Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Best Mesh Wi-Fi System Netgear Orbi RBK50

The Netgear Orbi was the best performer in our recent Mesh Wi-Fi roundup, receiving the top recommendation among several other competing systems. While most mesh Wi-Fi systems used three nodes, the standard Orbi kit has only two and yet it performed well ahead of the competition in almost all tests.

Mesh Wi-Fi kits are becoming a popular market segment. They are designed for medium to large houses where a single router doesn't reach every corner. Mesh systems are more expensive than standard routers, but provide a host of benefits. This includes an easy setup process, an advanced management interface, and extended range.

A properly implemented mesh network will be leaps and bounds better than a traditional router with a cheap range booster. While those range boosters make it seem like you have good signal all around your house, they almost always deliver terrible speeds and poor reliability. Today's mesh systems use advanced routing algorithms to maintain high speeds even at range. They typically use dedicated channels for internal backhaul, while basic extenders leech off your main connection.

Almost every major home networking provider has an entry in this market, but some are better than others. When mesh routers were on its first generation we used to recommend Google's Wi-Fi system because of its ease of use and low cost, however this came at the cost of great performance. But now you can find much better and faster systems for about the same price, like this Netgear Orbi kit which is very competitively priced at $270.

We loved the Orbi for its great performance and easy setup. The nodes are much bigger than other models, but this allows them to use higher quality antennas and more powerful processors. We also liked the built-in four port switch since many other mesh systems have just two Ethernet ports, and in some cases less than that

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