Updated at: 02-06-2023 - By: Gemaga

Does the Netgear Orbi live up to its billing as a high-quality office or home wireless router? We tested the Netgear Orbi on three different networks and here are our findings.

The Netgear Orbi is an example of a novel wireless system called a mesh router. This system is an upgraded and more dependable version of the wireless networking technology we’ve all come to know and love. Although mesh wi-fi systems are still in their infancy, they are quickly gaining popularity due to their many advantages over traditional wi-fi routers.

A detailed analysis of the Netgear Orbi, including its features, functionality, and implications for the future of wireless networking, can be found below. Read on if you’re curious about this cutting-edge wireless router system.

Product Combined Tri-Band and Satellite Unit Two Satellite Units One Tri-Band Unit Ultra-Broadband Tri-Band Single Satellite Unit Dual-Band Radio 2 AC Adapters
Coverage The maximum allowed area is 5,000 square feet. Around 600 square meters. Around 5000-5000 sq. ft. The maximum allowed area is 5,000 square feet.
Devices That Can Use It 25 Up to 20 60 Up to 20
The Wi-Fi Standard AC3000 AC2200 AX6000 AC2200
Wireless Network Transfer Rate To 3 Gbps As much as 2.2 Gbps As much as 6 Gbps A maximum of 2.2 Gigabits per second
ISP Bandwidth Grading As much as 500 Mbps Rates as high as 200 Mbps 2.5 Gbps and higher Rates as high as 200 Mbps

The Orbi System

What features of the Netgear Orbi set it apart from more conventional wireless routers? If you have a modest home, apartment, or dorm room, the Orbi offers no advantages over a standard router. But the Orbi really shines in big houses where many people use the Wi-Fi all the time.

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The Orbi, like other wi-fi mesh systems, increases the range of your existing wi-fi network. This could be a person’s house, a classroom, an office building, or any other place where a large wireless “blanket” is required.

Wireless mesh networks combine the functions of a router and range extender. However, a mesh system will protect the same network throughout the entire house rather than broadcasting multiple signals. Signals from the user’s device will be relayed back to the host router via the unit that is geographically closest to the user.

As the quality of wireless internet continues to advance, more and more of these mesh “blanket” systems will become available on the market. But the Orbi is different from anything else on the market because of the way it operates. More information about this topic is provided below.

Why Is Orbi Unique?

The “tri-band” nature of the Netgear Orbi’s wireless makes it stand out from the crowd. In other words, the Orbi not only broadcasts on the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band, but also on a third signal. This is a separate 5 GHz band used for communicating with the primary router.

In contrast, dual-band mesh systems choose between the two standard bands broadcast by routers when transmitting this information. This means that any devices sharing the same frequency band will experience reduced transfer speeds whenever a satellite connection is broadcasting to the primary router.

The Orbi is unlike other wireless mesh systems because it eliminates this major drawback by utilizing a third frequency band. The third band is used exclusively for this type of data transfer, so it is unaffected by background noise or competing signals. Every major internet service provider is compatible with the Orbi.

Netgear Orbi Specs

The Orbi is the first Wi-Fi mesh device we would recommend over a regular Wi-Fi repeater setup because of its innovative design. The Orbi is more expensive than purchasing multiple routers or range extenders separately, so keep that in mind.

The standard two-piece set ranges in price from about $275 to $370. A two-piece “ultra-performance” set can cost up to $700, while a three-piece unit (slightly slower) can cost up to $300, and a central unit with two wall-plug units can cost up to $300.

the ultra performance Orbi set for up to $700

But with that additional cost comes greatly enhanced performance. This wireless mesh system is far superior to any other current option for covering an entire home, even if it can’t match the speed of hardwired connections. This is your best (wireless) option if you want to increase the range of your existing Wi-Fi network throughout your home.

Is It Any Good?

Thankfully, it appears that Netgear Orbi is capable of delivering on its promises. The cost has decreased since its debut and is expected to keep falling. The unit is trustworthy, user-friendly, and largely bug-free.

The product’s longevity remains an open question, but it’s a safe bet that it will be well worth the price.

Netgear Orbi (RBK50) review

Amazing in every way, the Netgear Orbi RBK50 AC3000 mesh-router system can blanket even a sizable house in lightning-fast Wi-Fi. It can be set up in minutes and outperforms similarly priced alternatives in terms of range and processing power. Orbi’s ability to prioritize router-to-extension data traffic means that your household can get the most out of its internet connection.

