Looking for the quickest home Wi-Fi mesh-router kit on the market? The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) router from Netgear bursts beyond the gigabit-per-second bandwidth barrier, resulting in remarkable throughput that reaches all corners of a massive home.
The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) package, consists of a router & two satellites, employs the newest Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax) protocol, as well as several speed-boosting tactics, to provide more than enough wireless data to fill only a tech billionaire’s estate. The Orbi RBKE963 demonstrates that operating a network at high speed may be secure by incorporating Netgear’s Armor security software as a premium option.
An Orbi RBKE963’s $1,499 asking price is equally out of this world for a networking router. Despite the low price, it only includes 90 days of free tech assistance with a year of Armor enhanced security. Still, when you can afford it, it’s the greatest mesh system on the market.
What you will see here?
Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963): Pricing and availability
The Orbi RBKE963 package router that was looked at included the RBRE960 host routers as well as a set of RBSE960 satellites that transmitted data over the 2.4, 5-, and 6-GHz Wi-Fi bands. According to Netgear experts, the total system can cover up to 9,000 sq ft – and overtimes the size of an average American home.
The entire system costs $1,500, that’s more than the monthly average rent and mortgage payment inside the United States. An additional satellite to extend the network’s coverage by around 3,000 square feet will cost $600, which is the same price as Netgear’s top Wi-Fi 6e gaming router.
If all of this seems a bit too expensive, Netgear intends to release a less expensive two-piece variation, the RBKE962, with either a host router as well as a satellite that will cost $1,100 & cover 6,000 square feet.
Design and features
The latest version of an Orbi retains Netgear’s famous white obelisk style, however, the company claims it has introduced a black variant in response to consumer demand.
The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) router is also bigger, measuring 280mm high, 190mm wide, & 84mm deep, reflecting the fact here that new Wi-Fi technology necessitates each Orbi to have at least 12 internal antennae to give increased range and speed.
Because of the adoption of Wi-Fi 6E, this top-of-the-line mesh system now can provide quad-band Wi-Fi, including the 2.4GHz band, 2 5.0GHz bands, as well as the new 6.0GHz band. This enables the Orbi to deliver a peak speed of 10.8Gbps and a range of 7,500 sq. ft, as opposed to 4.2Gbps & 6,000 sq. ft for the Orbi’s basic Wi-Fi 6 version.
Just keep in mind that, whereas the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) is compatible with the existing devices that utilize Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6, you must use newer devices to enable Wi-Fi 6E to fully benefit from the Orbi’s high-end capabilities.
That many mesh systems from those other makers simply offer two or three identical routers, and yet Netgear’s method with the Orbi systems is to provide one main router – which must be attached to your established broadband modem/router – as well as two satellites, which can be placed in different rooms or locations throughout your home.
The primary Orbi router has a prominent ‘Router’ logo on the front to avoid misunderstanding, but concealed around the back is a bright yellow Ethernet port that links to your existing broadband router and enables high-speed Web access of up to 10Gbps.
Of course, this is far quicker than most residential internet connections. But if you can buy the Orbi WiFi 6E, you can afford super-fast fiber broadband too though.
Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963): Three Ethernet Port
The primary router has also three additional Gigabit Ethernet ports and one 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connections to your computers or devices like a smart TV or games console that benefit from a lag-free wired network. The two satellites each offer 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports and one 2.5 Gigabit port. It gives you lots of alternatives for wired connectivity if you need them.
However, we have some reservations regarding the Orbi app. Particularly because the description on the Orbi’s box appears to suggest that the app contains Netgear’s Smart Parental Controls & Armour security features.
In actuality, both services are only available for a 30-day free trial before requiring further membership costs for both. Its Smart Parental Controls price is £6.99/US$7.99/AU$10.99 per month or £49.99/US$69.99/AU$99.99 annually. Whereas UK users presently receive a half-price discount for the Armour service. That costs £42.50 for the first year and then £84.99/US$99.99/AU$140 thereafter.
To be honest, the Orbi app deserves respect for being simple to use. Simply scan a QR code on the major router. The app will immediately link your smartphone or tablet to a new Orbi network. As well as connect your primary router to its 2 satellites.
However, the software isn’t overflowing with extra features. It simply builds a single network that combines the 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz, and 6.0GHz networks. It automatically links your PCs and mobile devices to the fastest available frequency band.
Because the network name (SSID) & password are written on the same label as the QR code. All you had to do was connect the 3 Orbi units to mains power and they had a new mesh network up and operating in about 10 minutes.
