Netgear Orbi Review: One of the Most Powerful Routers in the Market

Netgear Orbi

The Netgear Orbi internet is a mesh router system that is really one of a kind. This router can easily fill up and work well with all the devices in a hu8ge house. The router provides users with high internet speed.

It is so easy to connect and set up this router. It also has more internet power and range than many other routers in the market. The Netgear Orbi industry also gives users access to the channel that provides you with router-to-extension data that ensures that the device can get the most throughput for all your needs. 

If you are an avid internet user and your home or office space is quite large, this premium router is worth every penny. This unit that is the Netgear Orbit is definitely one of the most ideal Wi-Fi routers in the market. 

The Netgear Orbi design

A lot of the routers that have been released into the market are quite small and compact. However, the Netgear Orbi router system is not like the rest. These devices are quite large and bulky.

They measure 8.9 x 6.7 x 3.1 inches with really long extensions. Users are often advised to neatly place it on a shelf and then you could use it as one of your bookends.

The fact remains that these ideal devices are very large and not easy to hide it under furniture or in the corner of a room.  The Netgear Orbi devices are quite similar to the Google WiFi units as they are both designed with colored LEDs. Once your Orbi unit begins to radiate white around the oval top, that means that the device is just starting up.

When the unit glows with a blue light that means that every feature is functioning perfectly. However, if you notice an amber glow, it simply means that your wi-fi internet that you are connected to is weak.

If your unit releases a magenta light, this means that you no longer have any internet connection.

The Orbi unit passes on the Wi-Fi data frequency by making use of three radio-frequency bands. This is the contemporary 5-GHz as well as the 2.4 GHz radios, provide you with a conceptual peak throughput of 1.2Gbps of data pass to the user’s device.

This device, however, comes with a twist

Netgear has included an additional 5-GHz and 1.75Gbps radio that is completely dedicated to working on the backhaul area. The transmitted data is passed on from the Orbi router unit all the way to the Orbis satellite and then back again.

This other side-channel increases the strength in between the Orbi units and all of your device. If you are using more than one device to connect to the internet, you are assured of a very strong and quick connection. 

To enable this organization and configuration, each and every Orbi tool is designed with six high-quality developed antennas all around the device’s perimeter. The unit is also made with a Bluetooth radio as well as an antenna.

The Orbi’s router satellite and unit look exactly the same. Even though they have very similar looks and properties, you still cannot choose what unit should serve as the router or as a repeater.

The units have been manufactured to perform specific roles and you cannot interchange any one of them. 

This Netgear Orbi router works well with three satellites, however, each and every satellite is in touch with the router that hosts through a spoke-and-hub arrangement. This is different from the mesh topology that would allow the internet data pass-through from a satellite to another.

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Information on Updates

At the moment the Netgear industry has confirmed that they are manufacturing a firmware update system that would authorize communication from one satellite to another. 

The backside of every Orbi unit is designed with an on and off power input button as well as another four Ethernet ports. The router has a number of different modems.

The yellow port is used to connect your broadband internet modem while other LAN ports are used to make a connection to storage drives that are attached to your network, stationary PCs as well as printers.

The device is also made with buttons that can reset it and also synchronize your router to extra satellites. Netgear Orbi units that are purchased in packs are removed from the box having been synched.

Each and every Orbi unit also has a 2.0 USB port, however, just like the radios that use Bluetooth, they need to be activated by a software update that is yet to be released. 

The performance of the Netgear Orbi

The Netgear Orbi device is just like the Google Wifi router system. Both units can easily take care of two concurrent data streams. This suitably configures your equipments all per frequency band.

The backhaul channel is committed to using 4×4 radios. The Orbi unit has, however, added the most recent multi-user, and multiple inputs, and multiple-output (MIMO) internet technology feature that allows you to send specific streams of data to a number of other devices all at one time.

Each Netgear Orbi unit is made with Qualcomm’s IPQ4019 radio and wi-fi chip as well as an ARM-based processor and a 710-MHz core that is equipped with 4GB of storage space and 512MB of RAM.

It is also made with a QCA9984 nick. This Nick manages the data channel in the backhaul area of the system. 

All of the mentioned features make the system very powerful. This I x Chariot software, Purch Labs’ testing proves that one Orbi router can provide you with a total throughput average of 552.1 Mbps at only 5 feet.

Performace results

Tests have proven that even with this distance, this feature makes the unit perform 19 percent faster than Google Wi-fi. It also performs 50% faster than Ubiquiti AmpliFi and 34% faster than Linksys Velop.

The performance of the Orbi router has been compared to the performance of other devices such as the Google wi-fi, the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD’s router, and the Linksys Velop router. The performance of the Orbi unit fell with a really large distance, however, it was not as fast as Google wi-fi’s performance.