This is one of the more expensive home Wi-Fi kits, with prices starting at $329 for a two-pack. However, the added cost is justified if you need to cover a great distance quickly. That’s why we picked the Orbi as one of the top mesh Wi-Fi systems available today.

What’s included

The RBK50 two-pack can protect up to 5,000 square feet for an initial investment of $329. If you need coverage for more than the initial 2,000 square feet, you can purchase an additional satellite for $249 for a standard unit or the Orbi Voice ($99) as an extension, which not only provides additional coverage but also adds Amazon Alexa voice control and audio. Learn more in our in-depth analysis of the Netgear Orbi Voice.

There is no comparable mesh-router system available for less money. Three Google Wifi systems cost $299/£329, while three packs of Eero and Luma cost $400. If you’re looking for a system that comes close to matching the Orbi, consider the Linksys Velop. A three-pack will set you back $500/£500, but you can get two units for $350/£350. The Orbi, on the other hand, boasts better coverage in terms of area covered.

The Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD, a three-router system that costs $350, claims to cover an enormous 20,000 square feet, while the Amped Wireless Ally Plus, a two-router system that costs $300, claims to cover 15,000 square feet. We’re doing our best to verify those figures with laboratory analysis.


The Netgear Orbi host and extensions, with their distinctive oval cross-section, are rather bulky compared to the compact Luma and Google Wifi routers. They measure 8.9 by 6.8 by 3.1 inches (HWD). Each Orbi unit is too big to discreetly tuck away, though you can use one as a bookend on a shelf.

The Orbi units, much like Google Wifi, employ color-coded LEDs. When the white ring of light appears around the oval on top of an Orbi device, it is booting up. Everything is fine as long as the light is blue. If it’s glowing amber, your network strength is low; if it’s glowing magenta, your connection has completely failed. The Orbi uses tri-band wireless transmission to cover more ground. The maximum theoretical throughput to user devices from the primary 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios is 1.2Gbps.

But there’s a catch: Netgear includes a second 5-GHz, 1.7Gbps radio that’s only used for backhaul, or the data being sent from the router Orbi unit to the satellite Orbis and back. The primary connections between the Orbi units and your devices maintain their strength and speed thanks to this backup channel.

Each Orbi device has six high-performance amplified antennas spread out around its perimeter to accommodate this setup. The Bluetooth radio and antenna are present as well, though they are currently inactive.

Orbi’s router and satellite devices are not interchangeable, despite appearances to the contrary. You can’t just pick one device at random to be the router and another to be the repeater.

Although the router can support up to three satellites, they all communicate with the host router in a hub-and-spoke configuration rather than a true mesh topology.

Each Orbi has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a power input on the back. Your broadband modem should plug into the yellow port on the router. The other LAN ports can be used to hook up to fixed computers, printers, and NAS devices.

The router also includes a reset button and a sync button for connecting to additional satellites. (Orbi devices purchased in bundles are already synchronized.) Each Orbi has a USB 2.0 port in addition to the Bluetooth radios, but neither of these features will be usable until a later software update is installed.


Orbi, like Google Wifi, is a 2×2 router that can send and receive data from two devices on the same frequency band at once. (The 4×4 radios are used for the exclusive backhaul channel.) To send targeted data streams to multiple devices simultaneously, the Orbi incorporates the latest MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input and multiple output) Wi-Fi technology.

Each Orbi device is outfitted with a 710 MHz quad-core ARM-based processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of solid-state storage, as well as Qualcomm’s IPQ4019 Wi-Fi control chip and radio. The data channel in the backhaul is managed by a QCA9984 chip.

You can’t deny the Orbi’s strength as a result of these characteristics. Purch Labs’s real-world testing with IxChariot revealed that, at a distance of 5 feet, a single Orbi router could provide an average throughput of 552.1 Mbps. At this range, it outperformed Google WiFi by 19 percentage points, the Linksys Velop by 34 percentage points, and the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD by 50 percentage points.

The Orbi’s performance degraded with increasing distance, but not as drastically as Google Wifi. At 15 feet, the throughput averaged 510.9 Mbps, at 50 feet it was 447.1 Mbps, and at 100 feet it was 371.4 Mbps.

To give some context, the Orbi’s throughput at 100 feet was roughly equivalent to that at 15 feet with the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD. The Linksys Velop had greater long-range average power than the Orbi, but it was less consistent in testing. (A line of sight was used for all of these distance measurements.)

