Is the Orbi Wifi System Any Good? We’ll Go Over Range, Price & More in this “Must Read” Netgear Orbi Review
The average broadband home now has about 9.1 WiFi connected devices. That may sound like a lot, but when you count all the smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and smart devices, like Amazon Echo or Google Home, it begins to make more sense.
In order for all those devices to work fully, they need a reliable signal from a wireless router. Spotty signals, WiFi “dead zones,” and lack of reach to areas like backyards and bonus rooms are why mesh systems, like the Netgear Orbi WiFi, were invented.
Wireless mesh systems extend a wireless network while also keeping a strong signal. They’re one of the newer consumer IT technologies out there to help everyone stay online and connected throughout their home or office.
So, what is Orbi and is it the best mesh WiFi to buy? How does Netgear Orbi vs Google WiFi match up?
We’ve got everything you need to know before you buy in this AdvisoryHQ News Netgear Orbi Review. You’ll find out how the Netgear Orbi WiFi system works, all about Obi set up, and what customers say in Netgear Orbi reviews about its reliability.
Is this the best home WiFi system ever? Or does it fall short? You’ll find out as you read on through this Orbi router review.
AdvisoryHQ Netgear Orbi Review | What is Orbi?
Netgear’s Orbi is a whole home mesh WiFi system. So, what does that mean, exactly?
When many people first hear the term “mesh WiFi” they aren’t quite sure what that means or how it differs from the wireless router they’re used to using. So, what is Orbi?
The Orbi home WiFi system, as well as other mesh networks, works via several units or “satellites” that are about the size of a coffee thermos. The units can talk to each other, and each transmits your main WiFi signal that comes from the main mesh router.
Think of it as a WiFi web (or mesh) that covers all corners and levels of your home or office with a wireless internet signal that is as strong as if your device was right next to the router.
When you buy a Netgear Orbi WiFi system, it comes with:
- Netgear Orbi router
- Netgear Orbi satellite
You can add more satellites if needed to further extend your wireless signal. Each Netgear Orbi satellite talks to the Orbi router and acts as a WiFi “hot spot” over a particular range.
What are the Benefits of an Orbi Mesh Network?
Mesh networks have several benefits over using just your normal wireless router or even a router extender. Here are some of the key reasons people choose an Orbi router over a non-mesh network router.
Delivers a strong signal to multi-level homes
- Covers large homes, up to 5,000 square feet with a unit 2-pack
- Delivers fast internet speeds for all devices
- Creates a seamless Orbi WiFi network with no signal dropping
- Allows you to extend your WiFi to areas like a backyard or garage
- Controllable with voice commands using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
What’s the Negear Orbi Price?
So, how much is this best mesh WiFi system going to cost you? A strong WiFi signal in every corner of your home sounds great, but not if the price is too high.
The Orbi mesh network (AC3000), which includes 1 Netgear Orbi router and 1 Netgear Orbi satellite, can be purchased at multiple retailers. We’ve done an Orbi WiFi review of prices, and here’s what you can expect to pay at some well-known local and online stores.
Netgear Orbi Price
- Amazon – $317.99
- Best Buy – $249.99
- Lowe’s – $329.99
- Office Depot/Office Max – $369.99
- Staples – $318.00
- Walmart – $329.99
What If I Want to Build My Own Orbi Home WiFi System?
If you want to mix and match from all Orbi WiFi components, you can purchase them separately and extend the main Obi mesh network 2-pack (router & satellite). Here are the different components and the Netgear Orbi price for each at either Amazon or Walmart.
Netgear Orbi Routers:
- Orbi Cable Modem Router – $299.98
- Orbi Tri-Band Mesh WiFi Router – $129.99
Netgear Orbi Satellites:
- Add-on Orbi Outdoor Satellite – $329.99
- Add-on Orbi Satellite (RBS40) – $179.98
- Add-on Orbi Satellite (RBS50) – $213.27
- Add-on Orbi “Wall Plug” Satellite – $156.24
- Orbi Voice Add-on WiFi Satellite & Smart Speaker – $335.43
How Easy is Orbi Setup?
Now that you know what you’re going to pay for an Orbi home WiFi system, let’s talk about setup. Home WiFi networks can be confusing enough to set up without a “mesh” to deal with. How easy is the Orbi setup?
We did an Orbi WiFi review of how the system is installed, and here’s what we found.
Netgear states on their website that Orbi setup only takes minutes by using the Netgear Orbi app and that it already works with most major internet carriers.
Overview of Netgear Orbi Setup Instructions
You can find full Orbi setup instructions on the company’s website, here’s an overview of the main steps to take.
- Unplug current modem, remove and replace any backup battery.
- Plug in a modem and connect it to the yellow port on the Orbi router using an ethernet cable (included).
- Connect the Orbi home WiFi system router to a power source.
- Once the Orbi router’s ring LED is solid white, then pulse white, place it in the middle of your home for the best mesh WiFi coverage.
- Take your Netgear Orbi satellite and connect it to a power source.
- While the satellite unit is connecting to the router, it will pulse white and then may pulse magenta while trying to connect.
- A solid blue means your Netgear Orbi WiFi system has a good connection, magenta means the satellite is not connecting, and amber means the connection is only fair so you may want to move the satellite unit closer to the router.
- You should now be able to connect your computer and mobile devices to the Orbi router or satellite, the pre-set name and password are on labels on each unit.
