NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi (RBK852) Review - No more Dead Zones

Today we review the highly-rated Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh Wifi RBK852 Router and see whether it justifies its price tag compared to other routers in its category. Netgear produce some of the best routers available and the Orbi Whole Home router is designed to give WiFi to the entire house (up to 5,000 square feet) without loss or poor quality connections. Let's dive in and see what this bad boy is about!

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Review

9

Our Rating

Features

6

Performance

6

User Friendly

6

Review Of NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700

  • The Pros
  • Uses Mesh WiFi for great coverage
  • Fast WiFi Speeds with WiFi 6 AX6000 (up to 6 Gbps)
  • Alexa & Google Assistant Compatible
  • Mobile App included to manage Router
  • Powerful hardware
  • The Cons
  • High Price
  • Web Interface is lacking

  1. Netgear Orbi Whole Home WiFi Speeds
  2. Netgear Orbi Setup, App and Alexa
  3. Netgear Orbi RBK852 Hardware
  4. Netgear Orbi Software and Dashboard
  5. Orbi Home Router Comparisons
  6. The Verdict for Orbi Whole Home RBK852

The Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh Wifi Router (RBK852 model) was released in September 6th 2019 and has since gone on to be one of the most highly-rated home Wifi Routers currently available. At a cost of around $700.00 USD, the price of a very decent computer, is this router the answer to all our dreams? Does it prevent the stuttering WiFi downstairs in the living room? Does it broadcast a high-speed connection even to the bottom of the garden? For $700.00, we better hope so.

The RBK852 Orbi comes with a Router and a Satellite. The Satellite is basically used to extend the coverage of your WiFi around your house (like those extender plugs you can buy, but more reliable). Together they create a Mesh Wifi system to deliver great performance and speed across the entire network.

Netgear Orbi Whole Home WiFi Speeds

First let's take a look at the reported speeds of the Orbi Whole Home router. The Orbi uses the latest WiFi 6 standard, which is the 802.11 ax standard that improves on the WiFi 5 802.11ac standard found in most of your old routers.

WiFi 6 can reach up to speeds of 9.6 Gbps, versus the WiFi 5 which reaches up to 6.9Gbps speed. WiFi 6 achieves this by using an improved 1024-QAM signal and a 160 MHz channel to provide larger bandwidth for data such as 4K, Virtual Reality and even 8K streams.

Not only does using the latest WiFi 6 standard improve upon speed, it also increases the amount of devices it can handle at any given moment by four times. The RBK852 model can support 60+ devices connected to it, so if your house is filled with WiFi connected devices this router is going to be able to handle all that traffic at once.

The range on this Orbi Router is up to 5,000 sq. ft and uses "Mesh WiFi" coverage to able to reach the whole house. Mesh WiFi is a new technology that is the new buzzword when it comes to Routers, but it's basically a reliable way to extend the WiFi coverage in your house, using either a "satellite" or other Router device.

Netgear Orbi Setup, App and Alexa

One of the great things about new technology is that developers are making them easier to use through a number of different devices. The Netgear Orbi has its own mobile app that you can download to your phone to manage the network. It also has its own Alexa app and Google Assistant app that you can download to your devices to control it using just your voice. These methods are great if your main Router is far away in the house and you need to reset it for whatever reason.

The Orbi App can be downloaded from both the App Store on iPhones and the Google Play Store on Android devices. The app lets you see your WiFi speed, manage devices connected, parental controls and see your Network Map.

Netgear Orbi RBK852 Hardware

The hardware behind the Orbi RBK852 is also pretty impressive when it comes to home routers.

  • Powerful quad-core 2.2GHz processor
  • Eight high-performance internal antennas with high-power amplifiers
  • Four 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
  • One 2.5Gbps Multi-Gigabit Ethernet WAN port (WAN Link Aggregation by adding one of the 1Gbps LAN ports to the 2.5 Gbps WAN port.)
  • Standards-based WiFi Security (802.11i, 128-bit AES encryption with PSK)
  • Satellite contains four 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports

In the box you get both the Router and a satellite which you should place at the other end of your house to get the best reception possible.

Netgear Orbi Software and Dashboard

Router software is often clunky and hard to navigate through in order to achieve what you want. You usually have to consult a manual unless you're a Network specialists. Whilst the Orbi App is great and provides a beautiful interface for managing your network, the web user interface leaves a lot to be desired.

Orbi User Interface

Now don't get me wrong, the interface does provide you with most of the Router tools and features you'll need. You've got your basic options for setting up passwords and networks, filtering out traffic and quality of service features to help improve network efficiency. But compared to some web interfaces we have used like the DumaOS of the Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router this one feels a little lacking. If you don't mind a bland interface but with all the required features, then this probably won't bother you too much, especially with the Orbi App which is perfect for most users who want to quickly manage their network's basic settings.

Orbi Home Router Comparisons

The RBK852 is one version of the Orbi Home Router from Netgear so it's quite easy to get confused by other versions. Let's take a look at our comparison table below for the different versions and features:

  RBK23-100NAS RBK33-100NAS RBK50V-100NAS RBK852-100NAS
CPU Powerful Quad-Core 710MHz processor Powerful Quad-Core 710MHz processor Powerful Quad-Core 710MHz processor Powerful Quad-Core 2.2GHz
WiFi Speeds WiFi 5 - AC2200 (2.2Gbps) WiFi 5 - AC2200 (2.2Gbps) WiFi 5 - Router: AC3000 (3Gbps) WiFi 6 - AX6000 (6 Gbps)
Ports 6 4 6 9
WiFi Coverage Up to 6,000 sq. ft. Up to 5,000 sq. ft. Up to 4,500 sq. ft. Up to 5,000 sq. ft.
Amazon
Price $260.00 $299.00 $429.00 $699.00

There are even more Orbi WiFi Home Routers that you can take a look at too.

The Verdict for Orbi Whole Home RBK852

There is no doubt that the Orbi Whole Home RBK852 Router provides a great reception and coverage area for fast and reliable connections for WiFi. It's one of the most powerful Routers on the market, with a quad-core processor and combined with Mesh WiFi provides fast network speeds of up to 6Gbps. Those with faster internet will find this router really helps to get the most out of their speed limits, and you'll find that if you have a household with many devices this Router can handle them all very well without network congestion being a problem. The Orbi Home app is great for checking your network status easily and is available to anyone with an iPhone or Android device.

The price of the Router is quite high compared to similar products on the market. If you have a smaller house and don't need the massive 5,000 Square feet coverage or have the faster fibre internet connection, using one of the lower RBK models might be better for you.

If you've used the Orbi Whole Home RBK852 Router, we'd love to hear your thoughts and responses on how it worked in your home. It's one of the most highly rated products on Amazon, so we're interested to see what you guys make of it too. Leave a comment below!



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