Netgear has a new $1,500 Wi-Fi 6e mesh router

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 12
Netgear's latest release in its Orbi router range is a $1,500 mesh system -- and despite the high price tag, it doesn't include support for technologies such as Thread, Matter, or HomeKit Secure Video.




Tuesday's introduction of the Orbi Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System outlines it as the first 6GHz quad-band mesh arrangement on sale in the world. With support for the 6GHz Wi-Fi band on top of the usual 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, which promises speeds of up to 4,800Mbps for wireless connections.

The system will provide up to 16 Wi-Fi streams across all three bands, enabling it to handle many devices simultaneously. A dedicated Wi-Fi 6 backhaul is used for each of the units to communicate with each other, without affecting the bandwidth available to connected devices.

As a mesh network, the system aims to provide blanket coverage of a home, with the three-pack said to cover up to 9,000 square feet with Wi-Fi 6. Extra satellites can be acquired to extend the reach of the network, or to provide denser coverage for Wi-Fi 6E.

While Netgear mentions Wi-Fi 6E will be supported by "many devices" including the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Fold 3, the same cannot be said about Apple's product line. Even Apple's latest announcements, including the iPhone 13 Pro and iPad mini, support Wi-Fi 6, not 6E.

The system is claimed to offer support for extremely fast gigabit-class Internet connections, and includes a 10-gigabit Ethernet port for connectivity to the outside world. Other wired connections are serviced by 2.5-gigabit Ethernet and gigabit Ethernet ports.

Support for the 128-bit encrypted WPA3 for secure connections is included, along with the ability to set up four different Wi-Fi networks, such as a 6GHz-only network, guest Wi-Fi, and even a dedicated Internet of Things network. All of this is managed form Netgear's Orbi app.

While Internet of Things is mentioned, there are no references in any of Netgear's marketing material to other important smart home technologies. This includes Thread, an upcoming connectivity standard similar to Zigbee, and Apple's own HomeKit Secure Video.

The Orbi Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System of the router and two satellites costs $1,499, with add-on satellites at $599 apiece. Preorders are open, with shipments said to happen "in time for the holidays."

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    neilmneilm Posts: 914member
    Well Netgear, good luck at that price!
    Wonder how much it'll cost this time next year?
    caladanianStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    My Orbi Router set (RBR50s) is the worst piece of kit I've ever owned (at least since the Lowes Iris smart home fiasco). Bad build, bad user experience, bad networking, bad app, bad customer service, what's there to like?
    mrstepcaladanianJapheylordjohnwhorfinFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 478member
    My Orbi Router set (RBR50s) is the worst piece of kit I've ever owned (at least since the Lowes Iris smart home fiasco). Bad build, bad user experience, bad networking, bad app, bad customer service, what's there to like?
    I ended up going out and buying a Deco (been fairly happy with it) - my Orbi would consistently drop the WiFi connectivity of devices.  They'd claim to be connected, but have no data pass through.  Turn off WiFi, turn it back on, and you'd get data for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two.  Of course, that meant you'd never know *when* it would stop, wouldn't see texts/mail in a timely manner... And it all started after some firmware update they did - it had been pretty good up until then.  After the update, I gave it about a year to get fixed, and it never did.  Awful to use at that point.  Maybe they've fixed it, I don't trust Netgear at this point.

    People seem to like the Google stuff, Deco has been been good for my house, I really wish Apple had stayed in the router game... But I'll never get near an Orbi again.
    caladanianpscooter63TripleTroubleFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    bbhbbh Posts: 122member
    mrstep said:
    My Orbi Router set (RBR50s) is the worst piece of kit I've ever owned (at least since the Lowes Iris smart home fiasco). Bad build, bad user experience, bad networking, bad app, bad customer service, what's there to like?
    I ended up going out and buying a Deco (been fairly happy with it) - my Orbi would consistently drop the WiFi connectivity of devices.  They'd claim to be connected, but have no data pass through.  Turn off WiFi, turn it back on, and you'd get data for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two.  Of course, that meant you'd never know *when* it would stop, wouldn't see texts/mail in a timely manner... And it all started after some firmware update they did - it had been pretty good up until then.  After the update, I gave it about a year to get fixed, and it never did.  Awful to use at that point.  Maybe they've fixed it, I don't trust Netgear at this point.

