Netgear is always launching with great mobile hotspot. The most latest mobile WLAN hotspots are Nighthawk M1 and the AirCard 810 which are very fast LTE modem. The AirCard 810 Hotspot can support download speed up to 600 MBit / s, and the Nighthawk M1 can even reach up to 1 GBit / s in the downlink. Apparently, the Nighthawk M1 is better than Aircard 810 at the speed aspect. However, the AirCard 810 hotspot also has its advantages, as this comparison shows.
From AirCard to Nighthawk
Though both of them are Netgear MiFi, but there are from different series. The concept of the AirCard series was only partially continued, with housing design and technology there were stronger changes than between AirCard 790s and AirCard 810 back then. The AC810 LTE mobile hotspot (AC810-100EUS) is from Aircard family. The Nighthawk M1 (MR1100-100EUS) is from the Nighthawk family, and this M1 is to be regarded as a direct successor to the AC810 and has been officially available since the beginning of 2018.
The battery of the Netgear Nighthawk M1 offers a higher capacity than the AirCard 810. Both of the batteries are chargeable, the Nighthawk M1 has 5,040 mAh compared with the much stronger battery (AC810: 2,930 mAh).
Appearance & Connection
The two hotspots are in different design. The AirCard 810 router is significantly smaller than the Nighthawk M1, but still comparatively large for a mobile LTE hotspot. It has a big touch screen display on the front of the AC810. The Nighthawk M1 also has a very eye-catching display, but the screen isn’t touchable. From this part, AirCard 810 router take over more advantages.
In terms of connections, the Nighthawk M1 is ahead. In addition to USB Type C for charging and connecting to the computer, the M1 offers a standard USB port for use as a power bank (charging other devices) as well as an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port. Both WLAN hotspots are equipped with two TS-9 connections for inserting an external antenna to boost the signal.
LTE modem: Cat11 vs.. cat16
From the aspect of technical specification, M1 is more powerful than the AC810. Netgear Nighthawk M1 is equipped with the Qualcomm chipset, supports 4CC CA and 4 × 4 MIMO antenna technology. But AC810 can only supports 2 × 2 MIMO.
The AC810 is a LTE CAT11 modem, the maximum download speed is 1Gbps, and the upload speed is 50Mbps. For the M1, this is more noticeable. It is a LTE CAT16 modem with 1Gbps download speeds, and 150Mbps upload speeds.
Speaking of the wireless network performance, M1 does a better job than AC810. In theory, both hotspots could be up to 768 MBit / s. if you want to use the full LTE modem speed, so you should better access the wired connection via USB or Ethernet LAN. Both devices support WLAN at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. However, the M1 could enable 20 devices connected via WLAN, compared with only 15 users with the AC810.
Both AC810 and M1 offer a offload function, also known as “WLAN Extender”. As an alternative to the integrated mobile modem, users can use an existing WLAN connection as Internet access. In the case of the Nighthawk M1, Internet access can alternatively also be established via the RJ45 LAN interface, while AC810 can’t.
Operation and software
In terms of operation and configuration, both of the two Netgear LTE routers can configure via Web interface or Netgear Mobile APP. But for Aircard 810 which has a touch screen, users could do some basic setting by touching the screen.
The web interface offers a bit more features compared to the Netgear Nighthawk M1, but the AC810 is by no means badly positioned here. Both devices are easy to use, the app is suitable for less technically savvy users, maybe even better for the operation than the web interface.
In direct comparison, the Nighthawk M1 is clearly the better router. The modem is better and provides on average for higher data rates, there is a RJ45 LAN connection and the battery has been improved significantly compared to the AirCard 810. T
However, as refer to the price, Aircard 810 is more competive, and it is still one of the most fastest LTE mobile hotspot. It also offers a more compact and pocket-compatible housing and can be operated via touch screen.