Netgear is announcing one of the cheapest routers yet with support for Wi-Fi 6. Its new entry-level router, the Nighthawk AX4, offers Wi-Fi 6 support, four gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 3Gbps of data transmission. At $199, it’s by no means a cheap router, but it’s cheaper by hundreds of dollars than most of the Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market so far.
The router’s support for Wi-Fi 6 is really what makes it stand out. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of the Wi-Fi standard, and it offers more efficient communication with devices, which ought to lead to better performance on busy networks. Wi-Fi 6 routers and devices have started to come out over the past few months, but most have been fairly high-end due to it being new technology. It’ll be more affordable routers like the AX4 that really help the new standard start to spread.
TP-Link has also announced some more affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers, but those models have yet to hit the market. Netgear’s AX4, on the other hand, will be available this month.
Other than its inclusion of Wi-Fi 6, there isn’t anything particularly splashy here. The AX4 is a basic router that ought to be capable of handling regular networking needs around a home — Netgear says that includes gaming and streaming 4K video. But the router doesn’t offer anywhere near the excessive amounts of bandwidth available in Netgear’s last Wi-Fi 6 router, the Nighthawk Tri-Band AX12, which included an additional wireless radio and 10.8 Gbps of total data transmission.