itGeeks

Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi Reviews

126 posts in this topic

Well we have setup a review thread for the others so I figure I would start it out, Orbi looks very prommising and could very well end up being the top performer looking at the specs and could very well take the performance trophy away from Ubiquity AmpliFi.

 

Engadget talks about Orbi https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/22/netgear-orbi/

 

SmallNetBuilder, Make sure to also scroll down and read the comments. http://www.snbforums.com/threads/netgear-introduces-orbi-wi-fi-mesh-system.34294/

Edited by itGeeks
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comes out in September and no early preview by anyone yet?

 

I like the idea of more players in the mesh playing field. More competition will drive faster implementation of needed features and hopefully provide cost controls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always liked Netgear products for consumer grade products. Still looking forward to Open-Mesh's 6.2 firmware beta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stopped by the Best Buy Smart Home at Mall of America. They had Orbi, but it was not fully functional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stopped by the Best Buy Smart Home at Mall of America. They had Orbi, but it was not fully functional.

Interesting, How did it look in person? Would the size of the unit stop you from installing it in your own house if it performed well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, How did it look in person? Would the size of the unit stop you from installing it in your own house if it performed well?

It is bigger than the other mesh product:

oNxaDu.jpg

 

I think it would look fine in most homes:

w44rLD.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orbi certainly looks interesting and given that it's Netgear, maybe they can actually deliver local control rather than a cloud only solution.

 

Don't get too enamored with the specs though. As I've argued before (and has been proven with Luma), specs are meaningless without proper software and optimization.

 

(Edited for content and snarkiness)

Edited by JoseROrtiz
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orbi certainly looks interesting and given that it's Netgear, maybe they can actually deliver local control rather than a cloud only solution.

 

Don't get too enamored with the specs though. As I've argued before (and has been proven with Luma), specs are meaningless without proper software and optimization.

 

(Edited for content and snarkiness)

Correct and that's y I keep saying on paper and please lets not single out Luma here, Eero also has the same challenges and has been returned by at least 1 forum member because it did not perform as promised. There is one thing for sure unlike Luma and I don't know about Eero both Orbi and AmpliFi have real firewalls with real protection such as 'SPI' and 'DoS' protection so right out of the gate both Orbi and AmpliFi are more secure in 'gateway mode' and that alone is a good reason to choose Orbi/AmpliFi over Luma and not sure about Eero.

 

Its a very interesting line up of products and I can't wait for Asus to enter the arena I (assume) they will and battle it out for the trophy of front runner, This is some healthy competition and the customer will benefit from it.

Edited by itGeeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is bigger than the other mesh product:

oNxaDu.jpg

 

I think it would look fine in most homes:

w44rLD.jpg

I don't think it looks bad at all, Some are complaining about the size and all I can say is its much more pleasing then legacy router that are starting to look like spaceships with many external ugly antennas. I guess this is a case of beauty is in the eyes of the beholder Thanks for the pics. Schoon you thinking of trying it out?

Edited by itGeeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Size looks fine.  Ok, who has their router and cable modem on display?  Show of hands.  

 

Me?  Mine is in the bowels of the ship. Basement.  This does me zero good out of the box unless the single repeater/meshed unit is phenomonal.  Yes, this is my argument for every product.  I'm an equal opportunity skeptic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Size looks fine.  Ok, who has their router and cable modem on display?  Show of hands.  

 

Me?  Mine is in the bowels of the ship. Basement.  This does me zero good out of the box unless the single repeater/meshed unit is phenomonal.  Yes, this is my argument for every product.  I'm an equal opportunity skeptic.

Someone needs to take one for the team and test it, Tag your it :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NETGEAR Orbi is now out in the whiled and the limited reviews from users are very positive, 5 stars from 6 reviews on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-High-Performance-AC3000-Tri-Band-System/dp/B01K4CZOBS

 

Cant wait for SNB to get there hands on Orbi to see there review.

