Netgear Orbi 5G WiFi 6 Mesh (NBK752): A fast WiFi 6 mesh network with 5G

Photo: Cliff Joseph/ZDNet.

Netgear offers a wide range of Orbi mesh routers. Well designed, easy to use and offering good performance, Netgear products are an attractive option – for the office and home.

Netgear Orbi NBK752

Netgear Orbi NBK752 – Best Price:

  • the amazon

    1697.95

That’s especially true for the latest addition to the lineup, the Orbi 5G WiFi 6 Mesh System (NBK752), which combines Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity with 5G mobile broadband to provide a fallback solution if you lose yours. Wire connection.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions: Router = 246.4mm x 195.6mm x 86.4mm / Satellite = 231.1mm x 182.9mm x 71.1mm
  • Weight: Router = 1.25 kg / Satellite = 0.86 kg
  • 4G LTE Bands: B2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41, 48, 66, 71
  • 5G Band: n2, n5, n25, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77
  • SIM Slot: small sim
  • Beamforming: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, MU-MIMO for simultaneous data streaming to multiple devices
  • Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Storage: 512MB NAND flash
  • port: Router = Two Gigabit Ethernet LAN, One Gigabit Ethernet LAN/WAN/Satellite = Two Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Security: Netgear Armor (antivirus and data theft protection), 802.11i and 128-bit AES with PSK (Wi-Fi)
  • Warranty and Support: Two-year hardware warranty, 24/7 technical support for 90 days from date of purchase (if purchased from a Netgear authorized reseller)
  • In the box: One Orbi AX4200 5G WiFi 6 Router (NBR750), One Orbi Satellite (RBS750), One Power Adapter, 2m Ethernet Cable, Quick Start Guide
  • Price: 1,199.95 euros (router + satellite), 249.99 euros (additional satellites)

Price and configuration

The Orbi 5G WiFi 6 is an ultra-premium box, which combines tri-band Wi-Fi 6 (with a maximum speed of 4.2 Gbps) and 5G mobile broadband (the speed of which will depend on the 5G coverage provided by your operator). You will need to provide a 5G SIM yourself but Orbi currently supports n1, n3, n7, n8, n20, n28, n40, n41, n77 and n78 frequencies.

So the base price of the equipment is €1199.95. For this price, you have a mesh system with a satellite router, which can cover up to about 450 square meters of space. Packs with two or three satellites are also available (for €1448.95 and €1697.95 respectively). Just one add-on satellite will cost you €249.99.

If you find the addition too salty, the previous model, the LBR20, is still available and includes Wi-Fi 5 and 4G for between 300 and 400 euros.

Design and features

The Orbi 5G WiFi 6 does not change the traditional design of the range. So there are two small tall and narrow towers that take up very little space once installed. Be careful though, it’s best to leave some space around the orbi when you install it. It avoids obstacles that can block the Wi-Fi signal.

Router (left) and satellite (right) – Image: Cliff Joseph / ZDNet.

Netgear’s Orbi system consists of a primary router and one or more secondary “satellites”. Here, the router is slightly taller than the Satellite, at 24.6 cm in height, compared to 23.1 cm for the Satellite. On the back of the main router, you’ll find a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port that can be connected to your existing modem to use the Internet connection. The router also has a slot for a 5G SIM card (in nano format) to get a fallback solution based on ultra high speed mobile. Both the router and the satellite have two Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports that can link your network with a wired connection.

Ports and Connectors: 2 antenna slots for 5G, a nano SIM slot, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 LAN/WAN Ethernet port. The Satellite has two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Photo: Cliff Joseph/ZDNet.

Routers and satellites each have six internal antennas for mesh Wi-Fi networks. The back of the main router has two slots for installing a pair of antennas capable of improving 5G reception. The concept is quite good at a time when 5G coverage is still not impeccable. However, the antennas are sold as extras, which is a bit small considering the price of this solution.

Netgear is also very pushy to buy since the Orbi app for iOS and Android regularly tries to sell you subscriptions to Arma’s security service (€99.99 per year) and Smart Parental Controls (€69.99 per year). The parental control tool proved particularly problematic with regular reminders to subscribe Orbi 5G WiFi 6 comes with a 30-day free trial for both services.

Photo: Cliff Joseph/ZDNet.

use

Orbi 5G WiFi 6 is primarily designed for personal use or telecommunications. The Orbi app therefore goes to the essentials By downloading the app and scanning the QR code printed on the main router, the software will automatically detect the router, check your Internet connection, then link the router and satellite to create a mesh Wi-Fi network.

The app creates a single network that combines the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, with an option to create a guest network if needed. This simplicity will certainly appeal to people who work from home, but the Orbi 5G WiFi 6 lacks the more advanced features of Netgear’s Pro models. Especially one that allows you to create multiple networks with different access privileges. IT managers can therefore opt for the Orbi Pro or one of Netgear’s mobile hotspots with 4G/5G connectivity.

The main advantage of the Orbi 5G WiFi 6 is its ability to connect to the Internet through both a traditional broadband connection (or fiber) and 4G/5G. The Orbi application thus offers three modes of operation. “Ethernet only” mode which relies on the WAN port to exploit the Internet connection of an already existing broadband modem or router. “LTE only” mode, on the other hand, relies only on mobile broadband and allows the WAN port to act as an additional LAN port. On the other hand, business users will probably want to use the third mode, “Ethernet + LTE”, which uses the WAN port whenever possible, but can also switch to 5G/4G if your home or desktop broadband crashes. Some reason.

The Orbi app appears to be using the term ‘LTE’ to refer to all mobile broadband, which is technically incorrect. Our test unit seems to have switched to ‘LTE-only’ by default, which is a bit confusing, as the Orbi was suddenly unable to connect to the internet while connected to the office router. It took me a while to find the sub-menu that allows you to change modes. A little more education on this important feature wouldn’t go a long way.

performance

The first tests were done in Ethernet only mode to test the speed of the mesh Wi-Fi network. The main Orbi router was connected to a typical office router, while the Orbi satellite was placed in a secondary office where Wi-Fi reception is traditionally weak. Typical routers typically provide average speeds of 355 Mbps for devices located in the same room, but drop to 71 Mbps in more distant rooms. The Orbi mesh network delivered better performance in both rooms: 430 Mbps in the main office, and an impressive 390 Mbps in the secondary office.

After removing the Ethernet cable, the Orbi system realized it needed to switch to 5G/LTE mode. 5G download speeds were relatively average, averaging around 60Mbps, but that’s more due to poor 5G coverage in the region than any weaknesses in the Orbi system. This speed allows you to still browse the internet, check your emails and even make a few video calls, should you lose your wired connection.

Conclusion

Orbi 5G WiFi 6 is expensive, and Netgear’s aggressive sales methods when it comes to add-on services are a pain due to the price of the solution. There are certainly less expensive options for business users who need a mesh Wi-Fi network with mobile broadband support in an emergency.

However, the Orbi 5G WiFi 6 is future ready to support a large number of devices simultaneously with its Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. And with its 5G compatibility, Orbi also offers peace of mind for business users who need fast and uninterrupted connectivity.

alternative

If you like the idea of ​​a mesh Wi-Fi network with mobile broadband compatibility but find Netgear’s Wi-Fi 6/5G solution too expensive, the Wi-Fi 5/4G LTE model (LBR20) is a more affordable option. If you want to set up a dedicated internet connection in your home, there are other options:

Netgear Orbi 4G LTE Mesh Wi-Fi Router (LBR20)

Check out LBR20 on Amazon

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E Mesh System (RBKE963)

Check out RBKE963 on Amazon

Source: ZDNet.com

Leave a Comment