Netgear M5 5G router review in Hong Kong

I tested Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router last weekend.

Image: Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G mobile router

1.Why are we interested in 5G?
With the rollout of 5G, cellular data communication services have become more accessible and affordable. We are exploring cellular services (5G, LTE-A, LTE) to connect our wildfire detection hardware.

Most of our deployments are using fixed microwave wireless networks to connect our robots in forests. To move to public 5G/4G cellular services will lower the network management cost and improve cash flow.

An important challenge is cellular signal strength in remote/rural locations where most of our robots/cameras are installed.

We also need a good router that can provide reliable cellular uplink, and wired Ethernet ports to connect to our robots/cameras. We want small physical sizes and power consumption.

2.Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router
There are only a few 5G routers in the Hong Kong market. Netgear M5 is one of them. The one we are testing is an unlocked version of Netgear MR5100. It is effectively an MR5200.

Netgear M5 supports device connections via WiFi, USB-C tethering (for both Windows PC and Mac), wired Gigabit Ethernet (requires Data Offloading turn-off). It can be powered directly via USB Type-C with the internal battery removed. It is designed as a mobile router, hence it is small (105 mm x 105 mm x 21.5 mm)and light (240g).

The bundled power supply outputs 10.0W or 16.2W

I tested its uplink performance in the rural area. We will use Speedtest app and iPhone 11 Pro which connects to M5 via WiFi. The testing location was Cape Collinson Battery. It is located in eastern Hong Kong Island. 3.5km walking distance from the Chai Wan MTR station. I tested three times, fastest download and upload speeds at 83.8Mbps and 23.2M respectively! Very good!

Image: Cape Collinson Battery location (left). Speedtest test results (right).

3.More about Cape Collinson Battery
Two batteries are built at Cape Collinson in 1938. We can see only one of them now. It becomes a popular eco-travel spot because of its unique history and beautiful landscape. To test the Netgear M5 at Cape Collinson Battery makes the whole journey more interesting!

Image: Cape Collinson Battery
Video: Cape Collinson Battery

“I’m going to live every minute of it.” Joe Gardner

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