The throughput average at 15 feet was around 510.9 Megabits per second. At 50 feet it measured 447.1 Megabits per second and at 100 feet it measured 371.4 Megabits per second.

What this means is that the Orbi’s throughput of 100-feeet was almost very similar to the speed of the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD that is 15-feet. At long range, the unit known as Linksys Velop also averaged a lot more power, however, the results of the tests conducted are not as consistent as the Orbi unit.

The distance trials were undertaken along a sight line. 

How it performes

The Netgear Orbi router still provided users with 229.1 Mnos of internet speed even when the user is 150 feet away from the router. This means that the route performs seven times better than the Google Wifi’s system that provides only 33.8 Megabits per second at an average of 150 feet.

The Orbi industry has always claimed to be able to cover 2,000sq feet per unit, however, when comparing these kinds of results, it might actually be set too low. 

The Orbi router also went through the material-penetration tests conducted in the Purch’s lab. The results proved that the transmissions were strong enough to pass through a wall manufactured with a metal frame, a sound boarded barrier and a ceiling with just a small drop-off.

The barrier os the soundboard actually enhanced the throughput with around 8 percent. This is not inclusive of the normal drywall because it has just a little effect. 

The Amplified HD and the Google Wi-fi units had losses of even smaller percentages when passing through barriers like walls and ceiling, however, the powerful starting point of the Netgear Orbi pushed the unit ahead of the others in the market.

Netgear Orbi review

Data Penetration Compared in Megabits per second (Mbps)

When conducting a single-line test of 100 feet, putting the Google Wi-fi’s or the AmpliFi HD’s router halfway in between the laptop and the router, the throughputs each dropped by around 25 percent. The Velop’s router throughput did not drop or increase.

The Netgear Orbi extension throughput, however, increased by 28 percent. 

The Netgear Orbi router also performed very well in complex, 3D tests. The results are almost just the same as the Linksys Velop’s router. When the router is placed between two walls about 30 feet away from each wall, the extension released 429.1 Megabytes per second to a computer that was one storey above the router.

Netgear vs google Wi-fi

This is actually twice more than the Google Wi-Fi’s router average speed. Once you move the laptop away, the throughput decreased, however, the Netgear Orbi’s extension really improved the situation. 

When working in a three-story house that is built with a lot of broad walls, the Orbi router still remained connected with the user’s devices. When the device is placed around 125 feet away from the source that is the router, the internet connection maintained great speed and service.

Experts have maintained that the Orbi router has given the most ideal score amongst other routers in the market. Even when placed 20 to 35 feet away from the device, the router provides better service than what the Google wi-fi and even what the AmpliFi HD router could provide, respectively.

The network of the Orbi unit can also easily and quickly cover a 3,500sq foot house, even when the router is kept all the way in the basement of your home and the extension is placed on the main floor of the house.

How it performs

The signal was so strong easily serving users that are working on the higher floors of the establishment. The Orbi unit also went through a speed test through speed and it was revealed that it can deliver high download speeds that are in the middle of 50 Mbps to 95 Mbps.

This is from a broadband connection of 100-Mbps. 

The Orbi device is also designed with a Multi-input and Multi-output technology feature that allows it to serve a number of different devices all at the same time. The device went through a natural saturation test.

In this test, users played a series of videos on the Surface Pro platform as well as the iPad tablets. A MacBook Air played an online radio station while a Samsung Pro 5 tablet transferred information on and off from a network storage system.

The Orbi device performed really well even in this test proving that it is ahead of the curve when compared to other powerful routers. The videos and audios worked well on each and every device, without any kind of skip, buffer, drop-out or stutter. 

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Setting up the Netgear Orbi unit

Netgear is definitely one of the most ideal home wi-fi network systems, however, unlike other contemporary units in the market, this system cannot set itself up. The good news is that the device is sold having already been paired.

The installation also does not really require you to equip yourself with a ton of IT knowledge or a lot of addresses such as encryption or ethernet addresses.

Users are not even required to install any kind of mobile app when setting up the system.

The setup of this unit can easily be done by using your Mac computer or your PC. You can connect it to the Orbi router through Ethernet, or by using your tablet or smartphone through the home wi-fi system.

Once you have opened up your computer’s web browser, users are required to type in Alternatively, while using your Android phone or iOS device, you can download the Orbi app. Users can also make use of the Netgear Genie app that is available on both Mac and Windows devices as well as your iOS and Android device.

The Orbi software will then proceed to conduct a network check which will set up the router system.


You are then required to place the router system in the area that you would like to stay and after that, you can switch on the Orbi satellite. Give the router a few moments to scan for the unit. At this point, you may have to place the satellite closer to your router. 

At this point, you are required to edit the network name. After that, you can set the password as well as the administrative passwords.