The Orbi router maintained 229.1 Mbps throughput at a distance of 150 feet, which is nearly seven times as fast as Google WiFi’s 33.8 Mbps. Fairness aside, at 150 feet, the Velop had 26% more throughput than the AmpliFi HD. These findings suggest that the Orbi’s claimed coverage area of 2,000 square feet per unit may be too optimistic.

The Orbi router’s signals were strong enough in Purch Labs’ material-penetration tests to easily pass through a metal-frame wall, a ceiling, and a soundboarded wall. (We are not including regular drywall because it has little effect, but the soundboard figure did increase throughput by about 8 percent.)

Although Google Wifi and AmpliFi HD also suffered minimal signal attenuation through walls and ceilings, the Orbi’s head start gave it the upper hand.

Throughput was improved by 28 percent when an Orbi extension was placed at the 50-foot mark in a single-line test between a router and a laptop from Purch Labs. The Velop’s throughput was relatively unaffected, while the AmpliFi HD and Google Wifi both experienced drops of around 25%. Once again, the Orbi’s absolute speed advantage decimated the opposition.

The Orbi performed similarly well to the Linksys Velop in complex 3D tests. A laptop located one floor above the router received 429.1 Mbps from the Orbi extension, which is more than double the speed of Google Wifi and 1.5 times faster than with just the Orbi router. The connection speed dropped when I moved the laptop further away, but the Orbi extension made up for it.

The Orbi was able to maintain a connection with clients located up to 125 feet away, even in a three-story home with many thick walls. This is the farthest distance achieved by any modern router, and it is 20 feet better than the Google Wifi and 35 feet better than the AmpliFi HD.

With the router located in the basement and the extension on the main floor, the Orbi network easily covered a 3,500 square foot home. The Orbi was found to provide a download speed of 50 Mbps to 95 Mbps from a 100 Mbps broadband connection when tested on Speedtest.net.

The Orbi’s MU-MIMO technology allowed it to support multiple clients at once. We put it through an informal saturation test, with multiple devices streaming video at once: a Surface Pro 3, an iPad Pro, a Samsung Tab Pro S copying files to and from a NAS, and a MacBook Air streaming music. There was no lagging, freezing, or dropping out of the video or audio on any of the devices.

Setup and support

Netgear has beaten the competition and developed a Wi-Fi system for the home that virtually installs itself. The devices are pre-paired, and setting them up doesn’t call for any familiarity with IP addresses, Ethernet, or encryption. There is no need to download any kind of app.

The Orbi router supports both wired Ethernet connections from a computer or Mac, as well as wireless connections from a mobile device. Simply access orbilogin.com from any computer or install the Orbi app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. The Netgear Genie app is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac computers.

Orbi’s software will perform a network scan before setting up the router. Turn on the Orbi satellite and place it where it will remain in your network, then let the router look for it. Bringing the satellite closer to the router could be necessary.

Then, for security’s sake, alter the network’s name, gain access to the password and administrative passwords, and reboot the gadgets. In just 10 minutes, we had a fully functional network that provided Wi-Fi to an entire suburban home.

The Orbi system from Netgear comes with a one-year warranty but only three months of technical support from the company. You can find a downloadable manual that details all the features of the Orbi as well as setup guides like how-to videos on Netgear’s website. You can reach a Netgear support representative at any time via phone, live chat, or email. The mobile app doubles as a connection to the support team.

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The Orbi mobile app only has a few basic features and only works in portrait mode, so you can’t even use it as a network speed monitor. (Netgear assured us that it is working on expanding the Orbi app’s features.) The desktop browser local interface and the Netgear Genie software, which is compatible with many Netgear routers but has many more features than the infant Orbi app, are required for more granular control and diagnostic information.

The network name and password are displayed in the Orbi app Dashboard, though the password can be hidden. The firmware version of the router can be viewed on the Device Info screen, but firmware updates are performed at the bottom of the main Dashboard page.

A more comprehensive network speed and usage monitor can be found in the browser interface. Guests can use their own devices to connect to the internet without needing to know your primary network’s password because you can create a separate guest network. (There are even security professionals who advocate connecting smart home gadgets to the guest network.)

The Orbi doesn’t allow you to change the signal strength or channel width, but you can change the maximum transmission unit, forward ports, and set up IPv6 addressing. Although you can reserve IP addresses via DHCP with the Orbi, you cannot assign static IP addresses to devices.

