Netgear ORBI System Review

Netgear logo.PNG

WIFI has become somewhat of necessity due to the growth of the technology and the mobile market. Having strong WIFI range in large homes has become very popular with the rise of internet speeds, bandwidth, and WIFIs technology called “Mesh Routing“. Mesh networking is cool because it can learn from itself and fix broken networks. Netgear is a company that keeps improving wireless networking market with each new product launch. Netgear says Orbi is the world’s first Tri-band WIFI system and can cover your entire home with high-speed WIFI. Let’s take a look at what Orbi has to offer and how it takes advantage of mesh technology.

IMG_0271.JPG

What’s in the Box?

  • One (1) Orbi Router (RBR50)
  • One (1) Orbi Satellite (RBS50)
  • One (1) 3m Ethernet cable
  • Two (2) 12V/ 3.5A power adapters
  • Quick start guide

What’s in the Box for Orbi Router (RBR50)?

  • One (1) Orbi Router (RBR50)
  • One (1) 6.5ft Ethernet cable
  • One (1) 12V/ 3.5A power adapters
  • Quick start guide

What’s in the Box for Orbi Satellite (RBS50)?

  • One (1) Orbi Satellite (RBS50)
  • One (1) 12V/ 3.5A power adapters
  • Quick start guide

Physical Specifications

  • Dimension

    • 6.67x 2.36 x 8.89 in each
  • Weight

    • 1.96 lb each

Technical Specifications

  • Wireless Connectivity

    • AC3000 (1733 + 866 + 400Mbps)†
    • Simultaneous Tri-Band WiFi
      • IEEE® 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz–256QAM support
      • IEEE® 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz–256QAM support
  • Memory

    • 4GB Flash and 512MB RAM
  • Antenna

    • Six (6) high-performance antennas with high-powered amplifiers
  • Beamforming

    • Implicit/Explicit Beamforming for 2.4 & 5GHz bands (1733 + 866 + 400Mbps)†
  • MU-MIMO

    • MU-MIMO capable for simultaneous data streaming on multiple devices
  • Ports

    • Four (4) 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports1 WAN + 3 LAN for Router4 LAN for SatelliteOne (1) USB 2.0 port
  • Maximum wireless signal range derived from IEEE standard 802.11 specifications. Actual data throughput and data over distance will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including the volume of network traffic, building material and construction, and network overhead, result in lower actual data throughput rate and wireless coverage.

Design

img_0260

With the rise of networking appliances, WIFI is important wherever you go in your home. With Orbi you can take your devices from room to room with seamless coverage. Orbi will cover 4,000 square ft. homes with AC3000 high-performance WIFI.

Dis.PNG

Orbi has a dedicated wireless connection that is crazy fast, secure, and give you reliable speed in every inch of your home.  You can expect no more dead zones even with barriers like walls, stairs, and doors. Just add the Orbi satellites anywhere instantly expand your WIFI coverage.

The system design of the Orbi allows streaming and gaming over WIFI completely doable.  Buffering and speed are extremely fast thanks to the Tri-band WIFI system that works with your ISP’s modem to maximize your current speeds you’re paying for. Remember that your WIFI isn’t going to make your internet faster than what your subscription offers, but a better WIFI system will minimize loss and perfect your network. Instead of losing signal the Orbi will help maximize your internet provider’s speed to its full potential.

orbi-design  orbi_setup_with_modem_no_cables_r2-01ports.JPG

The Orbi has a unique design that can really fit anywhere in your home as a decorative piece. If you have ever fought with a significant other about where to place the router in a home, then you will understand how welcome the design of the Orbi is. This becomes problematic when you’re using extenders that are bulky or hard to place in certain places. Netgear says “Routers. Not Just for Squares Anymore.”

The Orbi is very easy to setup. Netgear put some time into designing the setup procedure. You simply connect the router to your existing network over the standard WAN port, and then the Orbi illuminates its LED lighting.

The base as you walk around your house will change the color of the LED based on its location to the router. A blue ring means the connection is ideal, amber means the speed is inhibited, and pink means you are too far away.

