Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 AX3600 (MK83) Review: Slick But Insufficient

Netgear’s Wi-Fi 6 AX3600 (MK83) brings some nice features to the mesh router arena, plus ease of setup, which is often a shortcoming for mesh gear. However, the additional charge for antimalware and the poor QoS performance, as well as other issues we experienced, means that most users will be better off looking elsewhere for a mesh networking solution.

Many locations, be it a multi-story house, an attic office, or an outside patio, present challenges in getting decent wireless coverage. And with the record number of us working and learning from home, a solid Wi-Fi signal has gone from ‘nice to have,’ to the ‘gotta have it’ category. Between streaming media services and Zoom meetings for every occasion from business transactions to birthday parties, dead zones are far less intolerable than they used to be.

There is no shortage of wireless accessories to fix dead spots, including wireless extenders and powerline networks with wireless access points to get the signal where it needs to go. But rather than going crazy trying to get all this gear to play well together, which can be a time sink even for a network expert and a significant challenge for novices, a simpler solution these days (though it’s often far from cheap) is a mesh networking kit. With a mesh kit, the manufacturer has done the heavy lifting, put multiple wireless units in one nice box that are all compatible and designed to work together out of the box,with a single set of directions to get it all up and running.

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