Let’s just say, this high-end mesh system breezed through the network speed. You didn’t anticipate devices in the same room as the existing internet router to boost Wi-Fi performance with Orbi. This only registered 100Mbps only with Ookla Speed and 12.5MB/s on Steam downloads. The best rates you can regularly expect from a 100Mbps broadband connection.
If you do, however, have a rear office that has weak Wi-Fi and relies on a pair of Powerline adaptors to offer a wired connection for the office PCs. You can install one of Orbi’s satellites in the workplace. The other is in a neighboring corridor. This configuration will provide you with the maximum Wi-Fi speeds straight away, sustaining 100Mbps at Ookla and 12.5MB/s with no problems.
The pricing of an Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6 indicates that it is currently at the premium end of the market. However, as you’ve seen the Wi-Fi 6 in recent months, prices should soon begin to fall. Especially when new laptops and mobile devices begin to support Wi-Fi 6E later this year.
Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963): Setup
The installation of the system begins with the installation of the Orbi mobile application for Android or iOS. The applications contain plenty of images of what to do throughout the setup process. They only appear in portrait mode. But not landscape mode, making them more suited for phones than tablets.
You connected to the network and satellites after installing the Orbi software on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phone. While they were getting started, You signed up for a Netgear account and agreed to a company’s license and privacy regulations.
You supplied a new network name, access password, and administrative password when the app discovered the router and satellites. Everything was set up after you provided the answers to the following identity-challenge questions that would be used if you lost the passwords.
From start to end, it took approximately 19 minutes & 40 seconds to put up the RBKE963. That was 40% longer than Orbi RBK852 two-piece mesh kit. My 200-Mbps internet connection provided 192 Mbps to the RBKE963.
The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) system, like other Orbi devices, may be controlled and adjusted via the Orbi app or a desktop browser on either a connected computer to the Wi-Fi network. The former is more user-friendly and visually appealing, whereas the latter provides more possibilities.
The Dashboard of the Orbi app displayed the number of satellites that were online as well as their various configuration choices. Device Manager, which revealed the number of connected client devices, & Security, which reported the state of the Armor security software, were shown in a grid style. The interface also included links for seeing a network map and monitoring the current network speed & signal quality.
You could add another satellite, manage my Netgear account, and check for firmware upgrades by clicking the home symbol in the upper left corner of the dashboard. Using the Orbi app, it was simple to restart the mesh system.
The Orbi RBKE963 system provides capable parental controls for filtering out unwanted information and limiting screen time. That took you about 2 minutes to set up for a hypothetical adolescent. The parental controls, like several of the other features of the Orbi RBKE963, are only available for a limited time; beyond the first 30 days, the function costs $70 per year.
Using a web browser to access the Orbi’s administrative interface produced a comprehensive main page that displayed the system’s firmware version as well as an outline of the current system status.
The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) includes a 1-year subscription to Netgear’s second-generation Armor protection software for free. This includes router-based protection as well as unlimited device licenses for Bitdefender’s Total Security software. It is available for PCs, Macs, Android devices, iPhones, and iPads.
After the one-year trial period, the Armor protection prices $99 per year. That may appear to be a lot, but the integrated Bitdefender software alone costs $120 each year.
The RBKE963’s one-year guarantee & 90 days of free tech support. On the other hand, appear meager, especially for such a pricey piece of gear. Linksys, on the other hand, includes 3 years of warranty coverage & free lifetime tech support including its Velop mesh systems.
A two-year warranty for the RBKE963 prices $40, while 2 years of tech support costs $120. (You can receive a year of free tech assistance if you buy Netgear equipment through Costco.) The great news is that the app allows you to contact support immediately via online chat or phone call.
Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) router is the class leader. This is the most efficient, capable, and safe mesh system currently available. The mesh network’s quad-band architecture, dedicated 5-GHz backhaul channel, and Wi-Fi 6e capabilities, when paired with Netgear’s Armor security software, add up to fast and secure internet access. The Orbi RBKE963 is all that other mesh systems aspire to be, and its $1,500 price tag reflects that.
The Orbi RBKE963 is one of the easiest mesh systems to use. Since Netgear routers let you set up and administer it using a linked browser or a mobile application. However, its devices are large and difficult to conceal. It offers only 90 days of free technical support and a one-year guarantee. It may be overkill for anybody with less than gigabit bandwidth — or a less-than-gigantic house.
Despite its hefty pricing and ongoing add-on expenditures, this mesh kit is by far the greatest system available today. The Orbi RBKE963 might satisfy your thirst for speed if you can buy it.