Smarthome integration

A firmware update released not long after the Orbi’s initial release in early 2017 made it possible to use it with Amazon Alexa. You’ll need a Netgear account and the Netgear Genie app on your phone or tablet to use Alexa. Currently, Alexa can only be instructed to enable or disable the guest network, reboot the router, and read the Wi-Fi password. (Netgear’s Arlo security cameras are not compatible with Alexa just yet.)

Security and parental controls

When you receive your Orbi, it will have a semi-random network name and a unique administrative passcode consisting of letters and numbers. However, you should quickly switch the name and code to something more appropriate.

In contrast to the Genie app and the browser interface, the Orbi apps do not provide a quick way to pause the internet connection for dinner or family time. (The developers at Netgear are currently working on implementing this feature into the Orbi apps.)

Use the Netgear Genie app (available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android) and an OpenDNS account to make the most of Orbi’s parental controls. You can either manually add each website to a blacklist, or set the overall filtering level anywhere from zero to one hundred percent and let Netgear handle the rest.

The Orbi employs the slightly less secure WPA standard in addition to the more robust WPA2 standard for encrypting Wi-Fi transmissions and protecting your data and network.

The Orbi’s support for the insecure Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) configuration protocol is a major drawback. Nonetheless, WPS makes it possible for those who would rather not deal with passwords and mobile apps to easily set up and use an Orbi system with the press of a few buttons.

The Orbi, like other mesh-routing systems, can update its own firmware without human intervention. (According to Netgear, the updates are encrypted and checked.) It’s encouraging to see this trend emerge because few common routers implement it.

In 2018, the Circle with Disney app received an update to its firmware that included enhanced parental controls. This app lets parents create individual profiles for each member of the household, complete with content filters suitable for each user’s age, daily usage caps, and automatic network shutoffs at bedtime. When we reviewed Circle with Disney as a standalone product, we found that we generally enjoyed it. The app ought to be able to perform the same tasks.

Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) review

Need the best Wi-Fi mesh router system for your house? The Orbi RBKE963 from Netgear surpasses the gigabit-per-second speed barrier, providing extraordinary throughput that reaches every corner of a mansion.

The RBKE963 kit includes a router and two satellites, and it uses the newest Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax) protocol and a number of speed-enhancing tricks to provide more than enough wireless data to fill the home of a tech billionaire. The Orbi RBKE963 proves that high-speed networks can be operated safely by including Netgear’s Armor security software as a premium add-on.

The Orbi RBKE963 is a networking powerhouse, but its steep $1,499 price tag reflects its exceptional quality. However, for that price, you only get one year of security updates from Armor and 90 days of free tech support. Even at its high price, it remains the top-performing mesh system on the market.

Pricing and availability

The Orbi RBKE963 kit I checked out included a host router (RBRE960) and two satellites (RBSE960) that communicated with one another via the 2.4-, 5-, and 6-gigahertz Wi-Fi bands. Netgear claims that their entire system can blanket an area of up to 9,000 square feet, making it more than three times as effective as a single router.how big the typical American house is

The full package can be purchased for $1,500, which is significantly higher than theThe Typical Rent for a Month or Payment on a mortgagein the U.S. For an additional $600, you can add a satellite that will expand your network’s coverage area by about 3,000 square feet.The best Wi-Fi 6e gaming router from Netgear

A two-piece variant, the RBKE962, consisting of a host router and a satellite, will soon be available for sale by Netgear for $1,100. This system will cover an area of 6,000 square feet.


Thanks to the efforts of Netgear’s designers, engineers, and software developers, the company’s Orbi RBKE963 kit ushers in the era of high-performance Wi-Fi 6e mesh routing. Orbi’s router and satellites share the company’s signature rounded tower design, but they’re both much larger than their competitors at 11.1 by 7.5 by 3.0 inches. That’s twice as big as the already bulky Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 mesh units and seven times the size of the Amazon Eero mesh devices.

The RBKE963 comes in two colors: the standard white (with chrome trim) and a special edition black (with silver trim).

These mesh units are highly visible regardless of color. They might be too big to use as bookends on a desk, but they should fit on most bookcases without a problem. The RBKWM bracket from Netgear allows for easy wall mounting after installation.In this new window:For only $23, they can be hung in any room.

The Orbi Wi-Fi 6e units don’t have a lot of flashing lights like some other routers and mesh systems. In their place is a single, bottom-mounted LED status strip. When the status bar is blue, communication between the host and its satellites is functioning normally. If, however, the LED strip lights up magenta, it means the machine is offline.

