Orbi - Netgear's Home WiFi System Review

Orbi - Netgear's Home WiFi System Review: Mesh networks have been at the forefront of router technology all through 2016. With more and more households becoming smart homes, it's no surprise to find several laptops, wireless speakers, smart TV and other smart technology. With that being said, manufacturers recognise the need for high-speed internet connections throughout your home.

Recently, we wrote about the eero home Wi-Fi system and the Luma home WiFi system. Both are great incorporations for individuals seeking a more stable internet connection throughout their homes. We've even ahead put up a Luma vs eero comparison article to help you decide which is best. However, in this article, we look at Netgear's Orbi WiFi system.

What is a Wireless Mesh Network?

A wireless mesh network (WMN) is a communications network made up of radio nodes organised in a mesh topology. It is also a form of wireless ad hoc network. Wireless mesh networks often consist of mesh clients, mesh routers and gateways. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages here.

What is a wireless mesh network?

What is a wireless mesh network? By David Johnson, Karel Matthee, Dare Sokoya, Lawrence Mboweni, Ajay Makan, and Henk Kotze (Wireless Africa, Meraka Institute, South Africa) - Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network: A do-it-yourself guide to planning and building a Freifunk based mesh network, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30799980

What is Orbi WiFi? - Netgear's Solution to Slow & Unreliable Internet Connections

There are a few Netgear Orbi reviews on the web, however, we're going to go a bit more in-depth with our review. So, what is NetGear's Orbi? According to the official Netgear release, Orbi is the World’s First Tri-Band Home WiFi System. Orbi provides reliable, secure and fast WiFi to your entire home.

orbi

Orbi WiFi Home System

Design

NetGear's Orbi strays away from the other designs like the eero's flat design. Netgear opted for a standing rounded pillar. However, much like most mesh network systems, the Orbi features a minimalist look.

To the front, you see the Orbi logo, although, there is no Netgear logo. On the back side of the Orbi router there exist ports for USB connections, power supply, and wired connection ports. The typical router looks and feel.

Image result for orbi, orbi wifi system

Orbi Features - What Makes it Different?

So, what makes the Orbi different from the eero, Luma or the Google WiFi system? Nothing much really. Similar to the eero & Luma wireless home systems, NetGear's Orbi claims to have an easy configuration method. Two Orbis are automatically paired right out of the box.

Also, there is a web-based configuration that you access via your browser (mobile or desktop). Furthermore, unlike typical routers, Orbi utilises one network name instead of two separate names for both the 5GHz & 2.4GHz bands.

Orbi's advanced features include parental controls and automatic updates. Orbi supports the 802.11ac WiFi standard. The Orbi services more than 20 devices and even has the ability to detect where each of those devices is located and push a stronger “smart signal” toward the device.

Moreover, the Netgear's Orbi handles WiFi speeds up to 3 Gbps. What does this mean? It means that you'd see a difference in quality if you stream video games and the likes.

For example, on the 5GHz band, the eero can put out a maximum of about 600 Mbps, the Luma is a bit faster with 867 Mbps, however, the Orbi allows speeds up to 1,733 Mbps. More on this speed comparison in our Netgear Orbi vs Luma & Netgear Orbi vs eero articles. And, of course, we'll have an eero vs Luma vs Orbi article as well.

Features

  • WiFi You Can Rely On. Everywhere.

Take WiFi devices from room to room with seamless coverage. It takes just two Orbi units to cover up to 4,000 square foot homes with high-performance AC3000 tri-band WiFi.

  •  Max Internet Speeds.

    Orbi uses Tri-Band Mesh WiFi to keep your Internet running at maximum speeds, no matter how many devices connect.

  •  Setup Like Never Before.

    With simple setup from your mobile device, your secure Home WiFi network is ready in just minutes.

What’s in the Box?

  • One Orbi Router (RBR50)
  • (1) Orbi Satellite (RBS50)
  • A single 2m Ethernet cable
  • Two (2) 12V/ 3.5A power adapters
  • Quick start guide

Physical Specifications

  • Dimension

    • 6.67x 2.36 x 8.89 in each
  • Weight

    • 1.96 lb each

Technical Specifications

  • Wireless Connectivity

    • AC3000 (1733 + 866 + 400Mbps)†

    • Simultaneous Tri-Band WiFi

      • IEEE® 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz–256QAM support
      • IEEE® 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz–256QAM support
  • Memory

    • 4GB Flash and 512MB RAM
  • Antenna

    • Six (6) high-performance antennas with high-powered amplifiers
  • Beamforming

    • Implicit/Explicit Beamforming for 2.4 & 5GHz bands (1733 + 866 + 400Mbps)†
  • MU-MIMO

    • MU-MIMO capable for simultaneous data streaming on multiple devices
  • Ports

    • Four (4) 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports1 WAN + 3 LAN for Router4 LAN for SatelliteOne (1) USB 2.0 port
  • Guest WiFi network

    • Easily setup separate and secure Internet access for guests
  • † Maximum wireless signal range derived from IEEE standard 802.11 specifications. Actual data throughput and data over distance will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including the volume of network traffic, building material and construction, and network overhead, result in lower actual data throughput rate and wireless coverage.

