Netgear's Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi Routers Now Available From Apple

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Netgear's Orbi Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi Systems are now available for purchase from Apple retail stores as of July, joining the existing Linksys Velop routers that Apple has been offering ever since it discontinued its own AirPort line of router options.

Apple is selling the RBK23 three pack Orbi Mesh System for $300 and the RBK50, the higher end model, in a two pack for $329.95.


These routers all work in a similar way, offering up a main Orbi router and satellite nodes to extend WiFi throughout the whole house. Maximum Wi-Fi speeds differ between the two models, as do the number of satellites, so some research is required to find the Orbi system that best fits your needs.

The RBK50, which includes one router and one satellite, covers up to 5,000 square feet of space and offers Wi-Fi speeds of up to 3Gb/s. The RBK23 triple pack with one router and two satellites covers up to 6,000 square feet and offers Wi-Fi speeds up to 2.2Gb/s.

With the Orbi system, the idea is to put a single router in a main area like a living room, outfitting other areas further in the house with their own satellite routers so all areas of the house get the same Wi-Fi coverage with no dead zones. You can add additional Orbi satellites to a home setup at any time.

Along with the RBK50 and the RBK23, Apple also sells the CBK40, an Orbi router system that has a built-in cable modem that works with Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and others. It comes in a single router version that covers 2,000 square feet or a router plus satellite version that covers up to 4,000 square feet.

All of the Orbi routers are available from Apple retail stores and the Apple online store.

Article Link: Netgear's Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi Routers Now Available From Apple
 

saulinpa

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2008
865
323
Would be nice to see some reviews comparing the two brands that Apple is selling.
 

Zadigre

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2011
116
74
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
good news!
Netgear Orbi AC3000 (the RBK50 kit) has been rock solid for me with all my Apple and different homekit devices... way better than my Asus routers with AiMesh.
Only "problem" I have is signal seems lower compared to Asus... speed is a little bit lower when I'm further away from the router... but rock solid nonetheless.
 

Blueridger

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2017
2
0
good news!
Netgear Orbi AC3000 (the RBK50 kit) has been rock solid for me with all my Apple and different homekit devices... way better than my Asus routers with AiMesh.
Only "problem" I have is signal seems lower compared to Asus... speed is a little bit lower when I'm further away from the router... but rock solid nonetheless.
[doublepost=1564683339][/doublepost]I've had the RBk50 since January and I love it. I don't know how, but it is much faster, and more reliable, than my Verizon Fios router. It handles my gazillion devices with aplomb. I highly recommend the Orbi.
 

BanditoB

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2009
13
12
Chicago, IL
I wish that I could say good things about the Orbi’s, I have the RBK53 system with two satellites. They have always been problematic, but have slowly improved somewhat with firmware updates. Even currently, I have to reboot the system every 3-4 days to maintain full-speed connectivity. After they’ve been on for a few days, one of the devices will drop throughput to 10% of normal. A reboot fixes it and then the cycle begins again. I have been working with Netgear’s engineering team for several months now, but no resolution is in sight.

In the meantime, I have tried just about every mesh system out there and none of them achieve the speeds I get with the Orbi’s. With the Orbi’s I generally get 300 Mbps from my primary use areas, but other systems are typically in the low 200s, so I keep going back to the Orbi’s.
 

bcburrows

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2009
417
4
Bristol
My ORbi is currently pointless, barely any signal in my house - suspect construction has something to do with it, but I would say covers about 30% of the property in a very sketchy way... Maybe powerline adaptors need to be added
 

MallardDuck

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2014
339
632
Would be nice to see some reviews comparing the two brands that Apple is selling.
I've had both. The velop is easy to setup, but dumbed down pretty bad. Won't even let you set a specific dns server to use (or rather it will, but then it ignores it). Single is better than extremes.

Orbi has both the easy and advanced setup options. It has nuclear powered signal, and blows away all of the others in terms of speed...IF you correctly place them in your home. There's a sweet spot between too close and too far. I highly recommend using something like netspot to do a layout and actually measure the signals graphically.