    People seem to like the Google stuff, Deco has been been good for my house, I really wish Apple had stayed in the router game... But I'll never get near an Orbi again.

    I, too, would like to give a "pat on the back" to DECO. First rate performance, including the ability to "Blacklist" piggybackers, and set the operating lights on a schedule so they don't light up the bedroom at night. Spendid performance all around and easy to set up. DECO W3600 with Satellite.

    TripleTroubleFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    bbhbbh Posts: 122member
    I, too, would like to give a "pat on the back" to DECO. First rate performance, including the ability to "Blacklist" piggybackers, and set the operating lights on a schedule so they don't light up the bedroom at night. Spendid performance all around and easy to set up. DECO W3600 with Satellite.
    mrstepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,890member
    Re: Thread, Matter, or HomeKit Secure Video

    I'm quite content to maintain a degree of separation between standard connectivity appliances and domain specific implementations like Thread, Matter, and HomeKit Secure Video. As long as those domain specific protocols can be tunneled or apply black channel principle based communication between participating nodes, why would you want to get the base Ethernet communication and security services mixed-in with domain specific concerns? My understanding of Thread was that one of its main benefits was that it utilizes standard Ethernet communication protocols, rather than requiring a special protocols, routers, gateways, and physical layer, which competitive standards like Z-Wave Plus specifically require.

    lordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    The Backhaul isn't 6Ghz - it's 5Ghz. The 6e channel is for client connections only; so the backhaul is still limited to theoretical 2400 on the 5Ghz dedicated radio, or using ethernet backhaul
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,016member
    mrstep said:
    My Orbi Router set (RBR50s) is the worst piece of kit I've ever owned (at least since the Lowes Iris smart home fiasco). Bad build, bad user experience, bad networking, bad app, bad customer service, what's there to like?
    I ended up going out and buying a Deco (been fairly happy with it) - my Orbi would consistently drop the WiFi connectivity of devices.  They'd claim to be connected, but have no data pass through.  Turn off WiFi, turn it back on, and you'd get data for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two.  Of course, that meant you'd never know *when* it would stop, wouldn't see texts/mail in a timely manner... And it all started after some firmware update they did - it had been pretty good up until then.  After the update, I gave it about a year to get fixed, and it never did.  Awful to use at that point.  Maybe they've fixed it, I don't trust Netgear at this point.

    People seem to like the Google stuff, Deco has been been good for my house, I really wish Apple had stayed in the router game... But I'll never get near an Orbi again.
    You guys cleared this up for me. I was looking at Orbi mesh router at Costco this weekend and was debating replacing my Netgear Nighthawk due to all the issue you pointed out above. I was not sure if Netgear mess with the original Orbi design which I read in the past worked well. I have been a long time Netgear user, I have a number of their routers and network switches in my house over the last 15 years. I have been off and on fighting my Nighthawk router with dropping connections and just locked up internet traffic. I have reported the issue in detail to Netgear and they have not been able to address any of these issue over the last 3 yrs, they keep coming out with security update and so call bug fixes and everyone update breaks something new. Right with their latest update 5Ghz bandwidth is useless, it initially allows you to connect after a reboot and sometime during the night it decides not to let your devices to connect, or device does not even see there is the 5Ghz channel. I not a google Fan and many of the other routers out there are design and built in China and have their own issue of tracking your usage.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    mystigomystigo Posts: 141member
    I hope this doesn't double-post -these forums really don't like Safari 15.

    I have been using Orbi an RBR50 and friends for a few years now. They were very simple to install and have been performing quite well. They have not been entirely trouble free but they are orders of magnitude faster than the Airport base station they replaced.

    Unfortunately they cap out at about 350 Mbps. I want to replace them with something that can support my 800 Mbps service. I want to look at the DECO product mentioned above. However, I do not want anything from Google or Amazon and am willing to pay a premium to avoid that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,425member
    Not sure why anyone would pay such an absurd amount for this from what is a pretty poorly regarded networking company - when you could get a prosumer solution from a professional networking company like Cisco (Meraki) or Ubiquiti (Unifi) for 1/4 the price; companies with actual networking expertise who write their own network stack with excellent UIs, reliability, security and updates for 5 years+. Or you could get an overpriced Netgear box with a generic version of Linux underneath and a crap GUI that doesn't work properly ontop with 6 months of software support for $1500.
    edited October 12 TripleTroubleFileMakerFellerexceptionhandler
  • Reply 11 of 22
    GG1GG1 Posts: 458member
    mystigo said:
    I hope this doesn't double-post -these forums really don't like Safari 15.