Video: Unboxing the Orbi WiFi System from NETGEAR

NETGEAR: This is the Orbi WiFi System. It features AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi to cover your home, corner to corner, with high-speed WiFi. Orbi helps prevent buffering and lag by creating a high-speed Internet superhighway for all of your devices.

The Orbi Tri-band WiFi System works with your current ISP’s modem to maximise the speed you are paying for. The standard kit of 2 units covers 4,000 square feet with the option to expand the network 2,000 more square feet per Orbi Satellite.  You can easily setup your Orbi units with your mobile devices in just minutes.

How to Setup Orbi

The following video shows an overview of how to install the Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi System. However, you can read through the tutorial first if you so desire.

NETGEAR: First, unplug the power to your current modem or gateway and remove any backup batteries. Use the included white ethernet cable to connect the Orbi router to your gateway and plug in the power.

Your Orbi router will pulse white and then become solid. Now, take the Orbi satellite to a central location in your home. Plug in the satellite and it should also pulse white until a connection to the Orbi router is established.

If the Satellite has a strong connection, it will light BLUE and then turn off. If there is a weak connection, it will light AMBER. Move the Satellite closer to the router and try again.

If the Satellite lights MAGENTA, the connection was unsuccessful and you need to move the Satellite closer to the router. To attempt to connect the Satellite and Router again, press the sync button on the back of both units.

Once the Orbi system is connected and properly placed, grab your mobile device and connect to the Orbi network with the default network name and password printed on the bottom of the router.

Navigate to Orbilogin.com on your web browser. Follow the instructions and the Orbi will confirm you are connected to the internet. Now click 'next' to detect the Orbi Satellite. This may take some time. Once the satellite is detected, click 'setup' to configure.

You'll then be prompted to change the default username and password for your admin credentials if you'd like. Continue to change your wireless network name and password. Continue to follow the instructions to complete configuration. Your Orbi network should now be ready to power your home!

Video: How to Install your Orbi WiFi System | NETGEAR

This Video will help with any confusion regarding the process to get this setup done quickly and easily.

Orbi WiFi Review

So, is the Orbi wifi system a great choice? Well, the NETGEAR AC1900 WiFi Range Extender was already great. However, Netgear ups performance with the Orbi. Even with a range extender, most existing routers support only a “single hop”. Needless to say that data only makes one jump from the primary router to the range extender. Now, with the Orbi, that single hop flows through your entire home.

Orbi’s mesh network allows data to make multiple hops with a minimal signal loss. Consequently, you always have a secure & fast connection.  Have a look at the video review below to understand just how the Orbi home wifi network works.

Video: Netgear Orbi: A Detailed Review

Tech Gear Talk: In this video, I’m providing a detailed review of the Netgear Orbi. I include info about the Orbi system as well as why I am replacing my current Netgear X6 Nighthawk AC3200.

Pretty good stuff right? The Orbi is available on Amazon for $599.00 (3-orbis), $199.00 (single eero), and $379 (2 Orbis). Compared to the Luma router & eero WiFi system, these prices are a bit higher.

The single pack luma retails for $149 on Amazon. Furthermore, an additional Luma capsule racks up the price to about $300. Meanwhile, the Luma Home WiFi System - 3-pack costs $399The eero is available on Amazon for $499.00 (3-eeros), $199.00 (single eero), and $375.95 (2 eeros).

When can you get the Orbi router? Rest assured that regular shipping is available.  Also, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can get 2-day shipping or same day delivery on some offers. There's a free 30 trial of prime for you here.

Conclusion

Are you looking for a reliable WiFi Range Extender? Then, the Orbi does the job of the best extenders on the market. Furthermore, with the intuitive application, monitoring & maintaining your home's WiFi is easier than ever.

However, being on the higher end of the price spectrum might deter you from buying the device. Nonetheless, the Orbi WiFi system is one of the best on the market. Also, NetGear does have a history of providing quality routers. But, if you're looking for cheaper alternatives, the Google Wifi system costs about half the price of the Orbi and might just be a better fit for you (price wise).

The Orbi is available on Amazon for $599.00 (3-orbis) and $379 (2 Orbis). Thanks for reading, Orbi WiFi - Netgear's Orbi Router Review - Home WiFi System on OrDuh! Be sure to share the post and your thoughts in the comments below. Also, for further information on NetGear's Orbi, check out the official website.