Now, let’s find out what you can do with the Netgear Orbi app.
What Does the Netgear Orbi App Do?
The Netgear Orbi app gives you a central place to monitor and manage your whole Netgear Orbi WiFi system.
Want to disable someone’s internet connection? You can do it in one swipe. Wondering if your internet service provider is giving you the promised speeds? You can do a speed test right from the Netgear Orbi app.
What does an Orbi router review of the app in the iTunes and Google Play stores show?
iTunes Netgear Orbi reviews rate the app a 4.7 out of 5, and Google Play reviewers give it a 4.2 out of 5.
With the Netgear Orbi App You Can:
- Manage your Orbi router and connected devices from anywhere
- Do an Orbi WiFi review of your home network router and satellites
- Use parental controls to manage content & time online with Circle® with Disney
- Check internet speed
- Pause the Orbi WiFi connection to any device
- Supervise internet traffic usage
- Set up your Orbi mesh network for a guest WiFi connection
Netgear Orbi Review Highlights from Buyers
Is the Netgear Orbi WiFi system the best home WiFi system around, or does it fall short? We’ve brought you highlights from several Orbi router reviews to reveal the answer!
What is Orbi’s overall rating among the best mesh WiFi review sites? What are the biggest drawbacks and benefits of the Orbi home WiFi system? Let’s find out now. We’ll start with those that gave it a thumbs down, then hear from the thumbs up Netgear Orbi reviews.
Netgear Orbi Review Ratings
How did this best mesh WiFi score overall in Orbi WiFi reviews? Pretty well! Here are their overall star ratings.
- Amazon (6,482 Netgear Orbi reviews) – 4.3 out of 5
- Best Buy (3,589 Netgear Orbi reviews) – 4.6 out of 5
- Costco (821 Netgear Orbi reviews) – 4.2 out of 5
- com.au (29 Netgear Orbi reviews) – 4.3 out of 5
Netgear Orbi Review Highlights – Thumbs Down
- In a Netgear Orbi review at Best Buy, the reviewer said it worked great for about 9 months, but then disconnection problems kept happening. They said tech support was poor and they finally discovered the issue was a firmware problem.
- Another buyer had high hopes for their Orbi WiFi, but they began having issues right away. Their Netgear Orbi review said the satellite had trouble pairing with the Orbi router. Their “simple Orbi setup” ended up taking countless hours.
- One unhappy reviewer said when it worked, it was great, but unfortunately, it began dropping connections. Their review of Netgear Orbi said the firmware update was the problem and they planned on returning it and finding something else.
- In another negative Netgear Orbi review, the reviewer said they got amazing speeds with Orbi WiFi, at first. Then it began to constantly drop the connection. They also mentioned that it doesn’t work well with Samsung Galaxy phones.
Netgear Orbi Review Highlights – Thumbs Up
- A happy reviewer on Amazon said they couldn’t find a single negative thing to say about Orbi WiFi. In their 5 stars Netgear Orbi review they said their upstairs finally was able to get a good signal from their basement router. No more dead spots.
- In a pleased Netgear Orbi review, the buyer said they were happy with the fantastic coverage. They walked all around their home and had a perfectly strong WiFi signal everywhere.
- A reviewer that had tried WiFi extenders in their home with plaster walls and brick, said that Netgear Orbi was the best mesh WiFi system. They said it gave them consistent wireless speed throughout their home and they even got decent speeds outside as well.
- A homeowner with two floors plus a basement had tried just about everything to get a good WiFi signal all over their home. They found the Orbi WiFi and it worked great, with no dead spots at all throughout their home. They even got a signal when outside mowing the lawn.
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Netgear Orbi vs Google WiFi
Another contender as the best home WiFi system is Google WiFi. Google WiFi is also designed to be easy to set up and to extend your wireless signal past what just your usual router can do.
Where the Netgear Orbi mesh network is about $320 for a 2-pack, Google WiFi is sold either in a 1-pack for $99 or a 3-pack for $249.
We took at a look at Netgear Orbi vs Google WiFi and here are the main differences:
- Google WiFi is more flat and round, Orbi WiFi is taller and more oval.
- Netgear Orbi is a tri-band, so it has more capacity for communicating with devices.
- The Orbi range for the 2-pack is 5,000 S.F., a Google WiFi 3-pack has a range of 4,500 S.F.
- Only the Orbi has MU-MIMO, aka multi-user, multiple input, multiple output, which means it can transmit and receive data from all connected devices at once.
- Netgear states on its website that Orbi WiFi is up to 100% faster than Google WiFi
AdvisoryHQ’s Netgear Orbi Review Conclusion
If you’re looking for a better wireless internet connection for your home, without any weak or dead zones, then you may want to look into one of the best mesh WiFi systems, like the Orbi.
The unit gets praise overall for strong, uniform signals that can even extend your internet connection outside. The main drawback we found was due to poor firmware updates that caused frustrating connection issues.
But even those that wrote a negative Netgear Orbi review due to that issue, said that when the units are working as they should, they were great.
The Netgear Orbi price is a little steeper than a traditional wireless router, but the range of 5,000 S.F. is impressive. It also has a design built for today’s smart home, connecting multiple home devices and allowing them all to communicate fluidly with the network.
For those thinking of improving their WiFi coverage and speed with a mesh network, the Netgear Orbi is an excellent option to stay connected in every corner of your home.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.