Netgear’s Nighthawk M1 provides wireless hotspots with download speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Netgear has announced what it calls the “world first gigabit” 4G mobile router, supporting download speeds of up to 1Gbps and uploads at up to 150Mbps.
Like other mobile routers, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 provides a Wi-Fi hotspot anywhere there’s mobile reception – but it offers much higher speeds than usual by combining up to four bands on Telstra's 4G network.
The Nighthawk M1 also offers a richer feature set than cheaper mobile routers. It allows up to 20 devices to be connected simultaneously via dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and it can stream media files from a microSD card or USB Type-A or Type-C connected storage.
The front panel displays the number of devices currently connected, along with an estimate of the amount of data used plus the number of days left in the current charging period.
The Nighthawk M1 includes features normally associated with home routers, including parental controls and scheduled access limits.
A pair of connectors allow the addition of optional external antennas for better performance when the 3G or 4G signal is on the weak side.
To minimise mobile data costs, the Nighthawk M1 can also be connected to the internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi – for example, in a hotel that provides free Wi-Fi – but severely limits the number of devices that can be connected without paying a surcharge.
Management and configuration is carried out via the Netgear Mobile app for Android and iOS.
Measuring 10.6 x 10.6 x 2cm, the device weighs just 240g including the 5040mAh battery said to be good for up to 24 hours of use. If you're prepared to sacrifice some of that runtime, the battery can also be used to recharge phones and other small devices with USB interfaces.
The Nighthawk M1 will go on sale in February via Telstra for $360 upfront or on various mobile broadband plans.
See our feature for more details on the Nighthawk M1 and the Telstra network it runs on, including the results of early testing.