When comparing Google WiFi 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 Google WiFi is ranked 4th. 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.
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Pro Smart features prevent congestion and manages complex settings
Google WiFi uses built in software, called Network Assist technology, that works behind the scenes to deliver the best possible WiFi connection. When you're walking around the house, Network Assist seamlessly transitions your device to the closest WiFi point for faster connection. It also automatically connects your device to the fastest available band based on your location.
Pro Easy to setup trough Google Wifi app
The Google WiFi app makes setup very simple. Once you've downloaded the app, you'll have to scan the QR code on the bottom of the WiFi point, which creates a secure connection between the device and your phone. After that all you have to do is to enter the name and password and the app will do everything else in the background.
Pro Up to 4,500 sq. ft. of coverage
Each hardware unit is called a WiFi point and you can have up to three units. One unit will cover 1,500 square feet, and three units will cover 4,500 square feet. So depending on the size of your home you can choose how many WiFi points you need and place them where they are needed the most.
Pro App helps you monitor and control your home Wi-Fi
The Google Wifi app for Android and iOS allows complete monitoring and control of your network in a user friendly app. You can see which devices are connected and how much bandwidth each is using. You can prioritize devices for faster speeds when it matters most, even pause your kids' internet for dinner time.
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 No web-based interface
The WiFi system can only be set up and controlled via the Google WiFi mobile app. A Google account and a mobile device are required for setup and management.
Con Wireless signal extension causes loss of signal
Each time you extend the signal wirelessly, signal loss will occur, which basically means slower speeds. You can mitigate this by placing the satellite units around the first router unit, but it will also mean worse coverage.
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.