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I was very surprised... But its awesome.Posted
Being high speed and up to date on tech is not high on my parents priority list at all. They are cool, and as long as things (ie. the internet) work, they are satisfied. My brother and I, we are a little more up to speed and while we were home for Christmas (always visit your family), my dad mentioned that Netflix programs were taking unusually long to load / lagging / pausing. I had bought them an Airport Extreme a few years ago, so I figured it had to be that (I also hardwired the modem to a desktop and it was clocking 150 while the wireless was like 25 max). I personally have an X8, so I brought it over to see how that would pan out... Still a weak connection. Problem is that my parents house is really big (3 floors, top floor spans out over half the second floor, and there is a basement.), with walls that divide the dining room / family room / kitchen ect. over 10k sq. feet. Whatever the walls are made of, absolutely haze wireless signals, and to add insult to injury, the room where the internet comes out of the wall towards the back of the 3rd level... I did my research and chose to go with Orbi because the house has a 150Mbps package and I wanted my parents to have that performance. With that said, I was pretty sure Orbi was going to fall short of the task, simply because this house is a wifi elephant graveyard: 1. First things first, Orbi does not look like the picture you have in your head right now. These things are seriously huge. When I opened the box, I literally laughed out loud because I knew I was going to have to explain what these 2 mega-huge flower-vase looking things are doing in our house. Seriously, I couldn't fathom Orbi could be as big as they are. Either way, I tucked it behind a picture frame and it was cool, but you should know it's way bigger than you can imagine in real life (so plan for that as I didn't). 2. I read all the complaints about the firmware and connections and stuff, so I downloaded the updates from Netgears website beforehand to install them manually. I brought both units to the same room so they could set up close to each other.. I had to turn off (unplug) the modem first, plug in the yellow ethernet cable into Orbi, plug the modem power cord back in, and then give power to each Orbi unit last. This establishes a new connection for the Orbi and Modem to use. Once connected, I did manual FW updates on both the S and R, and it took like 10-15 min to setup. It was very simple. 3. The router is in the back room upstairs and nothing can be done about that. I read that the router should be placed centrally in the house or whatever, but that wasn't possible and I went with the only option I had. The Satellite is on the floor below, maybe 50 feet away, but it is more centrally located in the house. The 2 units do not have a line of sight to one another, and I thought this might cause an issue. It didn't. 4. I can't believe that our entire house is covered with the 2 unit set. On the 2nd and 3rd floor, I get 165Mbps out of my macbook pro (AC) with full signal. I went down to the basement level (90% sure signal would not reach) and that too had full signal but the speed was 120. There is no 3rd satellite, making this set much stronger and wider than I thought it was going to do. Now if I'm going to drop $450 on a wireless router for my parents, it better meet my astronomical expectations. Surprisingly, it does, so I figured I would write the review I wanted to see out there for the next me and you. This thing consistently out clocks the 150mbps speed my parents pay for, and I just upgraded their service to 300mbps which will activate tomorrow. I am optimistic that Orbi will crank out 300 speed no problem all over the house. Its legit. If you are taking the time to read these reviews, you most likely face a architectural challenge like I did. Its expensive, but if you are on this level and you know what you want, you pay for what you get. Orbi delivers. Good luck.
