Netgear Orbi - Effective High Speed WiFi 6 Mesh Systems
There's a lot to discuss about multipoint mesh router systems - the clever way that they use range extending satellite units to sling a speedy Wi-Fi signal to all corners of your home. The major problem is always the price. Big names like Eero and Google WiFi gathered positive reviews for their mesh systems, but buying this would cost at least $300. Today things are a little different. Amazon bought Eero and released a new version of the system that costs almost half. Meanwhile, Google released a second-generation mesh router of its own called the Nest WiFi. And Netgear? It released a new version of the Orbi with the price tag of a two-piece mesh setup plus a router.
First Impressions - is it an effective WiFi 6 Mesh System?
This isn't quite the same Orbi as the one we saw the last time around. The devices are comparatively smaller than before, and the hardware inside is less sophisticated. Unlike Nest WiFi or Netgear Orbi Voice, you don't get built-in smart speakers; more notably, you no longer get a dedicated wireless channel, called the backhaul, that's designed specifically to transfer data between the router and the range extenders.
In performance tests, the speed of Netgear Orbi is similar to the Nest and Eero on a reasonably fast internet connection of 300 megabits / second. And in range tests, the new Orbi beats the Nest and Eero outright with better signal strength, particularly for multi-story homes. The app is not the most helpful or easiest to access, but it works well.
Most importantly, the new Netgear Orbi represents true value in the router pathway. It delivers the advantages of a WiFi 6 mesh system at the most affordable price that is currently available. If you just need something that'll get the job done, we'd recommend giving the new Netgear Orbi a chance.
Diminished by Design
The new Orbi is not like the last launch. Going beyond the original Orbi, this one has built-in Harman Kardon Alexa speakers with Voice Control.
All of it gives both the router and the range extender a distinct yet unique appearance. This isn't just a cosmetic refresh along with the size of the devices, the new Orbi also reduced the hardware inside to help reduce the cost. It's still a dual-band system that can automatically steer you between connections on the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, but there isn't a second 5GHz band reserved for the router to transfer the data to the range extenders anymore.
Turning the things around, most of the extra Ethernet jacks are gone, too. There's only one to spare on the router, and none on the extenders. That says you can't wire the extender back to the router for faster performance, and if you have devices like smart home hubs, gaming consoles or media streamers that you'd like to wire to the router itself, only one can work.
USB ports were also removed. The previous model had them, but limited users to the types of printers they could be attached to, and even more so with regards to external storage.
The dual-band Netgear Orbi system offers a 2.4GHz band with top speed of 400Mbps and a 5GHz band with top speed of 866Mbps. Those are the same top speeds as the earlier, more expensive version of the Netgear Orbi. The difference being that the old Orbi is a tri-band WiFi 6 Mesh System that is attached in a second 5GHz band that acts as a dedicated backhaul connection between the router and the satellite, which provides the top speed of 1,733Mbps.
The Netgear Orbi router is an excellent router not only for gamers but also for your entire home. With the advantages of blazing fast speeds this router make handling your simultaneous streaming and gaming demands look easy. A WiFi 6 Mesh System not only provides a great connection, but makes sure that it is reliable available in every corner of even a large home.