Downsides to orbi are 1) won't give you a syslog feed if you want to monitor the network with another tool (ok, niche case), and a massively frustrating ongoing problem with an inability to discover printers reliably. Have to power cycle the printer, then it works for a while, then stops again. I occasionally have the problem with apple TVs not connecting to the iTunes library, another reboot required situation.

But for all that, orbi is hands down the best of the mesh networks.
 

TsMkLg068426

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2009
1,425
291
Don't regret once getting a Orbi after Apple stopped any support for their Airports got them at Costco and no regrets.
 

centauratlas

macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2003
1,091
1,416
Florida
good news!
Netgear Orbi AC3000 (the RBK50 kit) has been rock solid for me with all my Apple and different homekit devices... way better than my Asus routers with AiMesh.
Only "problem" I have is signal seems lower compared to Asus... speed is a little bit lower when I'm further away from the router... but rock solid nonetheless.
It is nice to hear how these are working. I've been holding on to the old airport for as long as possible. It would be nice if they added (if not already on there, I haven't checked since the spring) ax and WPA3 to these. Agree, hopefully homekit support too.

What I'd like: ax support, home kit support, WPA3 and mesh.
 

ahmadof

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
74
5
I generally lean towards things that are HomeKit compatible ... mostly for future hopes. What advantages do a HomeKit compatible router give you?
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,775
2,616
I hope that this means that Netgear will embrace Homekit in the router. I almost bought the Netgear Armor service last night. Please. Please. Please support Homekit.
Curious how HomeKit will work with WiFi router? What features do you want?
 

fdanna

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2012
13
5
I wish that I could say good things about the Orbi’s, I have the RBK53 system with two satellites. They have always been problematic, but have slowly improved somewhat with firmware updates. Even currently, I have to reboot the system every 3-4 days to maintain full-speed connectivity. After they’ve been on for a few days, one of the devices will drop throughput to 10% of normal. A reboot fixes it and then the cycle begins again. I have been working with Netgear’s engineering team for several months now, but no resolution is in sight.

In the meantime, I have tried just about every mesh system out there and none of them achieve the speeds I get with the Orbi’s. With the Orbi’s I generally get 300 Mbps from my primary use areas, but other systems are typically in the low 200s, so I keep going back to the Orbi’s.
My experience largely mirrors yours. I eventually gave up and went with the google system. It’s slower, but I haven’t had to reboot once.
 

BanditoB

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2009
13
12
Chicago, IL
My experience largely mirrors yours. I eventually gave up and went with the google system. It’s slower, but I haven’t had to reboot once.
Google?? Really?? Just kidding. It’s nice to hear that you can just set it and forget it with at least one of these systems!
 

sandcastle

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2014
10
1
I returned mine. Standard Netgear modem/router had better *coverage* without even mentioning stability issues etc.

Eventually purchased Amplifi gear from Ubiquiti. Totally different class of product. Has been fantastic and incredible coverage.
 

Pujones1

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2012
6
8
Sugar Land, TX
Curious how HomeKit will work with WiFi router? What features do you want?
Hi. I want whatever they talked about at the WWDC Event and whatever they are going to bring in the future. Anything from Apple that adds more security and value to my many Apple products/services..........I want that please. That's all.

Those Circle and Bit Defender type capabilities baked right into HomeKit would be nice. I have the RBK50 and two RBS50 sats and Netgear CM1150V Modem.

Here's a link:
https://www.macrumors.com/2019/06/03/homekit-secure-video-and-homekit-routers/
 
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mlody

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2012
998
625
Windy City
My Asus RT-AC68U still works great. I am planning to keep in until most of my devices can take advantage of newer standards like AX, so that will be a while.
[doublepost=1564711685][/doublepost]
Curious how HomeKit will work with WiFi router? What features do you want?
I am guessing the ability to manage some basic router feature on-demand - sort of on and off switch without logging in the router gui. Perhaps better parental controls or mesh configuration? Other than that I can't see much of a need for it.
 

!!!

macrumors 6502
Aug 5, 2013
397
231
I still want new AirPort routers. They were so easy to set up, and pretty much never have any problems.
 
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Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
1,438
3,954
Ireland
€410 on Apple.ie. Also, how do we know these are safe and Netgear won’t spy on our browsing? May sound like a dumb or paranoid question, but I’ll risk.