    I have been using Orbi an RBR50 and friends for a few years now. They were very simple to install and have been performing quite well. They have not been entirely trouble free but they are orders of magnitude faster than the Airport base station they replaced.

    Unfortunately they cap out at about 350 Mbps. I want to replace them with something that can support my 800 Mbps service. I want to look at the DECO product mentioned above. However, I do not want anything from Google or Amazon and am willing to pay a premium to avoid that.
    I'm in the same boat. I've been using the drop-dead reliable and simple Airport for about a decade, but as I add more streaming devices it is getting taxed.

    I've been looking at Ubiquiti's line of products (Wi-Fi, switches, routers, etc.). I ran across this website (https://evanmccann.net/blog/2021/6/ubiquiti-faq), and the AmpliFi line of products seem very Apple-like. Note that I haven't actually bought anything yet, so I have no first-hand experience. I'm more interested in the UniFi line (more configurable but not as simple as AmpliFi).
    TripleTroublewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    mrstep said:
    My Orbi Router set (RBR50s) is the worst piece of kit I've ever owned (at least since the Lowes Iris smart home fiasco). Bad build, bad user experience, bad networking, bad app, bad customer service, what's there to like?
    I ended up going out and buying a Deco (been fairly happy with it) - my Orbi would consistently drop the WiFi connectivity of devices.  They'd claim to be connected, but have no data pass through.  Turn off WiFi, turn it back on, and you'd get data for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two.  Of course, that meant you'd never know *when* it would stop, wouldn't see texts/mail in a timely manner... And it all started after some firmware update they did - it had been pretty good up until then.  After the update, I gave it about a year to get fixed, and it never did.  Awful to use at that point.  Maybe they've fixed it, I don't trust Netgear at this point.

    People seem to like the Google stuff, Deco has been been good for my house, I really wish Apple had stayed in the router game... But I'll never get near an Orbi again.

    Gear from a Chinese company?  Not on my network.  Too many ties to the Chinese government.
    elijahgwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,425member
    I used to be a Netgear fan, then switched to the Apple Airports, but now I would highly recommend Ubiquiti. AmpliFi for the most simple configuration with multiple wireless mesh points (though as with any mesh tech, don't expect more than about 200mbps thorough a mesh node), and Unifi for more configurable and complex networks. Wired to each AP is the only way to reliably get 300mbps+ on 802.11ac, and wifi 6 is needed for 450mbps+ in general. But speed and range depends on so many factors. The number of antenna chains in the AP and station (phones tend to have less than tablets/laptops/desktops), supported channel width, wall thickness, uplink, number of devices etc. Ubiquiti gear supports 802.11k/r/v too which greatly helps when roaming between access points, helping to prevent dropped calls etc.
    rundhvidFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 14 of 22
    Dr. Evil: “Riiiight…”
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    elijahg said:
    Not sure why anyone would pay such an absurd amount for this from what is a pretty poorly regarded networking company - when you could get a prosumer solution from a professional networking company like Cisco (Meraki) or Ubiquiti (Unifi) for 1/4 the price; companies with actual networking expertise who write their own network stack with excellent UIs, reliability, security and updates for 5 years+. Or you could get an overpriced Netgear box with a generic version of Linux underneath and a crap GUI that doesn't work properly ontop with 6 months of software support for $1500.
    Because most people don't have the stack of networking certifications needed to properly install and configure Meraki and Unifi equipment.  They are NOT user-friendly and most of the advanced options are only accessible via command line.  No thanks.

