When comparing AmpliFi HD vs Netgear Orbi RBK50, the Slant community recommends Netgear Orbi RBK50 for most people. In the question“What are the best mesh network Wi-Fi systems?” Netgear Orbi RBK50 is ranked 2nd while AmpliFi HD is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose Netgear Orbi RBK50 is:
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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro A small or midsize home can be covered with just the router
AmpliFi router on its own has a range of 90 feet, which should be more than enough for a small or midsize home.
Pro Easy network management through a companion app
It has an intuitive companion app that enables instant setup, includes powerful reporting metrics, and provides easy guest access. If there’s a network problem, you can resolve it via your app. There’s also constant reporting on network security.
Pro A snap to set up
To set up the router you just need to download the app and follow the step-by-step guide. The whole process takes a few minutes.
Pro Looks cool
The AmpliFi HD router has a unique design. It is a small white cube, with a round 1.6-inch touchscreen, that can show date, time or your upload and download speeds.
Pro Great throughput
The Amplifi HD averages around 705 Mbps of throughput at a close distance of 5 feet. At 140 feet, that throughput drops to 177.5 Mbps — more than enough to share a 100 Mbps broadband connection, which is the top speed that majority of computers, phones or tablets can handle.
Pro Excellent coverage
The Amplifi HD provides industry leading wireless connectivity coverage of up to 20,000 square feet. The included router and two extenders are best suited for large homes.
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 Mesh access points don't look as appealing as the router itself
The two mesh access points looks like antennas that you would put on the roof of your home. They are 9.6 inches tall and can take up much space on your outlets.
Con Currently lacks MU-MIMO for efficient network management
In situations where two people would try to start video streams at the same exact time on different devices, one of them would be prioritized over the other and it would have to wait until the first had buffered a few bits of data for itself. But usually, you won’t notice a slowdown. This technology will be implemented with AmpliFi HD in the nearest future.
Con Mesh networks can be overkill in many instances
Mesh networks are a very good choice for bigger homes but they can be overkill in many instances. If you're living in an apartment or smaller home, the Amplifi HD system won't be the best solution.
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.