we could only check how the mobile router beats in the "normal" LTE network. A Samsung Galaxy S9 connected via Wi-Fi to the router achieved 39.6 Mbps in the upload and 57.3 Mbps in the download. When we ran the speed test on a Dell XPS 13 (9360), the speed was increased to 104 Mbps in the download. The upload value was at 47.9 Mbit/s. For comparison, we ran the speed test with the same SIM card in the Galaxy S9. This could reach 85.4 Mbit/s in the download and 33.4 Mbit/s in the upload.

 

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The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is ideal for use as a media server with its USB ports and microSD card slot. In the test, a UHD video could easily be streamed to the Galaxy S9. Only when fast-forwarding, the buffer had to be recharged, which has led to a few seconds of waiting time. For Full HD videos, streaming was possible with up to three devices simultaneously.

 

 

Conclusion

The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is the ideal companion for those who need an Internet connection on the go. In the LTE network, the mobile router provides other devices such as notebooks or tablets with fast Internet access. The set-up is easy to do and numerous settings can be made in the app. Another practical option is to use the Netgear Nighthawk M1 as a media server. You can use one of the two USB ports or the integrated microSD card slot. In addition, the USB Type A port can charge other devices. Owners of the Arlo security system can even use the router as the basis for the Arlo security cameras. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 offers many features and can certainly convince in the test. However, as a mobile WLAN router, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 price is high now.