 

I was reading the manual yesterday and there's no AP mode. So with VZ FiOS I would have to use DMZ mode and that's not acceptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@whsbuss,

You will be happy to know your understanding is incorrect, You can setup Orbi in 'bridge/AP mode. Click the link below and go to page 72 for instructions

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/Orbi_UM_EN.pdf

 

Would you mind me asking y you say setting up another router using a DMZ off the FiOs router is not acceptable? I have FiOs and I would argue that not setting up your home network on a different subnet using a 3rd party router off the FiOs DMZ is not the best choice, Y? Because as we know Verizon has free rains to login to there router at anytime and I for one don't want my internal network open to prying eyes of Verizon. I have been setting up my own routers of the ISP's modem/router combo for years and is my preferred way of doing things and I have never had any problems, I understand this is double NAT and in some cases can cause trouble with things like VPN but everything has always worked for me. Even if this configuration did cause trouble with things like VPN then I would just do the reverse and hang the FiOs router off your 3rd party router using DMZ as long as your router has DMZ support and it turns out Orbi does allow you to setup a device using DMZ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@whsbuss,

You will be happy to know your understanding is incorrect, You can setup Orbi in 'bridge/AP mode. Click the link below and go to page 72 for instructions

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/Orbi_UM_EN.pdf

 

Would you mind me asking y you say setting up another router using a DMZ off the FiOs router is not acceptable? I have FiOs and I would argue that not setting up your home network on a different subnet using a 3rd party router off the FiOs DMZ is not the best choice, Y? Because as we know Verizon has free rains to login to there router at anytime and I for one don't want my internal network open to prying eyes of Verizon. I have been setting up my own routers of the ISP's modem/router combo for years and is my preferred way of doing things and I have never had any problems, I understand this is double NAT and in some cases can cause trouble with things like VPN but everything has always worked for me. Even if this configuration did cause trouble with things like VPN then I would just do the reverse and hang the FiOs router off your 3rd party router using DMZ as long as your router has DMZ support and it turns out Orbi does allow you to setup a device using DMZ.

 

Thank you for pointing out the AP mode, I missed that. I assume you can use a single SSID for complete roaming between 2.4 and 5G. 

 

As far as DMZ operation I have two different VPN networks for various purposes and DMZ makes things way to complicated with port forwarding, etc. So its my preference to avoid it anytime I can. Do you also have FiOS quantum TV service? Can't do the VZ router off 3rd party DMZ router

Edited by whsbuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your welcome. Yes Orbi uses a single SSID for complete roaming and supports 'bandsteering', Bandsteering aids in helping the device to select the best band. As for the use and your concerns about using DMZ, This does not make things more complicated in most cases. All the port forwarding is done on one router, The router responsible for that subnet. That said a double NAT could cause you problems with VPN but testing would be needed. Yes I do have FiOs quantum TV service, Y do you say you cant hang the VZ router off a 3rd party router in a DMZ? I will admit I did try this a couple of years ago when I was using Sophos and it did not work but I think I had a configuration problem aka user error and that's y it did not work, Others here have reported they have successfully hung the FiOs router off a DMZ and it works fine, Testing would be needed. I plan on testing this myself in the future when time permits.

 

Orbi looks very interesting and very well could be the most feature rich mesh system on launch, The only thing it seems to be lacking is 'Ethernet backhaul' at this time but many are pushing Netgear to add this on there forums. Netgears claim for this missing feature is Orbi has a 3rd dedicated 5GHz radio like Eero has for the sole purpose of the mesh communication for all nodes so you wont have the 20-30% performance hit that you get without it, My argument is nothing will be as good as wired. I am very excited about Orbi but I am waiting for some reviews from the likes of SNB and others to see if it holds up to its claim. What ever you decide to do, Please consider the security risk of keeping your personal home network on the same subnet of Verizon and try the DMZ configuration's I talk about above, I would test Orbi as the main router by cloning the MAC address from the FiOs router WAN port, This will save you a phone call to Verizon to release and renew your address then hang the VZ router off the Orbi DMZ and see how it works, This configuration will solves any problems you could have with a double NAT and your VPN. If this setup brakes something then do the revers.

 

What ever you decide to do please post what you ended up doing and the results.

 

Hope this info helps.... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my Orbi units yesterday. Haven't setup yet. Let me know any specific testing folks are interested in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats! Very exciting. I would like to see some speed test both LAN and internet if you would not mind? Below is the speed Netgear claims we should be getting so I want to see how it stacks up.

 

"The performance that you experience also depends on the devices that you are connecting to your network. In most circumstances, you can expect the following speeds:

 
Up to 400 Mbps for older devices using 2.4 GHz
Up to 866Mbps for your newer mobile devices that support 5 GHz

 

I would also like to know how the coverage and signal strength is and how the roaming works on your devices. Also if you are going to test Orbi in router mode would you mind running a port scan and let me know if the scan results simply show the ports as closed or STEALTH, I use ShieldsUP by GRC found below

https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

 

Finally please let us know your thoughts on how it compares to Eero and others you have tested and used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Netgears claim for this missing feature is Orbi has a 3rd dedicated 5GHz radio like Eero has for the sole purpose of the mesh communication for all nodes...

