Netgear Orbi comparison 2021 – can you play 4K game?

Netgear Orbi comparison 2021
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Do you need WiFi coverage outdoors or near a water source? The Orbi Outdoor Satellite is weather-resistant and can be used outdoors or near a water source. Do you need Ethernet ports on your Orbi satellite? With the exception of the following Orbi satellites, all Orbi products have at least one Ethernet port. If you need an Orbi satellite with an Ethernet port, do not buy the following Orbi satellites – RBS50Y, RBW30. If you already own an Orbi router, you can pair it with the Orbi Voice. The Orbi Voice speaker features Amazon Alexa. So which is worth buying for you? Our Netgear Orbi comparison 2021 will guide you either you look for better room coverage, WiFi speed, highest number of device connection or parental control feature.

Specification of the recent Netgear Orbi 6

  • Triband, AX6000 mesh router with AX6000 satellite
  • 4×4 5GHz band, 4×4 2GHz band, additional 5GHz backhaul band
  • Quad-core CPU, 2.2GHz
  • 1GB RAM, 512MB flash memory
  • WPA3 encryption
  • Two-piece system covers up to 5,000 square feet
  • Router includes 2.5GB WAN port and four gigabit Ethernet jacks
  • Satellites include four gigabit Ethernet jacks
  • System supports Wi-Fi 6

Price – Netgear Orbi comparison

Then again, the Nest Wifi costs less than half as much as the Orbi, which sells for a whopping $700, though at time of writing was down to $600 at Best Buy. (In the UK they’re £239 and £710 respectively. The Netgear is not widely available in Australia, but the Nest costs AU$399.) Does that make Nest the better bargain, or is Orbi worth the splurge for the extra horsepower?

The two-pack kit (model number RBK50) starts at $329 and is rated to cover 5,000 square feet. An extra satellite costs $249 for a standard unit and adds another 2,000 square feet of coverage; you can also add the Orbi Voice ($99) as an extension, which not only offers more coverage, but also adds Amazon Alexa voice control and audio.

RBK852 vs RBK752 Netgear Orbi comparison

Netgear is launching a second model of its Orbi mesh router with support for Wi-Fi 6, following up on a high-end model released last fall. This new version, eloquently named the RBK752, is more of a midrange model, offering slightly decreased performance at a slightly decreased price. This is still an Orbi router, though, so it’s still expensive: $450 for a router and satellite. The high-end model, the RBK852, offers the same bundle for $700.

While cheaper, this new model is still a fairly capable mesh system. The RBK752 is a tri-band system, meaning it has a radio dedicated to serving as a wireless link between the units, and it offers four user-facing streams of connectivity with a theoretical maximum speed of 4.2Gbps. That’s down from eight streams and 6Gbps on the RBK852.

Netgear Orbi comparison – RBK50 vs RBK40 vs RBK20

SPECIFICATIONSORBI RBK50ORBI RBK40ORBI RBK20
TOTAL SYSTEM UNITS222
COVERAGEUp to 5,000 sq ftUp to 4,000 sq ftUp to 4,000 sq ft
WIFI TECHNOLOGY3 (Tri-band)
(4×4, 2×2, 2×2)
3 (Tri-band)
(2×2, 2×2, 2×2)
3 (Tri-band)
(2×2, 2×2, 2×2)
WIFI SPEED RATING (PER UNIT)AC3000AC2200AC2200
NUMBER OF LAN PORTS/DEVICE3 on Router
4 per Satellite
3 on Router
4 per Satellite
1 lan port on Router
2 per Satellite
DEDICATED BACKHAULYes, up to 1.7 GbpsYes, up to 867 MbpsYes, up to 867 Mbps
HIGH POWER AMPLIFIERS FOR BEST RANGE Yes Yes Yes
PHONE OR EMAIL REQUIRED FOR SET UPNoNoNo
REQUIRES CLOUD SERVICE TO OPERATENoNoNo
PRE-PAIRED UNITS FOR EASY INSTALL Yes Yes Yes
APP AND BROWSER BASED INSTALLATION Yes Yes Yes
VPN TERMINATION SUPPORT FOR EASY REMOTE ACCESS Yes Yes Yes

Does RBK853 have highest speed and coverage?

Orbi RBK853Orbi RBK753Orbi CBK752
COVERAGE7,500 sq ft7,500 sq ft5,000 sq. ft.
TOP SPEED6 Gbps4.2 Gbps4.2Gbps
SUPPORTED DEVICESUp to 60+Up to 40+40+
WIFI BANDSTri-bandTri-bandTri-band, WiFi 6
NETGEAR ARMOR CYBER SECURITYYesYesYes
SMART PARENTAL CONTROLSNoNoNo

Which can connect maximum devices – Netgear Orbi comparison?

