NETGEAR Expands Its ORBI Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Offerings To Be More Affordable

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NETGEAR has now unveiled two new, more affordable, entries in the Wi-Fi 6-capable Orbi Mesh family of products. Specifically, that's with the NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 AX4200 Tri-band Mesh Systems, sold as RBK752 and RBK753. Both systems are available direct from NETGEAR now.

The primary difference between the two systems is the number of satellite mesh nodes included in the package. The former, NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 AX4200 Tri-band Mesh System (RBK752), contains a single router and satellite. The former, sold with designation RBK753, ships with an additional satellite.

As might be expected from a Wi-Fi 6-capable router and mesh system, these devices are all about speed. In fact, up to 8 streams are supported simultaneously. Those are available across both 5GHz and 2.4GHz channels with both supporting 2 x 2 MIMO. The backhaul, comprising the third band in the tri-band arrangement is a 4 x 4 5GHz connection.

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The backhaul here is intended for use only by satellites, keeping speeds up between the nodes. The system itself supports 600Mbps, 1200Mbps, or 2400Mbps bands. And more than 40 devices can be linked up to the system.

But the overall networking environment is meant to cater to more devices being hard-lined in. The router in the setup features a single Gb Ethernet (GbE) WAN port. There are a total of three GbE LAN ports included. That's as compared to the satellite mesh node, which only delivers 2 GbE LAN ports.

What's new with these ORBI Wi-Fi 6 Mesh systems from NETGEAR and what are the extra features?

The primary difference between this and older ORBI-branded Wi-Fi 6 Mesh internet systems from NETGEAR is pricing. That'll be covered momentarily but beyond that, there are a few other big differences. And that's looking past the similar but differently-colored design used in the new devices.

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The most noteworthy change-up for the latest entries is the number of available ports. The more expensive RBK852 and 853 systems offer four GbE ports on both the router and satellites. As an added bonus, those are supported at up to 2.5 Gigabit speeds. At least where users have access to those kinds of speeds. The newest entries support up to 1 Gigabit speeds.

With the more expensive offerings, 4 x 4 MIMO is part of the build. But both systems cover up to a 5,000 square-foot space.

Another big difference is that the pricier variant supports more than 60 device connections.

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But users do get the same great extra features here, at a much lower cost. To begin with, setup and management of networking are handled via the Orbi application. That includes viewing connections, speed tests, and the creation of guest networks among other things. And, of course, the app is free for mobile users on either major platform — Android or iOS.

Price and availability

As noted above, pricing is really where this mesh router system is going to shine, just like previous ORBI-branded entries. While still more expensive than Wi-Fi 5 routers, these Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers start out much cheaper than their more pricey counterpart. The NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 AX4200 Tri-band Mesh Systems RBK852 and RBK853 start out at $699.99. The newest entries cut $200 from that price at $499.99.

NETGEAR is also including a 30-day trial for NETGEAR Armor in the bundle, regardless of which is purchased. Users will require a yearly subscription after that period to keep getting associated security. But it protects essentially all connected devices and technology.

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