I would recommend this to a friend
Solid entry into home mesh WiFiPosted
Pros Sleek design with built in antennas allows better flexibility of placement Pre-paired making setup easier Excellent speed between router and satellite even at a distance Separate antenna just for communication between router and satellite Standard design makes administration easy if you are familiar with other routers Management of all units is done through a single interface Can be set up as either a standard router or as just the access point Reliable. Has not required manual restarts Cons Initial page load time seems slower than expected Speed drops significantly with distance Light ring should have more use as most of the time it is off Odd authentication errors and brief loss of internet occurs on connected devices Startup takes a very long time making you unsure if the devices have paired Color ring only shows status color for a very short time making it easy to miss 2.4GHz and 5GHz network cannot be named independently Admin interface can be slow Parental controls and advance features have not progressed in Netgear products No way to mount on wall Uses default password that is the same on all which could mean people leave their unit exposed Firmware has no auto update option The Netgear Orbi is a type of product that, while not new to the business world, is just becoming popular in the consumer world. Although it is not the first to bring mesh WiFi into the home, it is nice to see Netgear enter the space. Mesh WiFi can be complicated. One of the nice things about Orbi is the units can pre-paired meaning you don’t have to do anything except place them where you think is best and plug them in. The router and satellite will display a color on the ring on the top to indicate if you are within range although it would be better if the color was displayed longer if there is a problem. In fact, the color ring almost seems like an under-utilized artistic element. It would be nice if there were a way to keep the color ring on or use it for other purposes. The overall look of these devices is not like your standard network equipment. It is designed to look more appealing and sleek so you can place them where your WiFi will work best instead of where you are least likely to see it. Most people wouldn’t have a problem placing it on a counter in plain sight to get optimal signal. These units come with three internal antennas with one for 2.4GHz, one for 5GhZ, and the other for communication between units. In most cases it says 2 units could handle up to a 4,000sqft house. Although this is true you might find speeds drop off quickly with distance due to the antenna design. The good thing is, if needed, more satellites can be purchased and added to the setup to improve coverage. Speed between the router and satellites, when you have a green signal ring, is very good. I would say even tolerant of unusual obstacles without affecting performance. In my house, I needed to put the satellite in a particular place between some of my WiFi products that require a very close WiFi to work properly. In order to do this, I had to place the Orbi satellite in a place that usually causes other WiFi setups to barely be able to connect due to poor placement. In the case of Orbi, the satellite has a strong signal back to the router and I still was able to utilize all 400mbps of my internet. It would appear that, at least in regards to the third antenna, the design is solid. Using WiFi was generally good, but a quick drop-off in link speed was observed at distance. I have noticed that even though speed tests come up with max speed and low ping times it just seems like the first page of every website takes just a second or two longer than in the past. Almost as if the processor is a bit on the slow side compared to my old gaming WiFi router. These units are not without flaws. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz names cannot be specified separately. This might cause your Apple devices get to get a little confused. I can’t confirm seamless roaming between units worked but it seemed I always had a strong signal, even though it wasn’t always the fastest. I did have two regular odd occurrences. At odd times all my devices will say there is no internet, even though I am connected to WiFi. By the time I log in Orbi to find out, everything seems to be working fine. I only experience this when using the Orbi WiFi. The other thing I have experienced is some devices, particularly those with Android, will at random say there is a problem authenticating and lose internet. Tapping the name of the WiFi corrects it but I have to do this quite frequently and as with the dropout issue, this only happens when accessing via WiFi on the Orbi. I am not sure if it is the devices or Android at this point but it is quite odd. Administration is fairly standard using the tried and true integrated website setup that many routers have. The layout is standard Netgear so no surprises here. It has all the regular items and adds a small section in regards to managing the satellites. Otherwise it seems Netgear has not really pushed the boundaries of new interface design here with improved parental controls or even more granular features. If Netgear did nothing else, I wish they would add an automatic firmware upgrade option. In these times, considering how easily routers that are not up to date are being compromised, it seems like an oversight to depend on home consumers to manually update their own firmware. That said, if you have been happy with older Netgear administrative interfaces this won’t disappoint. In that respect, my main criticism is that the interface feels too slow for how basic it is. Overall, the Netgear Orbi is a solid home mesh WiFi offering that sticks with nearly the same Netgear formula that those who use Netgear will know well. There is nothing jarring or groundbreaking here and, even with my large number of cons, none were significant enough to warranty saying these units are anything but a solid offering if you want to move into the world of home mesh WiFi the Netgear way.