The Orbi RBKE963 uses Qualcomm’s premium Networking Pro 1610 chipset and a quad core processor running at 2.2 GHz under the hood. The primary router and the satellites each have 1GB of RAM and 512MB of flash memory for software and configurations.

A 2.4 GHz network, two 5 GHz networks (one for “backhaul” data transmission between the units), and a high-performance 6 GHz network are all created by the Orbi RBKE963 mesh system. Each device has twelve antennas that are amplified to send the strongest signal possible.

The most recent 802.11ax technology and 4K Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) are utilized by the mesh network to achieve maximum data transfer rates. The RBKE963 has enhanced data-traffic management to simplify operations in addition to beamforming to generate signals for optimal client connection and MU-MIMO to distribute data to multiple devices simultaneously.

The Orbi RBRE960 router and RBSE960 satellites utilize all four available Wi-Fi frequencies to transfer 16 data streams in each direction. The system’s 5-GHz channels can each deliver 2.4 Gbps, while the 2.4 Gbps available over the 2.4 GHz band is more than enough for most users.

Additionally, the RBKE963’s 6-GHz band (the “e” in Wi-Fi 6e) theoretically increases throughput by 4.8 Gbps. However, the 6-Ghz band has such a short range that it can only be used within the same or adjacent rooms. Theoretical maximum throughput increases to 10.8 Gbps from 6.0 Gbps for the Netgear Orbi RBK852.

The icing on the cake is that the RBKE963 can access seven 160 MHz channels in the 6-GHz band. However, it can’t combine the downstream bandwidth of two wired Ethernet ports.

The RBKE963 operates similarly to other Orbi mesh systems in that one of its five 5-Ghz channels is dedicated to backhaul, or the transfer of data between the satellites and the router at the network’s epicenter. This theoretically frees up 8.4 Gbps for streaming to client devices. Wiring the devices together with Cat 6 Ethernet cable creates a backhaul that eliminates the need for the unused 5 GHz wireless band.

The mesh network’s ports are also performance-focused, but they’re tailored specifically for users with gigabit broadband from their Internet service providers. Connecting wired devices like scanners, printers, or networked hard drives is simple thanks to the base router’s three 1Gbps ports and one downstream 2.5Gbps port.

Each of the satellites has one output port capable of 2.5 Gbps and three capable of 1 Gbps. There is a hidden reset button, a sync button, and identical AC adapter ports on both models.


My 3,500 square foot, century-old house was no challenge for the Orbi RBKE963 mesh system. I simulated 10 data-hungry users and a server using Ixia’s IxChariot networking benchmark.Chromebook by SamsungThe Orbi RBKE963 performed better than any other mesh-router system tested.

The RBRE960 demonstrated the strength of the 6-Ghz data band by moving an average of 1.009 Gbps from the base router to the client device from a distance of 15 feet (4.5 meters).

The maximum throughput of the Orbi RBK852 was 883.6 Mbps, so this is an increase of 12%. The Arris Surfboard Max Pro and the TP-Link Deco X20, two other mesh systems, lagged even further behind, with throughputs of 820.3 and 622.1 Mbps, respectively.

The Orbi RBKE963 is a fine router, but it can’t compete with its older, faster, and cheaper cousin, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 gaming router, in terms of available bandwidth. Above 2.39 Gigabits per second at 15 feet, that model moved.

When the 6-GHz band’s range was exhausted, the 2.4- and 5-GHz Wi-Fi bands took over, causing the Orbi RBKE963’s throughput to drop rapidly with distance. The Orbi RBKE963 was able to transfer 190.5 Mbps when placed 50 feet (15 meters) from our test laptop. That’s 35% faster than the Orbi RBK852’s 124.4 Mbps, but it’s a far cry from the 255.4 Mbps offered by the TP-Link Deco X20.

The RBKE963’s 93.4 Mbps throughput at 23 meters (75 feet) was midway between the 112.7 Mbps of the top-tier Deco X20 and the 85.1 Mbps of the entry-level Orbi RBK852. The RBKE963 maintained connectivity at a maximum distance of 95 feet (29 meters), with a maximum line-of-sight transmission speed of 39.9 Mbps. The Orbi RBK852’s range was only 85 feet (26 meters).

The Orbi RBKE963 only managed 547.9 Mbps when sending data through a wall and a distance of 25 feet (8 meters). That’s a lot slower than the Orbi RBK852’s throughput of 782.9 Mbps.

