I get it, you think that spending $1,499 on a WiFi network for your home is a bit much. It wasn’t but a few years ago that we were pushing to $700 thinking the same thing. But now think about just how many devices you have connected at home, and what sort of devices they are – it’s now that you realise how critical your WiFi network is.
Now of course, if you’ve got two people living at home, and each of you have two devices and a shared TV and no smart home devices, this might not be for you. That said, you might want to at least consider another Orbi product simply to ensure you’re getting WiFi throughout your whole home.
But, for the average home, we’re pushing into the 30+ devices when you consider all those light bulbs, smart devices, tablets and phones.
At it’s core, Netgear Orbi – no matter which product you choose – offers you a Whole Home WiFi solution. You pay for X speed from your internet provider, you deserve for the speed in every corner of your home to be at or very close to X. Simple as that. Your ISP modem isn’t doing that – not a chance.
Plug the Orbi Router into your modem, and then install an Orbi Satellite (just needs a power point) in another area of your home – boom, what I like to call a “dome” of WiFi covers your home.
The bigger your home, the more “satellites” you need – just like Elon and his plans to cover the whole planet with WiFi. Starlink is like Orbi for the planet:)
So, let’s look at this specific product – the 860 Series Netgear Orbi.
Buying from Netgear’s online store means you can choose the black unit we’ve been testing for a few months now – and I’ve gotta say, while I love the Orbi look – in Black it goes next level.
Sitting on a shelf with a bunch of nick nacks and it just fits in.
That keeps the wife happy.
Installation is an absolute breeze thanks to the Netgear Orbi app – just install that, and follow the instructions. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.
My advice if you’re upgrading is to give your new Orbi network the same name and password as your old one, that way all your devices just cling to the new one with no setup needed.
Inside, beyond your sight are some advanced antennas which mean great range here, with coverage up to 360 square meters! That means your front and back yards will get WiFi too. And that matters for things like cameras or lights.
Speaking of lights, something I’ve only seen in the most recent Orbi Products (we tested it in the office on the latest Orbi Pro range for business) is the IoT network.
Your Orbi will create a specific IoT network – with that name (you can tweak in the settings) – that you can connect all your smart home devices to – like sensors and light bulbs.
This means they will connect simpler and more robustly – particularly at a close range to the router or satellite. This is due to the IoT network being purely 2.4GHz – that’s what a lot of smart home things want for. They are still part of your main normal network, but they cling to 2.4GHz to ensure connectivity is robust for them.
More modern devices will want for the 5GHz and benefit from that.
As someone paying for 1000Mbps speeds on the NBN, I get about 960Mbps at the router, and am able to see easily 500+ at all times even at the busiest times of the day around my home, sitting relaxed watching a streamed movie I’ve tested at the opposite end of the house and seen 900+. I’m legit getting what I pay for, everywhere.
There are four ethernet ports on both the router and Satellite, making the location for the Satellite an interesting one, if you can it’s great to place it with your TV and things like gaming gear to get Ethernet connectivity.
Fast speeds, Excellent Range, Simple setup – there’s no reason not to love the Netgear Orbi 860 series.
Of course, if you are at the extreme end of nerdiness or the ultimate early adopter, you might opt to go oOne level up to the Orbi 960 series which also offers WiFi 6E – that exclusive WiFi freeway for your latest devices.
But for many and most, the 860 is ideal, and a two pack at $1,499 will cover you off.