I would recommend this to a friend
Orbi, you're my heroPosted
Outside of the box: - High Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System - Covers up to 4,000 square feet with strong WiFi Signals - Creates dedicated wireless connection to internet using Tri-Band WiFi delivering maximum speeds no matter how many devices connect - Just plug in. With simple setup from your mobile device, your secure WiFi network is ready in just minutes Whats in the Box? - 1 Orbi Router (RBR50) - 1 Orbi Satellite (RBS50) - 1 2m Ethernet Cable - 2 12v/3.5A Power Adapters - Quick Start Guide Requirements to have Orbi work? - High Speed Internet Connection - Connect to existing modem or gateway Physical Dimensions - 6.7 x 3.1 x 8.89in (170.3 x 78.9 x 225.8mm) each - Weight 1.96lb (890.5g) each Technical Specifications: - AC3000 (1733 + 866 +400 mbps) - Simultaneous Tri-Band WiFi * IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz - 256 QAM Support * IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz - 256 QAM Support - Memory: 4GB Flash and 510 MB RAM - 6 High-Performance Antennas with High-Powered Amplifiers - Implicit/Explicit Beamforming for 2.4 & 5GHz Bands - MU-MIMO Capable for Simultaneous Data Streaming on Multiple Devices - 4 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet Ports * 1 WAN & 3 LAN for Router * 4 LAN for Satellite - 1 USB 2.0 Port - 24/7 Technical Support (90-day Complimentary Technical Support) Testing/Setup/Speeds: - Packaging is BEAUTIFUL!, extremely slick - Unit came with a little bit of random dust or something on it. So if you have OCD like I do, this may be an "issue" for you - Material of the units feels very nice, smooth, and guess what... NO FINGER PRINTS! - Nicely labeled for "Router" and "Satellite" so you know which one to use, even if its your first time setting up any router - Construction and build quality is nice. Finish is amazing. Product looks stunning. The only issue I had with the build quality is the "sturdiness" of it. What I mean is the base kinda doesn't sit solid on top of where you're placing it. Meaning, it wobbles. So if you have any children or pets around, be careful where you put it because the unit kinds rocks back and forth if moved. I wouldn't recommend putting it anywhere high - Manual included is easy to follow and is clear - Included Ethernet cable is flat, thin, and flexible; awesome - AC adapter build quality feels a little cheap (as far as the base goes) but the wire/cord is nice. But honestly... WHO CARES! - Current speeds WITHOUT Orbi: *PC Direct Ethernet - 66.32 down, 4.33 up, 13ms ping *iPhone 6 Plus in bedroom - 2 of 3 bars signal, 48.62 down, 4.37 up, 16ms ping *Android tablet in bedroom - 1 of 3 bars signal, 12.98 down, 4.79 up, 15ms ping *PC WiFi connection in bedroom - 2 of 3 bars signal, 66.29 down, 4.37 up, 13ms ping *iPhone 6 Plus in bathroom (further) - 1 of 3 bars signal, 25.60 down, 4.73 up, 17ms ping *Android tablet in bathroom (further) - 1 of 3 bars signal, 12.30 down, 4.75 up, 14ms ping - Post speeds after installing Orbi: *PC Direct Ethernet - 66.34 down, 5.80 up, 12ms ping *iPhone 6 Plus in bedroom - 3 of 3 bars signal, 65.90 down, 5.71 up, 40ms ping *Android tablet in bedroom - 3 of 3 bars signal, 66.16 down, 6.04 up, 14ms ping *PC WiFi connection in bedroom - 3 of 3 bars signal, 64.53 down, 5.79 up, 16ms ping *iPhone 6 Plus in bathroom (further) - 3 of 3 bars signal, 65.94 down, 6.05 up, 37ms ping *Android tablet in bathroom (further) - 3 of 3 bars signal, 65.74 down, 6.04 up, 14ms ping Conclusion: WOW! Ladies and gentlemen, this ORBI is amazing. By the test results, it improved the strength/connection, extended my WiFi to wherever I needed it, and boosted my upload speeds. Ethernet connection (direct), same but that's a given. The unit is supposed to deliver what it promised which is better "coverage" and stable speeds across all devices; and it did. Another thing to note even though it wasn't on my test, typically when I go downstairs to the garage where my car is parked; on my old setup I didn't get a good connection. With the ORBI, guess what? FULL BARS, FULL SPEEDS, and STABLE. Setup was a breeze, even for beginners. The device looks very nice in any modern home, apartment, condo, etc. Having guest come over and want to use your WiFi? NO PROBLEM. The Orbi will handle everyone's necessities. All I can say is, I am very pleased with that Netgear released. The only gripes I have about the unit itself is the way the base sits. So if you're planning on buying this bad boy/girl, make sure you find somewhere to put it where it won't fall off somewhere high and break as it hits the ground. The other gripe I have is the customer service 90 day ordeal... Not quite sure how that works cause I typically don't call in but does this mean you only get complementary 90 day support then that's it? You have to pay? Hopefully you would never need to call since this thing is a beast and the build quality is great.
I would recommend this to a friend