The Orbi RBKE963 was able to provide 163.4 Mbps when the satellite was placed on a floor above the host router and the receiving test system was placed on the same floor as the satellite but 40 feet (12 meters) away. The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) was the clear victor, with a throughput of 389.3 Mbps, while the Orbi RBK852 lagged far behind at just 39.1 Mbps.

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My test laptop got 410.0 Mbps from the RBKE963’s second satellite when I placed it 40 feet away, one floor below the base router.

The Orbi RBKE963 maintained a comfortable temperature of around 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius) even after a week of constant use. Using the mesh network, I was able to check my email, stream 4K videos, and view Twitch broadcasts of video games.

I ran a network saturation test by simultaneously streaming four 4K videos on my iPad Pro, listening to music on my Lenovo ThinkPad T470 laptop, watching two HD videos on my HP Dragonfly laptop, and transferring data between my MacBook Air and a networked RAID storage array. The system passed with flying colors. There were no artifacts, skips, or freeze-ups in any of the video streams.

The primary router used 17.4 watts while transferring data, while the satellites used 13.4 watts each. This would cost you $64 annually if your electricity rate is the national average of 14 cents per kilowatt-hour. The Orbi RBKE963 has an additional satellite and better performance, but it costs more than twice as much to operate as the Orbi RBK852 mesh system.


Installing the Orbi app on a smartphone or tablet is the first step in setting up the system.Android or iOS. The apps have detailed illustrations of the setup procedure, but they only work in portrait mode, making them more suited to mobile devices than tablets.

I connected the router and satellites after installing the Orbi app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 smartphone. I signed up for a Netgear account and accepted the company’s licensing and privacy policies while they booted up.

After inputting a new network name, access password, and administrative password, the app located the router and satellites. Everything was ready to go after I answered two identity-challenge questions in case I ever forgot my passwords.

The RBKE963 took me 19 minutes and 40 seconds to set up, which is 40 percent longer than the two-piece mesh kit (RBK852) from Orbi. My 200 Mbps broadband connection only produced 192 Mbps with the RBKE963.


The RBKE963 system, like other Orbi products, can be set up and personalized via the Orbi app or a web browser on a computer that is also connected to the Wi-Fi network. The former is more intuitive and visually focused, while the latter provides more customization.

On the Dashboard of the Orbi app, I could see how many satellites were active and what settings were available for them. Security showed the current status of the Armor security software, and Device Manager showed me how many client devices were connected. Links to view a network map and see how fast your connection is right now were also included in the user interface.

The home icon in the upper left corner of the dashboard led me to options for adding a satellite, updating the firmware, and logging into my Netgear account. The Orbi app made it simple for it to restart the mesh network.

Parental controls on the Orbi RBKE963 system are powerful, allowing you to restrict access to inappropriate content and set time limits. Setting that up for a hypothetical adolescent took me about two minutes. The parental controls on the Orbi RBKE963 are, unfortunately, only available for a free trial period of 30 days, after which they cost $70 per year.

Orbi’s administrative interface can be accessed through a web browser, revealing a detailed home screen that details the system’s firmware version and current status.

The CTS/RTS threshold and the length of the preamble could be modified to better suit the regional context. The backhaul data is now protected by a password that I chose.

As I mentioned before, I had no trouble connecting the satellites to the primary router via Cat-6 cables. The exclusive 5 GHz wireless backhaul band should then be available for general use.

The RBKE963 offers a protected channel for connecting to other smart home devices operating on the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands. However, you won’t be able to set up separate LANs for each frequency band.

One year of access to Netgear’s latest generation of Armor security software is included with the purchase of the RBKE963. This gives you protection at the router level and an unlimited number of licenses for Bitdefender’s Total Security suite, which is available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and iOS-compatible devices.

After the initial year-long free trial, annual Armor protection costs $99. This may seem steep, but consider that the cost of Bitdefender’s annual subscription is $120. Despite this, the RBKE963 has a one-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

free technical assistance seem inadequate, especially for a device of this cost. In contrast, Linksys backs its Velop mesh products with a three-year warranty and provides free technical support for life.

The RBKE963’s two-year warranty costs $40, while two years of technical support costs $120. (Costco is the only place to get a free year of technical support when you buy a Netgear product.) The good news is that the app provides direct access to support through both online chat and phone.

Setup guides, frequently asked questions, and troubleshooting articles are just some of the many do-it-yourself resources available in addition to email, phone, and live chat support available around the clock.