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Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi Reviews


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#1 itGeeks

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 04:03 PM

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...2/netgear-orbi/

 

SmallNetBuilder, Make sure to also scroll down and read the comments. http://www.snbforums...h-system.34294/


Edited by itGeeks, 23 August 2016 - 04:12 PM.

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#2 cskenney

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 05:02 PM

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.

#3 Jason

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 09:35 PM

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

#4 schoondoggy

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 01:26 PM

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

#5 itGeeks

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:39 AM

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?


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#6 schoondoggy

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 11:02 AM



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



#7 JROrtiz

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 04:07 AM

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, 26 August 2016 - 04:13 AM.

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#8 itGeeks

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 04:33 AM

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, 26 August 2016 - 04:44 AM.

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#9 itGeeks

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 10:06 AM

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, 26 August 2016 - 10:09 AM.

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#10 Dave

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 10:12 AM

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.


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#11 itGeeks

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 11:02 AM

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


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#12 itGeeks

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 05:10 AM

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.c...m/dp/B01K4CZOBS

 

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


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#13 whsbuss

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 10:36 AM

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.c...m/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.



#14 itGeeks

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 06:41 AM

@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.../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.


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#15 whsbuss

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 05:08 PM

@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.../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, 25 September 2016 - 05:11 PM.


#16 itGeeks

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 06:32 AM

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.... 


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#17 JROrtiz

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:54 PM

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

#18 itGeeks

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 02:31 PM

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.


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#19 JROrtiz

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:59 PM

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.



#20 itGeeks

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 07:30 AM

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.co...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.


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