Orbi RBK852Orbi RBK752Orbi RBK13
COVERAGE5,000 sq ft5,000 sq ft4,500 sq ft
TOP SPEED6 Gbps4.2 Gbps1.2 Gbps
SUPPORTED DEVICESUp to 60+Up to 40+Up to 15
WIFI BANDSTri-band, WiFi 6Tri-bandDual-band
NETGEAR ARMOR CYBER SECURITYYesYes, 1 yrYes
SMART PARENTAL CONTROLSNoNoYes

Compare Orbi WiFi system – RBK50 vs RBK43S

Orbi RBK50Orbi RBK43SOrbi LBR20
COVERAGE5,000 sq ft6,000 sq ft2000 sq ft
TOP SPEED3 Gbps2.2 Gbps2.2 Gbps
SUPPORTED DEVICES25+20+20+
WIFI BANDSTri-bandTri-bandTri-band
NETGEAR ARMOR CYBER SECURITYYesYes, 1 yr. free)Yes
SMART PARENTAL CONTROLSYesYesYes

Netgear Orbi coverage and speed comparison

Orbi CBR750Orbi RBK23Orbi RBK20W
COVERAGE3,750 sq. ft.6,000 sq ft3,500 sq ft
TOP SPEED4.2Gbps2.2 Gbps2.2 Gbps
SUPPORTED DEVICES40+20+Up to 20
WIFI BANDSTri-band, WiFi 6Tri-bandTri-band
NETGEAR ARMOR CYBER SECURITYYesYesYes
SMART PARENTAL CONTROLSNoYesYes

Best overall – Netgear Orbi AC1200

Netgear brought the cost down by sticking with Wi-Fi 5, ditching the built-in Alexa speaker that comes with the Orbi Voice and skipping the tri-band approach and the dedicated 5GHz backhaul band that other Orbi systems use to connect each device in the mesh. I wonder if Netgear missed an opportunity by not branding this system as “Orbi Lite.”

I did a double take the first time I saw the price tag for the slimmed down, dual-band version of the Netgear Orbi mesh router system. At $200 for a three-piece setup (or less, if you catch it on sale), it’s a clear value pick — and a dramatic turnaround from the original Netgear Orbi, which was way too expensive at $400 for a two-pack.

It all makes for a less robust mesh system than other Orbi setups, but I hardly noticed in my tests. Among the Wi-Fi 5 systems I’ve tested, the dual-band Netgear Orbi actually notched the fastest top speeds at close range, it kept up with the Nest and Eero in our real-world speed tests and it offered excellent signal strength in the large Smart Home.

Netgear’s app isn’t as clean or intuitive as Nest’s or Eero’s, and the network didn’t seem quite as steady as those two as it steered me from band to band in my tests, but those are quibbles at this price. If you just want something affordable — perhaps to tide you over until you’re ready to make the upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 — then the new Netgear Orbi definitely deserves your consideration.

Good for WiFi 6 – Netgear Orbi AX6000

At a retail price of $700 for a two-pack, the newest, brawniest version of the Netgear Orbi is too expensive to recommend outright — but if you just want the fastest mesh router money can buy, look no further.

With full support for Wi-Fi 6 and a second 5GHz band that serves as a dedicated backhaul connection for the router and its satellites, the powerful system was downright impressive in our tests, with top speeds of nearly 900Mbps at close range in our lab. That’s one of the fastest numbers we’ve ever seen from a mesh router in that test, and it only fell to 666Mbps at a distance of 75 feet — which is still faster than we saw from the Nest Wifi up close, just 5 feet away.

Things got even more impressive when we took the Orbi AX6000 home to test its performance in a real-world setting. With an incoming internet connection of 300Mbps serving as a speed limit, the system returned an average speed throughout the whole home of 289Mbps, including speeds at the farthest point from the router that were 95% as fast as when connecting up close. That’s an outstanding result — no other mesh router I’ve tested in my home comes close.

Again, the problem is the price: $700 is simply too expensive for most folks, especially given that you’ll need a connection of at least 500Mbps in order to notice much of a difference between this system and others we like that cost less than half as much.

Still, if the Orbi AX6000 ever goes on sale, I know I’ll be tempted. In the meantime, know that Netgear just quietly released a less expensive AX4200 version of the Orbi mesh system that costs $450. It’s still a tri-band router that supports Wi-Fi 6, but you don’t get the multigig WAN port that comes with the AX6000 model here. We’ll keep an eye on that one and update this space once we’ve tested it out.

Alternate of Netgear Orbi mesh WiFi

Asus ZenWiFi AX

In fact, the ZenWiFi AX offers the same multigig WAN ports as the Orbi 6, the same dedicated backhaul band to help keep the system transmissions separate from your network traffic, the same ease of setup and steady mesh performance and the same strong performance at range. It even comes in your choice of white or black.

It isn’t quite as fast as the Wi-Fi 6 version of the Netgear Orbi listed above, but the Editors’ Choice Award-winning Asus ZenWiFi AX came awfully close — and at $450 for a two-piece system, it’s a lot easier to afford.

I also appreciated the depth of control in the Asus app, which lets you manage your network and customize that backhaul as you see fit. The price of $450 is still a lot, but this system is strong enough to feel like a worthy upgrade pick for those willing to spend. And, if $450 is a bit too much for your budget, know that there’s a new, smaller version of this system called the Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini. It isn’t as high-powered, but it comes with three devices that all support Wi-Fi 6 for $300, which makes it pretty interesting.

Editor’s recommendation