 

Just wanted to clear something up because this seems to be a common misconception not just here, but around the web, including articles that have been posted on some pretty big sites.

 

eero does not have a third radio dedicated to its mesh. I am certain that it was advertised as such, otherwise you wouldn't see this claim mentioned in reviews and articles so often. However, after a few discussions and posts on the eero subreddit, it has been communicated that the wireless mesh is shared within the two radios in the eero (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). The engineer on reddit insists that a third radio was never advertised but as I said, if that was the case, there wouldn't be so much media out there claiming otherwise. That being said, based on testing, eero engineers have done a great job at optimizing the wireless mesh. In fact, they claim that while there is some throughput/speed loss on the first hop, any subsequent hops will have zero additional impact on throughput. I haven't been able to verify these claims myself, but the wireless mesh performance on eero is very good and outperformed both Luma and OM in my setup. 

 

You can read the engineer's response to the "3rd radio" here and here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting, How on earth did so many get this wrong? I have to wonder if there is the claimed 3rd radio but do to some design flows they are unable to activate it. OK moving on then it seems Netgear claim that Orbi is the 1st in the world to have a "Tri-Band" router is true, Netgear also claims that Orbi is shown to be 2-10 times faster then the competition in this space and the lack of Ethernet backhaul is on purpous because an Ethernet link would be slower then there 1.7Gbps 5GHz dedicated link for communication

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31033?cid=wmt_netgear_organic

 

Orbi sure looks like it ticks all the boxes at this time but as always it needs to be tested in the real world to see if it matches its claims, I quick look and Orbi seems to have the best feature set at launch. I can't wait for your review and comparison to the others you have tested. My daughter just purchased her first house so I am in the need for a good solution, Orbi is on top of my list right now till proven otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked up the Netgear Orbi on Monday from Best Buy. Website indicated they had the product but they could not find it in the store. They finally found it in the back waiting to be put on a shelf.

 

Initial Setup was a breezy and took less than 10 minutes. I put the router in the center of our downstairs and the satellite at the center of our upstairs. The router and satellite appear to be identical except for some minor things. The top of the router is gray while the satellite is white. Both units are large and solid. I had Luma's system before and I kept knocking it over anytime there was tension on the power cord or Ethernet cable. That didn't happen with the Orbi.

 

The steps in the setup guide were easy to follow and everything went as described. There is no app. You login via a web address. Software is easy to use. It shows the devices connected to your network as well as how they are connected (Wired or Wireless) and whether they are connected via the router or satellite. The first time I used the software it indicated a firmware update was available for the router and satellite. Installing the firmware update was the problem that occurred. It took a while for the internet to come back after the update. The router did not connect back to the satellite until I reset the network. I probably just did not give it enough time.  

 

I have not found a dead spot in my house. My internet speed is 60 down and 4 up. All of my speed tests max this out on the Orbi throughout my house. It does not matter if I am connected to the router or satellite.

 

I would like to see a Guest Network (promised for a future update) and Ethernet backhaul (unknown) added.

Edited by brgreene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your new purchase. Thank you for your review, I am more excited now about trying Orbi. One thing to note is there is a mobile app its called Genie, Checkout page 16 on the use manual http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/Orbi_UM_EN.pdf

 

As for Ethernet backhaul I agree but according to Netgear that would slow down the link to the sattelight, The dedicated 5GHz radio communicates @1.7 Gbps

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31033?cid=wmt_netgear_organic

 

I have some questions if you don't mind, See below.

 

1. Is Orbi setup in router mode? If yes would you mind doing a port scan and let me know if the ports show as simply closed or stealth? I use ShieldsUP by grc

https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

 

2. Did you do a LAN speed test? Could you please post the numbers?

3. Do your devices seem to roam OK? Another words when your upstairs do your devices connect to the satellite or stay connected to the router

 

Good luck with Orbi and please update us how its going after you have had some time with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to throw this out there, The user reviews are poring in on the Best Buy site and its looking really good. 79 user reviews with 4.6 out of 5 stars

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-orbi-wireless-ac3000-tri-band-wi-fi-system-white/5577333.p?skuId=5577333&ref=30&loc=KW-4338&ksid=67785e13-9198-4df9-9537-8cc5a6c0adbb&ksprof_id=401&ksaffcode=460902&ksdevice=c

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now