    I had Ubiquiti UAC-AC-PRO's (multiple) in my house for years.  Junk.  Nothing but trouble (slow, would stop passing traffic, poor range).  Replaced with TP-Link Deco and never looked back.  Deco (in the words of Apple) "just works".
    pscooter63FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,425member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    elijahg said:
    Not sure why anyone would pay such an absurd amount for this from what is a pretty poorly regarded networking company - when you could get a prosumer solution from a professional networking company like Cisco (Meraki) or Ubiquiti (Unifi) for 1/4 the price; companies with actual networking expertise who write their own network stack with excellent UIs, reliability, security and updates for 5 years+. Or you could get an overpriced Netgear box with a generic version of Linux underneath and a crap GUI that doesn't work properly ontop with 6 months of software support for $1500.
    Because most people don't have the stack of networking certifications needed to properly install and configure Meraki and Unifi equipment.  They are NOT user-friendly and most of the advanced options are only accessible via command line.  No thanks.

    I had Ubiquiti UAC-AC-PRO's (multiple) in my house for years.  Junk.  Nothing but trouble (slow, would stop passing traffic, poor range).  Replaced with TP-Link Deco and never looked back.  Deco (in the words of Apple) "just works".
    Wow if you think you need a "stack of networking certifications" to use Meraki and Unifi equipment, you need to step back and get someone in who knows how to use a simple iOS app. Running the APs in standalone mode only needs the (excellent) Unifi app. It is as simple as setting up an Airport Basestation. And no, the advanced options are not "only accessible via command line". That's complete FUD.

    I've installed many many UAP-AC-Pro's alongside nanoHDs, flexHDs, AC-Meshes, AC-IWs and AC-Lites, with associated switches and routers. Never a problem with them, apart from the odd FW update causing oddities. But I have come across situations where entirely clueless people have screwed up standalone installations by doing things like having a different SSID or different WPA key for each base station, that understandably doesn't work too well. Maybe you did that, since many people get on just fine with 1000+ clients in schools with AC-Pros, sometimes upwards of 50 clients per AP.

    I have replaced many TP-link systems. They're in general trash, and there are botnets that use TP-Link routers. Terrible security, probably intentionally terrible so China can - as others have said - use them as they see fit.
    edited October 12 GG1rundhvidTripleTroubleFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 17 of 22
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,058member
    Everyone seems to have forgotten about Synology’s router offerings.  When my AirPort Extreme finally died, I rediscovered the older threads recommending it, and couldn’t be happier.  To be clear, I have no current need to expand with their mesh units, just the base.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Been waiting for Netgear to offer a 6E mesh option. RBR50 had some hiccups during the first 6 months, but it has been rock solid since.

    Tried out the Linksys 6E Mesh and returned it 48 hours later. Unbelievably unstable.

    I see suggestions for Amplifi and Meraki, but it doesn’t appear that either offer 6E, can anyone confirm?

    Article says that Netgear doesn’t mention Thread, Matter, or HomeKit Secure Video. But do any current 6 or 6E mesh routers support these things?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with three different models of Linksys routers, including the expensive tri band Velop and the latest 6e Nighthawk (shaped like a Star Wars imperial shuttle). They work great… Until for some reason they don’t. And Linksys plays games with support. Netgear? Same thing. Not to mention their horrible flaky software. TPLink: haven’t use the mesh but their wifi6 Archer router is awful (lousy software, painful configuration)
    in another house I ended up getting the Amazon Eero Pro. It’s been working absolutely flawlessly for the past year, a breeze to configure, and it’s ridiculously smart (I’m testing speeds of minimum 150mbps throughout my house, but in most areas more than 450mbps).
    Of all the brands I’ve used before, the Eero is ahead by a mile in terms of performance, ease of configuration, capabilities and reliability.
    To be fair I never tried the Ubiqiti router which does have great reviews, so I can’t compare. But you can definitely count me in as a very happy eero 6 pro customer and until I see better it’s the one I recommend.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 22
    I was foolishly holding out for WiFi 6e but then I had to buy a WiFi 6 router for another purpose. It is now my primary router. WiFi 6 is pretty great compared to WiFi 5/ax. It has much better range and bandwidth. It works with the latest phones and computers and is fully backwards compatible (unless your device is very old and does not support the improved security modes). The router was quite affordable at around $150. I still look forward to WiFi 6e but these first batch of routers are stupid expensive and will likely have to be thrown away when they become widely available at much better prices next year.
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