Netgear Orbi Full Review 2021: What Makes It A Perfect Mash Wi-Fi System
As advertised, Netgear Orbi is a worry-free WiFi solution. It’s time to say goodbye to your Wireless routers or Extenders as Netgear Orbi is here
- Netgear Orbi is to cover your large homes.
- It can deliver fast, reliable WiFi without any lag.
- It uses “Tri-band mesh wifi,” an award-winning technology.
- Netgear claims that Orbi is 100% faster than Google Wifi.
Netgear has launched its four different versions by now:
- RBK50 – A set of 2 units
- RBK33 – A set of 3 units
- RBK23 – A set of 3 units
- RBK50v – A set of 2 units
Short Description for all four routers:
They all feature parental controls. However, WiFi speeds vary in different models, for instance, RBK50 can go up to 3Gbps (AC3000), covers 5000 sq.ft, RBK33 (AC2200) up to 2.2Gbps, covers 5,000 Sq.ft., RBK23 up to 2.2Gbps (AC2200), covers 6,000 sq.ft., and RBK50v up to 3Gbps(AC3000), covers 4,500 sq.ft. None of them comes with built-in Alexa feature, except RBK50.
Here I am reviewing only popular one which is RBK50 AC3000, the set of 2 units.
Pros and Cons of Netgear Orbi:
- Great performance and excellent WiFi speed.
- It uses only SSID.
- Management via an Android app is easy, and simple setup.
- Provides excellent coverage and speed.
- No common issues like signal drop, disconnect, etc.
- Capable of using Ethernet ports from other satellite routers.
- It has a dedicated backhaul.
- Doesn’t require cloud management.
I Don’t Like:
- It is expensive than the competition.
- Satellites routers are big in size.
Overall Netgear Orbi’s performance is outstanding. It is the right way to cover larger areas without the hassle which come across with most mesh wifi systems.
The Netgear Orbi ultra-performance whole wifi system is the fastest and of course, the most expensive router in the market by now.
However, it is capable of covering up to 3000 sq.ft. of your home or office area. It is somewhat AC3000 standard router and works flawlessly on the Tri-band technology.
Aforementioned, it doesn’t come with Built-in Alexa, but you are lucky enough, it supports voice control over Alexa, provided you have to buy Alexa Device.
It is made of pure white matte plastic and a set of 2 identical units in which one works as a router and another one as a satellite. Both the units of Orbi weight around 1.96 pounds or 889g.
On the back side, it has a Sync button along with three Ethernet LAN ports which allow you to connect other devices to them, and one Ethernet WAN port for connecting your main modem.
You are free to connect Network Attach Storage (link) to the USB port; however, It features USB 2.0 instead of 3.0. To power it up, you get a standard type of power port, not a Type-C as we’ve seen in previously reviewed the EERO wifi system.
One thing which I don’ t like about Orbi is the shape and size. However, both units look good, but they are big in size, which makes it difficult to place around.
If we see other rivals like Google WiFi, EERO, etc., they all are quite small and very easy to put them on a bookcase or a high-shelf.
Setup becomes easy as it has Orbi’s “Tri-band mesh” technology which makes this process simple enough. Unlike EERO, where it was necessary to have an app as you couldn’t set the EERO using a web browser. But Orbi setup is possible, whether you use any web browser or the Orbi app.
To Set up the Orbi router and satellite, you need to follow 8 easy steps:
- Connect the modem to the yellow port located on the back side using the ethernet cable which comes with it.
- Now, connect the router to a power source.
- Wait until router’s LED turns into solid white and pulse white afterward.
- It’s time to place the satellite in the middle of your office or house.
- Power the Orbi satellite using any power source.
- Wait for the satellite’s ring LED to light solid white, after that pulse white, then pulse magenta.
- Connect your mobile phone or computer to the router.
- After connecting, Go to http://orbilogin.com and follow the instructions in order to set up the Orbi network.
Watch the following video which covers the steps I explained:
Netgear’s Orbi performance is remarkable, no doubt! The tri-band mesh WiFi and Fastlane 3 technology can handle multiple devices without any issue, and there will be no slowdowns at all as it maximizes the internet speeds, in the result, provides ultimate coverage.
It has high-performance internal antennas to extend the range of the WiFi. Its performance depends on where you place it; otherwise, it’ll show you an amber LED light which refers to “slow internet connection.”
It supports both Multi-user, MU-MIMO (Multiple-input, Multiple-Output) and beamforming. However, the Netgear disabled them because some people were having some reliability issues.
To use them, you have to enable these settings first, which is an easy process. Indeed, by enabling them, you might see improvement in performance.
The Orbi has dedicated backhaul feature, Google wifi and other mesh wifi routers use common radios which are basically used for the user traffic.
But in Orbi’s case, It has dedicated radios which separate the traffic and user bandwidth from each other; this feature plays a significant role in its performance.
Netgear Orbi uses one of the popular chipsets “Qualcomm Atheros IPQ4019” and powered by Quad-core Arm Cortex A7 processor that clocked at 717Mhz. Orbi is the only mesh WiFi router that uses Qualcomm’s Son technology. Moreover, It features Bluetooth 4.1 SoC.
The Netgear Orbi is an Ac standard (AC3000) router. The company claims, its speeds can reach up to 400Mbps on 2.4Ghz radio band and Maximum up to 867Mbps on 5.7Ghz radio band.
It is not a cheap wifi system like Google and EERO. The Netgear Orbi is being sold out at $399 and available in the UK, US, and Australia.
As I mentioned, it the set of 2 units in which one is the router itself and second satellite, this is all you get inside the box. If you are willing to add more satellites to it, you may have to pay an extra $249 or $270, depending on your location.
Its one unit can cover up to 4000 square feet. So it is up to you, how many units you need according to your house size.
I found Netgear Orbi fast, quick and reliable in its class. As I said earlier, Its speeds depend on various factors which may be different for every other user.
It’s a feature-packed home wifi mesh system introduced by Netgear and has everything that most people want in a perfect router.
Orbi is an excellent option for those who want to replace their old devices like wireless routers, extenders, and access points.
However, it is an expensive device if compared to other competitors; they can provide you with such features at lower prices.