Until now the problem of WiFi deadspots in your home was to move your router/modem or install a “range extender” which does wonders but also adds complexity. It was a great solution, until now. Netgear today announced a new product range called “Orbi” which looks to bring corporate-like connectivity to your home.
Orbi is a whole new brand, looking to break the shackles of the “networking” company that is Netgear. The brand and design are revolutionary for WiFi routers, and that’s clearly what Netgear are aiming for with it.
By creating a Tri-Band mesh network in your home, you are getting high-speed WiFi over a much greater range – all on a single network name, so your devices will move evenly throughout the home.
It is an industry first, with Tri-Band WiFi over a mesh network system. While “access point” like solutions which off the shelf have created a set of WiFi points in the home are not new, they have not been offered by the largest networking companies and were a little niche.
Orbi will offer retailers a simple to explain, simple to sell option for people who are looking for a router and have a large home.
“The connected home has become more data hungry than ever, and video consumption is the primary driver,” says Brett Sappington, senior director of research, Parks Associates. “Consumers are streaming video to every available screen from an increasing number of OTT video service options. In the U.S. market, the average broadband household has over seven connected CE devices that can stream video. In addition, emerging smart home devices require always-on connectivity to function properly. Consumers have come to expect ubiquitous, high-speed connections throughout the home and rely on Wi-Fi for the in-home connectivity and bandwidth that they need.”
Installation is reported to be a breeze, with a few clicks or taps on your mobile or browser, one Orbi is then plugged into your modem, the second (included) Orbi Satellite is then placed in the centre of the home. No need to find the “ideal” location, just place it in the best spot.
“In designing Orbi, Netgear has applied lessons learned from two decades of home WiFi innovation to address the current network challenges of architectural design, dense building materials and large square footage,” said David Henry, senior vice president of home networking devices for Netgear. “Additionally, today’s home networks are now expected to support more devices all of which are competing for your bandwidth. So, the emphasis should not only be on WiFi coverage itself, but also the performance at the furthest edge of that connection. For example, imagine the ability to stream your latest video binge in HD from poolside or streaming music over WiFi to the basement.
“The strength of Orbi lies in its Tri-band WiFi, which enables you to enjoy the same level of connectivity throughout the entire home. Netgear Orbi delivers more high-speed WiFi connections to more devices through this new advanced WiFi technology that connects automatically and simultaneously to every WiFi-enabled device in the home.”
In simple terms, the way it works is using one of the three bands to connect the base to the Satellite, then the other two networks are for your devices.
Technical Features of the Orbi WiFi System:
- Orbi WiFi router and satellite form a Tri-band WiFi mesh for high-speed whole-home WiFi coverage
- High-performance WiFi coverage up to 4,000 square feet
- Single WiFi network name (SSID) for the entire network (2.4 & 5GHz WiFi bands)
- Blazing-fast 802.11ac AC3000 WiFi speed up to 3Gbps*
- Tri-band WiFi system with dedicated 5GHz quad stream wireless back haul between the Orbi router and satellite delivering high performance WiFi
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB 2.0 port each on the router and satellite
- Advanced router features such as IPv6, Dynamic DNS, port forwarding, parental controls, access point mode
- Auto-updates of maintenance firmware available to ensure you have the latest security and software updates
- Advanced WiFi security with automated updates, WPS-protected setup, 64/128 bit WEP; WPA/WPA-2 PSK, WPA/WPA-2 Enterprise
Orbi will be available in late September, the US price is $399.99, Australian Availability is expected by the end of the year and given that US pricing we’d expect it to land around $700 or a touch over.
It’s a big unit, and the design is radical for a WiFi router because it really needs to be placed in the centre of the home not down in the office or basement with the modem/router.
We’ll have a full review in the months ahead.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.