The router market has started to trend towards multiple base station units. I reviewed the Ubiquiti Amplifi HD as my first taste of this technology, and since then Netgear has sent over the Orbi, and Amped Wireless just sent the Ally Plus over so we have a good bit of testing to look forward to. Each of these systems are going to be different as each vendor has a different idea of this technology. At this point, there are only a few with true mesh networking - Luma, Eero, Google, and Ubiquiti. Netgear has chosen the same route as Amped Wireless with two base stations (a router and an extender).
Diving into the product in hand, the Orbi takes a unique approach in that Netgear is using a 5GHz wireless connection to pair the router and satellite together. In fact, this connection utilizes a higher 5GHz AC1733 Quad-Stream to ensure the satellites have the appropriate bandwidth required. With that, both the satellites and router are essentially AC1200 devices. They have 400 Mbps capabilities on the 2.4GHz band and 866 Mbps on the 5GHz band.
As you can see with the spec sheet above, Netgear has gotten a little creative in marketing this solution as AC3000 - of course, bigger is always better, right? At its heart, we have 4GB of flash and 512MB of memory coupled with six antennas, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and one USB 2.0 port. This device does support both implicit and explicit beamforming and MU-MIMO.
The MSRP of the Netgear Orbi comes in at $379.99 with a one-year warranty.
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