A slew of Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers are hitting the market this year, bringing the new wireless standard to homes eager for better Wi-Fi. One of the first to be released is the Netgear Nighthawk MK62 Mesh WiFi System, a compact two-piece package that’s surprisingly more affordable than most mesh routers. How does it fare against one of the popular low-cost mesh solutions such as Google Wifi? We take a look and give you the rundown below.
Google Wifi vs Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi Comparison Chart
|Model||Google Wifi 3-Pack|
|Dimensions||4.1 x 4.1 x 2.7 inches||4.8 x 4.8 x 2.5 inches|
|Weight||0.75 pounds||0.63 pounds|
|Area Coverage||4,500 sq. ft.||3,000 sq. ft.|
|Wi-Fi Type||WiFi 5||WiFi 6|
|LAN Ethernet Ports||3 total||2 total|
Both Google Wifi and
One thing both of these mesh Wi-Fi routers have in common is their compact and minimalist design. They’re roughly the same size and are intended to look appealing on any desk surface or counter top. We can imagine the white puck-like form of the Google Wifi mesh point to be a bit more appealing to most, but the
Interestingly, the LED band around the middle of the Google Wifi router lights up differently depending on the status of the network. You can further customize it via the mobile companion app so it’s not just there for style points. Meanwhile, the Nighthawk only has a tiny LED light to indicate its power.
The Google Wifi has a wider coverage than the
While each mesh point of both Wi-Fi systems can extend wireless coverage up to 1,500 sq. ft., the
Wired connectivity is also pretty important for whole home Wi-Fi systems, since you’ll undoubtedly want physical connections for TV streaming and printers and such. Both Google Wifi and
The headline feature of the
In addition, Wi-Fi 6 improves the network’s ability to handle more devices than ever, allowing the whole family to maximize their home’s wireless Internet potential. However, the catch is you won’t see much of a difference between it and Wi-Fi 5 if your ISP plan tops at, say, 300 or 400 Mbps. In essence, the speed gains will only be noticeable if you’re subscribed to high-speed fiber plans.
As such, for most homes you’re going to get a similar experience between the Google Wifi and
Software and Other Features
The Google Wifi has a simpler interface and setup than the
Much of Google Wifi’s popularity comes from its simplicity and user-friendliness. Homes without much technical wireless network knowledge won’t have to deal with complicated settings since Google made sure that all relevant controls are present on the companion app and that they’re easy to understand. Setting it up out of the box is also very easy, and won’t take more than five or ten minutes after you’ve placed and plugged them in.
In contrast, while Netgear also ensures you can access important settings and network info on their Nighthawk app, you can find even more toggles and switches on its web browser admin panel. This is very much like the router interfaces of a decade ago though, so only those who have enough technical know-how are likely to take advantage of it.
You’ll get all of the common extra Wi-Fi features on both systems, such as parental controls, guest network settings, device access control and network status updates. We find the Google Wifi app to offer a better user interface overall though.
The Google Wifi offers better value than the
For most homes the Google Wifi mesh system will represent good value since it offers more flexibility with 3 nodes that can accept wired LAN connections each. You can spread coverage out to a larger area or improve signal strength in smaller homes and apartments. Best of all, it’s very simple to setup and maintain, so you don’t need to deal with technical details if you just want faster Wi-Fi.
While you only get two mesh points with the Netgear Nighthawk MK62, they’re capable of higher speed gains thanks to their Wi-Fi 6 tech. If you have an ISP plan that’s higher than 400 Mbps, you’ll be better able to enjoy your top speeds with the MK62 mesh system. Moreover, it has better future-proofing since Internet subscriptions will only offer ever higher speeds to match Wi-Fi 6 standards.
No, Google Wifi can only create a mesh network with Google Nest Wifi, Google Wifi, and OnHub routers.
No, there is no additional monthly fee to use Google Wifi. It’s a router, firewall and mesh Wi-Fi solution that relies only on your existing Internet service (which you still need to pay for every month).
It depends on the particular model. The
Yes, though it will depend on whether your primary router is compatible with the particular Nighthawk router. Most Nighthawk routers should work well with other Nighthawk routers.