The wired connectivity of router base consists of:

  • 3x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • USB 2.0 port
  • WAN port
  • Sync button
  • Power on/off
  • DC power plug connection
  • Reset button

The Orbi satellite offers a similar port configuration but lacks the WAN port for a total of 4 gigabit Ethernet connections. This satellite essentially allows you to create a wireless bridge to the devices plugged into the satellite.

Testing

img_0251  img_0267

Setting up the Orbi units couldn’t be easier. Orbi works right out of the box with your Internet service provider and uses a single WIFI SSID. The setup procedure from Netgear makes setting up the Orbi even easier over your phone. Just use http://orbilogin.com. I’m not going to go over ever feature of the interface but you can check out the user manual for more information. You can download the user manual here.

admin  wireless

info.JPG

Once you’re into the Admin settings you can change all of your options to your desired preference. Under WIFI is where your attention should be required as ORbi is rather unique. You ca set the channels for the client / device connection radio. 2.4 GHz settings offer Auto and CH1-11, and the 5GHz allows 36-48. The higher band radio offers no control. You can log into the connected device which will offer firmware updates, what devices are connected, and its status.

acess-5  acess.PNG

You can see above, using the Killer network WIFI analyzer that the signal strength of each radio is displayed. This is useful in determining the position of the Orbi. As you can see in my home I was getting 100%. This means my speeds will be at full bandwidth from my internet service provider. The Killer app isn’t available to the public so I cannot provide any link at this time. The regular killer app only supports its hard wire connections but the new app will support wireless as well when it’s released.

Iperf.PNG

speed.JPG

The first test was the connection between my PC and the Orbi unit on the desk. This can at least give us an idea of how transfer rates will be determined. The Gb/s is unrealistic in reference to my internet speed, but transfers over the network and communication between the satellites are key to the performance of the Orbi. It offers extreme bandwidth. The second test was the speed test using iperf and is the speed test of my WIFI. I was basically saturating my networks full performance as I pay for a 30 Mb/s connection.

int-5

I wanted to see how well the Orbi would work considering the technology is still new. The Orbi offers extremely fast performance with the Tr-Band technology. The connection between the Satellite and router shows the speeds close to 600 Mbps. I am running the connection between the router and satellite on the 5GHz channel. I was roughly 20ft away from the router, and these speeds can vary for several reasons. There are a lot of factors that contribute to wireless speeds such as distance, interference, connection type, and wireless channels. I want to also point out this speed is the connection between each unit over LAN, not the speed of my internet connection.

int-4

The speed test I ran was also amazing. I was able to full saturate my network speeds with little interference. This is the speed of my connection from Time Warner.

game.png

Let’s be clear here. Most people are going to want a router of this magnitude for extreme performance, and also what better way to test network latency than with ping in your favorite games. I am testing each game with Kill Ping to monitor the games network latency. Some games allow this information easily, while other games don’t have the option to view this.

download2

I wanted to do another test to really show how well the ORBI handles heavy downloaded files. With a 35 Mbps speed, I was able to download the new DOOM in 03 hours and 5 minutes. DOOM is a fantastic game and one of the best games I have played this year.

Conclusion

Capture.JPG

The average home offers a minimum of 11 wireless devices according to Netgear. As the cloud becomes a more dominant solution we still rely heavily on our network performance for streaming and accessing.  The Orbi WIFI system is a premium product and priced accordingly, but provide a significantly better value when compared to other networks of this magnitude. Most premium routers are in the $200 price range and up.

There is very little negative to say about this system other than the consideration of price. Not everyone will be able to afford this solution at first, but as competition starts to rise, the prices will become lower and lower. I highly recommend this solution for anyone looking to have extreme coverage in their home, and for people who want the best performance right now. The Orbi set out to be a product to offer easy setup with wide coverage inside your home and does a great job at that. You can find the  NETGEAR Orbi High-performance AC3000 Tri-band WiFi System (RBK50) on Amazon for $399.00.

Advertisements
Netgear ORBI System Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s