The NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system is a beast of a router system and I’m going to take you through what makes it stand apart from the competition and my impressions of it. However, any time I compare the NETGEAR system to other competing Wi-Fi routers, those comments are completely my own and they did not come from NETGEAR. All right with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive into an overview of the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system.
When I first opened up the box and saw, My Orbi router and satellite the first thing I noticed was holy crap, there are so many internet ports on both the main router and the satellite which is awesome. The main router has a 2.5 gigabits per second port and four LAN gigabit ethernet ports while each satellite includes four LAN gigabit ethernet ports. Not having enough ports has been a common complaint a lot of people have had around their Wi-Fi mesh systems over the years where the routers and points either have one port for additional wired Ethernet like the Euro 6 Pro.
I’ve been testing, or just no additional ports at all like with the Nest Wi-Fi point. The router and satellite also have a nice minimalist design aesthetic. The design language is clean to me and has a great PS5 vibe going on with its matte white plastic and black accent. The Orbi router and satellite are taller than both the Euro 6 Pro, TP-Link Deco, and Nest Wi-Fi I’ve tested but also flatter and they don’t stick out as far as those other routers in terms of width.
NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 Mesh design
Now one advantage this design gives the router and satellite is with its internal antenna design. By making the router and satellite taller, the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi6 mesh system has an advantage of being able to push out a greater Wi-Fi signal to my car parked in my garage across the street compared to any other router I’ve tested so far. I’m used to getting like barely any signal in my garage from my other Wi-Fi routers but with the Orbi I’m seeing almost full bars in my garage with the garage door closed which is fantastic for tasks like downloading software updates for my Tesla.
The main router paired with one satellite is rated for up to 5,000 square feet of coverage. The mesh system works by having your main router plugged into a modem and then will wirelessly connect to the satellite to extend coverage of your Wi-Fi network. The NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system also features tri-band mesh technology, which creates a faster and more stable connection between the satellite and main router by reserving a dedicated Wi-Fi link for communication between the Orbi router and the Orbi Satellite.
Now in terms of setting up the system, this is done with the Orbi app which can be downloaded from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and will guide you through setup, which is pretty simple. You just scan the QR code found at the bottom of the Orbi satellites and router to link them to the app and then follow the instructions for setting up your network, including your Wi-Fi network name and password.
Now, the Orbi’s app does much more than just set up your NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system. One setup you can do things like simply check the status of your network and see the device is currently connected to your network through the device manager section of the app. In that section, you can also easily pause and resume Wi-Fi for a specific device. The Orbi app also allows you to test the speed of your network.
And so far I’ve been seeing very little difference in wired and wireless speeds with this system, but do know to I do live in an apartment so I’m typically close to the main router and depending on your home configuration how many satellites you have how far away you are from the main router your experience may slightly differ from mine. The Orbi app gives you easy access to turn on guest Wi-Fi, has a traffic meter to help you monitor how much data is being used on your network and you can also enable access everywhere so you can see your router’s status while you’re away from home.
The Orbi app also has an integrated support section in case you need to reach out to NETGEAR’s support and even has a nice section that will show you your open and closed cases with support. Now the last area to talk about with the Orbi app is the Armor Security section.
This is a service NETGEAR provides that gives your network a security score and tells you ways you can improve your router’s security. It’s a yearly subscription service that costs $69.99 in the US and also comes with Bitdefender which adds an extra layer of cybersecurity onto your devices. It also has a nice threat section showing you potentially malicious websites that the router has automatically blocked as well as vulnerabilities detected on your network.
WiFi 6 – Why it’s important
All right, so that’s the Orbi app. Now the last thing I want to mention about the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system is the Wi-Fi 6 part of that title. Why is Wi-Fi 6 so important and what is Wi-Fi 6? Well, Wi-Fi 6 is one of the latest standards in Wi-Fi and can do things for you like give you increased speeds, the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 must system can give you reliable speeds of up to 6 gigabits per second. Another thing to keep in mind about Wi-Fi 6 is that Wi-Fi 6 was a standard developed to help Wi-Fi networks handle more devices on the network.
The NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system takes advantage of this by being able to handle over a hundred devices on the network at once which is perfect for the things that I have in my apartment, like my smart speakers, computers, phones, smart appliances, etc.
Alright, and that’s the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh system. You get ultra fast speeds with an antenna optimized design that gives you great range so you can work, stream browse, upload, and download uninterrupted in every room of your home and the system allows you to take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6 gigabit speeds and can manage over 100 devices on the network simultaneously.