Do not skip this point because it increases the security of your device. Next, you will have to restart your device. The process is quite simple and fast. To set up a nice operational network that can easily fill up your suburban house with wi-fi it will only take 10 minutes. 

The Netgear Orbi device comes with a one-year warranty and three months of technical support. The Orbi industry provides users with access to the support section on the Netgear website. The support section equips you with startup tips and videos that will help you when setting up your device.

You are also provided with a manual that you can download. This manual contains a lot of details that explain everything a user can do with the Orbi Netgear system. The support system is also great as technicians work 24/7.

You can choose to contact the support team online by using the website’s online chat or sending an email. Alternatively, you can even connect with them via phone or contact the help desk by using the mobile app. 

Customizating Netgear Orbi platform

Every user who has an Orbi mobile-app views the information on portrait mode. The platform’s functions are very limited only giving users the chance to work with the basics, without making use of a network-speed monitor. However, the Netgear industry is working on adding more capabilities and functions into the Orbi app.

To access more diagnostic information and fine-grained control of the software, you will have to make use of the local interface of the desktop browser or the software of the Netgear Genie platform.

This software can be found in a ton of Netgear routers; however, it contains more functions and features than the incomplete Orbi app. On the dashboard of the Orbi app, you will find the name of the network and the password.

Users get a chance to hide the password information if they would like to. The info screen of this device reveals the router’s firmware version, however, if you would like to update the firmware, you will have to navigate to the bottom of the main dashboard page.  

The interface of the browser is actually so much more detailed, containing a usage monitor and a network speed.

What are the benefits?

This allows you to create a guest network account so that when you have visitors in your home, they can get to use the internet from their own laptops or smartphones, without having to use the main network.

This is great as visitors will not get the chance to access your home password. A number of security experts have also advised users to also put a few of your smart home devices on the guest network. 

The interface also allows you to perform a number of different technical actions. For example, you can easily change the router’s maximum transmission unit.

You can also configure the IPV6 addressing and enable the performance of the port forwarding. However, you cannot change the Orbi’s transmission channel width or strength. You also cannot allocate static IP addresses, however, the Orbi allows users to make use of the DHCP IP address reservations. 

Integrating Netgear Orbi

Another great advantage of the Netgear unit is that it is compatible with Amazon Alexa. To use this feature, you are required to install the Netgear Genie mobile app onto your tablet or smartphone and then set up a Netgear account.

At the moment the only commands that Alexa can make use of are switching the guest network on or off, reading out the wi-fi settings as well as rebooting the router.

 Netgear Orbi security settings and parental control options

The Orbi unit comes with a very random network name as well as a random passcode that consists of both numbers and letters making the unit safe enough to use during the set-up process. After setting up the system users are still advised to modify the name and password to very personal characters that will be easy to remember. 

Unfortunately, the Orbi apps do not allow users to press pause on the internet connection to allow for dinner or family time. However, this feature is present when using the Genie app or the browser interface.

The advantages of using the Netgear Orbi

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  • It has a very fast and enhanced throughput
  • Netgear Orbi also has a great build quality feature
  • It is capable of using MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input and a Multiple Output) functions
  • The router has a gigabit ethernet switch that is three-port as well as a switch on the satellite of four-ports. 
  • Users are given the choice to work with the app or the browser. 
  • The unit is compatible with persistent firmware updates that have continued to include a number of features since its release into the market. 


The disadvantages of using the Netgear Orbi 

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  • The Orbi is designed with larger satellites than many other mesh routers in the market
  • The unit comes with a USB that has very limited functionality
  • The warranty lasts for only one year which is a really short time period. 
  • This router is a lot more expensive than other mesh products in the market.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

1. Is the Netgear Orbi wi-fi system a modem or a router?  

Basically, the Netgear Orbi wi-fi mesh system is an amalgamation of two or more routers that connect to your home wi-fi system or your modem.

It is provided to you by your ISP and it covers your whole house or apartment with a strong wi-fi network range. 

2. What do you mean when you talk about an Orbi Fast Roaming Mode?  

The Orbi wi-fi system contains more than one wi-fi satellite route as well as a central unit. Your internet device automatically connects to the closest device around you.

This means as you walk around your home from one room to the next, your device automatically discontinues from one unit and connects to the next. The most recent Orbi system is designed with fast roaming features that allow you to enhance the efficiency of turning from one access point to the next.  

The Bottom Line

The Netgear Orbi boasts of not only been one of the most outstanding wi-fi routers in the industry, but it is also one of the easiest kits to set up. The system also gives users access to high-performing mobile apps that are very simple and reliable.

The  Netgear’s Genie app, as well as the browser-based interface, are equipped with many more options. The Orbi system is the most ideal mesh router in today’s market. 

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