The Netgear Orbi is a mesh WiFi sytem that is easy to set up and delivers great performance. The Netgear Orbi uses a router and an add-on satellite unit, which works as a wireless extender for the Orbi router. It’s essentially two routers in one, with the second unit acting like a glorified Wi-Fi extender.
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Pro Double the performance of most of its competitors even up to 30ft away and through dense walls
Keeping the Orbi router around 30 feet and two walls away, the Orbi extension projected 429.1 Mbps to a laptop one floor above. This is almost double the performance other mesh network systems provide.
In the Purch Labs material-penetration tests, the Orbi's transmissions were powerful enough to penetrate a metal-frame wall, a ceiling and a soundboarded wall with very little drop-off.
This tri-band AC3000 device can deliver theoretical throughput speeds of 1,266Mbps (400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 866Mbps on the 5GHz band). The third 5GHz band can reach maximum speeds of 1,733Mbps. In real life testing the Orbi router turns in a score of 480Mbps, and the satellite delivers 470Mbps.
Pro Good covarage
The Netgear Orbi WiFi system can cover up to 6,000 square feet home. The router itself can cover 2,000 square feet and one satellite unit covers additional 2,000 square feet. It’s possible to add a second extender for a total coverage of 6,000 square feet.
The idea is that you would put the main router near your ISP's modem and then just add the extender where it’s needed the most.
Pro Simple setup
Setting up the Orbi is very easy, you don't need to have any prior knowledge on how to set up a mesh network or how Wi-Fi works. All you need to do is to turn on the main router, download the Orbi app, and follow few simple steps.
Then you need to find a place for satellite where you can get best possible coverage. Connection between main router and satellite will be done automatically.
Pro Amazon Alexa integration
Netgear Orbi supports some integration with Amazon Alexa. Admittedly for now it only supports simple stuff like turning on or off the guest network, but the potential is there.
Pro The desktop app allows a good degree of customization
Besides the obvious, like changing the password and network name, the Orbi desktop app, once connected allows users to customize things like adjust the router's maximum transmission unit or perform port forwarding and configuring IPV6 addressing.
You can also set up a guest network using the desktop app.
Con Expensive for bigger homes
Orbi Home WiFi System is available for just under $400. It includes a router and an extender which will cover 4,000 square feet. However if this isn’t enough for you and you need better coverage, you can get a third device for an extra $250, which makes it a total of $650.
Con Only three months of tech support are included for free
Although Netgear offers one year warranty for the Orbi, they only offer three months of free tech support.
Con May occupy too much space for some people
The host and extensions measure at 8.9 inches x 6.7 inches x 3.1 inches which may be too large for some homes.