Netgear is launching a second model of its Orbi mesh router with support for Wi-Fi 6, following up on a high-end model released last fall. This new version, eloquently named the RBK752, is more of a midrange model, offering slightly decreased performance at a slightly decreased price. This is still an Orbi router, though, so it’s still expensive: $450 for a router and satellite. The high-end model, the RBK852, offers the same bundle for $700.
While cheaper, this new model is still a fairly capable mesh system. The RBK752 is a tri-band system, meaning it has a radio dedicated to serving as a wireless link between the units, and it offers four user-facing streams of connectivity with a theoretical maximum speed of 4.2Gbps. That’s down from eight streams and 6Gbps on the RBK852.
The Orbi system has consistently received high marks for its reliability and performance. It comes with some downsides, though: the mesh nodes are significantly larger than those from competitors like Eero and Nest, making them harder to hide around the house. These particular models are also a lot more expensive: you can get a Wi-Fi 5 mesh system for half the price, though it’d be a less future-proofed.
Nighthawk RAX50.Image: Netgear
Netgear is formally launching the RBK752 today, though it’s been rolling out to stores over the last month or two. Additional satellites will be available for $280, and there’ll be a $600 bundle with a router and two satellites. An important note for existing Orbi owners: you can mix and match Wi-Fi 6 Orbi units — so the RBK852 can connect to the RBK752 — but you can’t link one of these newer Orbi units to the older Wi-Fi 5 Orbi units. That won’t matter for new buyers, but it means existing owners won’t be able to improve their system by adding in a newer unit.
In addition to the new Orbi model, Netgear also recently launched a new Nighthawk router designed to sit in the middle of its lineup. The RAX50 is a six-stream Wi-Fi 6 router with support for full-width 160MHz streams for higher performance. It’s available now for $299.