CES 2019: Netgear Unveils New Orbi 802.11ax Mesh Wi-Fi System for Gigabit Internet

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Netgear today announced a new version of its Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi System, which is equipped with 6th-generation Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax technology that supports gigabit wireless speeds.

According to Netgear, the Wi-Fi 6 version of the Orbi will allow for new performance benchmarks for Mesh Wi-Fi systems, delivery sustained gigabit wireless speeds across the home.


For those unfamiliar with Orbi, it is a multi-node mesh Wi-Fi system much like the Linksys Velop that Apple sells in its retail stores. With Orbi, the idea is to set up multiple Orbi access points throughout the home to ensure high-speed Wi-Fi coverage in all rooms.

The new Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi System features 1024 QAM with a 4x4 Wi-Fi 6 backhaul, for increased speeds, coverage, and capacity.

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest version of the Wi-Fi protocol, which will be baked into future computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Accessories with Wi-Fi 6 support connected to a system like the Orbi will be able to achieve higher data transfer speeds.

No Apple devices take advantage of Wi-Fi 6 at this time, but it's likely to be built into future iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Netgear says that its next-generation Orbi system is ideal for households that have a "multitude" of connected devices running high-bandwidth internet for purposes like 4K video streaming, always-on smart home devicds, and video monitoring security systems.

The Orbi with Wi-Fi 6 will be available in Netgear's Orbi RBK50 series in the second half of 2019.

Article Link: CES 2019: Netgear Unveils New Orbi 802.11ax Mesh Wi-Fi System for Gigabit Internet
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,930
3,795
Your move, eero. As a gen one eero owner, I've been really happy with it for the past two years. However, the one place it really struggles is wireless backhaul. At my furthest eero AP, I'm getting about 10-15% of the total gigabit pipe that's coming to my house. It's sufficient, certainly, but I'd really like to be able to get more of the bandwidth I'm paying for consistently no matter where I am on my network and whether the device is hardwired or wireless. The gen two eeros added an additional radio for backhaul; but I've read several reports that it didn't seem to make much of a difference in terms of actual throughput on devices that are connected to the wireless APs.
 
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imgroot

macrumors member
Mar 9, 2018
33
63
Are these tall devices? I have not seen one in person, but they looking surprisingly large for a device that is suppose to be hidden around the house.
Have to click through to find that it will be on the RBK50 models. And those are:

Dimensions 6.4 x 3.1 x 8.0in
Weight 1.96lb
 
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Superhai

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2010
538
387
I am pondering whether to wait or buy some ac wave 2 ap. The formal ax spec finalising is end of 2019, so I guess early products may have interoperability issues when the first devices launch.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,689
3,109
Your move, eero. As a gen one eero owner, I've been really happy with it for the past two years. However, the one place it really struggles is wireless backhaul.
Do you have the second generation Eero with dedicated backhaul?

At any rate, considering Netgear Orbi has a release date of second half 2019, I am guessing Eero would have 3rd generation router ready around then.
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,930
3,795
Do you have the second generation Eero with dedicated backhaul?

At any rate, considering Netgear Orbi has a release date of second half 2019, I am guessing Eero would have 3rd generation router ready around then.
Nope, I've got the first gen eeros. I was going to upgrade to the second gen solely for the dedicated radio for wireless backhaul; but I read several reports online from people who upgraded from the first gen to the second gen hoping to have increased wireless backhaul performance but they weren't seeing much of a difference.
 

MarkB786

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2016
755
1,304
USA
Have had bad luck with the Orbi, especially with the Cable modem version. Always having to reset the router for lost internet connection. Went back to my old cable modem and the standard Orbi mesh, and it's better but still stalls and can be slow. Seems to freak out if you add too many units, so install sparingly.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,923
5,935
Why do I care about gigabit speeds when nothing seems to support it?

Still buffers on streaming and servers limit your top speed.
For internal network speeds this fast, I could find some uses like a media server for example.

For external, I agree. In the future, speeds like this will be common, but right now, and probably the next few years, it would be a waste for most people.

Actually, I think many people over pay their ISPs for download speeds they would hardly ever use. In my area, both Comcast and FiOS is pushing their Gigabit speeds, and I know a lot of people that signed up for it.

Many of these people use their internet for general web browsing, FaceBook, and Netflix streaming. Basically, stuff that a speed the faction of Gigabit could easily handle.
 

pier

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2009
552
933
Went back to my old cable modem and the standard Orbi mesh, and it's better but still stalls and can be slow. Seems to freak out if you add too many units, so install sparingly.
No problem here with current Orbi (mesh version). We have about 15 devices connected at all times between phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TV, consoles, smart home stuff, etc.
 
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MarkB786

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2016
755
1,304
USA
No problem here with current Orbi (mesh version). We have about 15 devices connected at all times between phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TV, consoles, smart home stuff, etc.
Mine was an early adopter review version. Maybe I need to update the firmware...
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,781
2,347
NYC
RBK50 is the current generation. Are they saying that the current models will be upgradeable to Wi-Fi 6?
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
6,374
11,890
Future proofing.

I as many others have ac, have no issues with buffering but then again, I have Gig internet and Ubiquiti gear.
Shouldn't I just get this kind of thing in the future when server speeds are better? Literally see no point in buying it now if I'm not using it for my own server or something. Consumption, it's a waste.

I have 100MB internet and zero issues with buffering either, even in 4k.
 
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WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,113
2,588
Seattle
I have the current version and it's just awesome. The units are a bit bulky other than that I have zero complaints. Fast, long range, and easy to use.
Agreed. I have the RBK53 set, and it's been fabulous to use, paired to my Ubiquiti Edgerouter ER-4. Mesh Wi-Fi that actually DOES work. I can wander around my house from access point to access point and my FaceTime calls never drop even for a second.

I have gigabit fiber, so you'd think this would be great for me, but most everything that can really use it is hardwired anyway.

Still, this is a nice step forward.
 
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MN7119

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2011
321
213
I have the current Orbi RBK50 (Costco version that comes with main unite + 2 satellites). Although the units looks awful and it is a huge piece of plastic the system is fantastic. I live in a 4k sqfeet home and I get coverage up to 2 houses away from my house.
 

bigboy29

macrumors regular
May 19, 2016
192
151
Nope, I've got the first gen eeros. I was going to upgrade to the second gen solely for the dedicated radio for wireless backhaul; but I read several reports online from people who upgraded from the first gen to the second gen hoping to have increased wireless backhaul performance but they weren't seeing much of a difference.
It is difficult to understand what is going on when you read this kind of stuff online. I used to have Gen 1 Eero system and have then switched to Gen 2 Eero Pro system.

Just ran a speedtest after making sure that my iPhone is connected to the farthest Eero in my house. I have the AT&T fiber 100/100 internet connection. Speedtet on my iPhone just now was: 108.46 download / 97.04 upload.
 
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