Internet in the camper - the mobile router NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 in the test.By Elisa | On 8. September 2019 take an adVANture · On September 8, 2019
[Advertising] Hey, my name is Elisa and I love the internet. So, purely platonic, I mean. I like the possibilities that WordWideWeb offers me at any time, both professionally and privately. It's my source of inspiration, collection of ideas, my ability to contact remotely and yes, also a bit of the place where I earn my money, among other things. Since my focus has shifted in recent years away from the static office to the home office or working on the go, I depend on stable Internet. What sometimes can be curse and blessing at the same time.
Disclosure: The product test was developed as part of a cooperation with the manufacturer and therefore contains advertising. My opinion and the test result remain unaffected! In addition, the article * Affiliate Links. If you order the product, I'll get a small commission, but there are no additional costs for you.
Especially during longer road trips I have to be reachable, at least temporarily, and I would like to share photos, moments and thoughts of the journey. Especially the latter is a passion for which I sometimes take circumstances into account. As part of my equipment in the VW bus and as a possible solution for mobile Internet camping, I would like to introduce you the router Nighthawk M1 of NETGEAR. Further possibilities for WLAN on the way I will tell you soon in a next article.
Review of the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1.
I have tested the Nighthawk M1 over a period of time and in different circumstances. For me it is important that my commodities are practical, compact and robust, designed to be either continuous or changing operation, and in the best case still look nice.
Included in delivery is the router, the battery, a USB-C cable to charge the device, and a power adapter, each with an adapter for sockets in Germany and the UK. In addition, there is a manual included.
The relatively thick USB-C cable has a good length of about 1.00 m and looks as if it could withstand a lot. Related to the look of the mobile router, it was almost love at first sight - simple, purist and modern, that's all it takes. A USB-A port (for connecting external hard drives, for example) and a USB-C port (for charging) are located on the lower sidebar, as is a LAN port and two TS9 jacks for LTE antennas.
If you open the cover on the back of the router, you will find a micro SD slot and the battery there. The slot for the micro-SIM card is located below the battery.
The functionality of the mobile router is actually pretty quickly explained. You buy a (prepaid) SIM card with the appropriate amount of data in the respective travel country, unlocks them, puts them in and takes the router into operation. Up to 20 different devices can access the WLAN in this way. The NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 even provides two networks, one in the 2.4 GHz range and one in the 5 GHz range, both of which can be individually configured.
The existing two sockets can amplify the signal to be received by means of LTE antennas (not included).
It is also possible to use an existing WLAN, for example, the campsite, and distribute it to the devices via the router. The feature is called offloading and is extremely useful when traveling.
Commissioning: For the first commissioning you do not need a SIM card in the router, but at least mobile internet on your smartphone. To set up the device, download the NETGEAR Mobile App and follow the instructions given in the manual or display. The setup is not very intuitive, but can be solved in a few minutes with a little rethinking.
Operation: As soon as the router has been set up, an individual password has been assigned and the SIM card has been unlocked, all functions can be used. If you turn on the Nighthawk M1 by holding down the on / off button for about 2 seconds, the Wi-Fi hotspot will be available after a short while. You may need to enter the administrator password and PIN of the SIM card via the app.
Note: Some providers in Germany or when changing the network operator can cause problems with the transfer of mobile data. In this case, the app will display "Mobile data off" and activation is nowhere possible. Remedy the manual entry of the APN (setting - network - APN) in the app. Here I have added a new APN via the plus sign at the bottom right, given it an arbitrary name and deposited it as APN "internet" - since then it works perfectly. Abroad, for example with Maroc Telecom, I did not have any problems with the mobile data after activating the SIM card by phone.
On the schnieken LC display you will find all the information you need. The curved bar on the left shows how much battery power the router still has and on the right the remaining data volume - at least if you have set a monthly data limit in the menu. In the middle, you can switch between different information by briefly pressing the on / off button. Here are details of the network provider, the reception, the connected devices, the volume of data consumed and the remaining days.
All settings and configurations are controlled via the app. For example, I changed the >
Data Offloading: In order for the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 to connect to the WiFi from the campsite, you need to open the app on your smartphone, swipe down the screen and select "Offloading". When offloading data, you select WLAN and wait a moment until the available networks are displayed. By means of the password input, the router is now connected to the network and so again all devices connected to the router. Easy peasy.
Incidentally, you can also perform all functions, commissioning and operation using your laptop browser.
The mobile router Nighthawk M1 offers even more additional features. One of them is the use as a power bank, so you can load your smartphone over it. Using a micro SD card, you can also save data on the device and connect via the USB-C port hard drives. This allows all devices connected to the router to access these media and use the content.
My conclusion about the mobile router NETGEAR Nighthawk M1.
Design and function have convinced me. At peak times, seven people with seven devices were connected via the router to the local area Wi-Fi. I was able to test the Nighthawk M1 during some off-road passes through Morocco , where it was claimed by heat and grains of sand. There were no power losses, although I had forgotten him in the shade on the dashboard at just under 40 degrees and fine desert dust had already penetrated through all the cracks in the vehicle interior. We did not handle the vehicle at the time, but various shaking games, washboard runs and bumps did not bother the Nighthawk M1.
The router is currently not permanently connected to the power. NETGEAR's battery runtime is given as "long runtime for full-time, continuous use" - here I would make a few drawbacks and replace it with 'half day' 'all day' for continuous operation.
A shortcoming is actually the price. With currently around € 280.00, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 * is not one of the affordable gadgets for the Campervan. However, such an investment is relatively quick if you work on the road and rely on mobile internet or you are planning a long-term voyage with the van. Because for me then the use of the smartphone as a router would be too cumbersome and public WLAN in the long run not sure enough. I also like the Nighthawk M1's compact size, the simple yet multifunctional use and operation - almost the whole package.
Data facts summarized.
Since I rather prefer the classic craft and in some areas a techno muffle, now follow the hard facts neatly lined up, without any idea what part of it means. Maybe it's useful information for some of you. NETGEAR provides more keywords on the homepage itself.
- Dimensions: 105.5 x 105.5 x 20.35mm
- Weight: 240g
- 2.4-inch LCD screen
- Download speed: max. 1 Gbit / s
- Upload speed: max. 150 Mbps
- LTE Cat 16, 4-band CA and 4 × 4 MIMO
- Up to 4-fold carrier aggregation
- Dual-band / dual-concurrent WLAN
- WLAN 802.11 b / g / n 2.4 GHz; WLAN 802.11 a / n / ac 5 GHz
- Chipset: Qualcomm MDM9x50
- LTE / 4G 700/800/900/1800/2100/2300/2500/2600 MHz
- 3G 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
- Micro SD with media server / NAS capabilities
- 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x Ethernet port, 2x TS-9 connections for external antennas
By the way, you can find more reviews of the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 in the camper van by Sebastian on CamperStyle and via Youtube by Andreas on campingberichte.de . I am very happy about more tips that make working in the camping bus easier. She tells me gladly in the comments.