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Netgear Orbi 6 RBK763 Review

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Key Specs

Netgear Orbi 6 Mesh RBK763

Wifi Coverage: Up to 7,500 Square Feet
Processor: Dual Core 1GHz processor
WiFi Performance: AX5400 Tri-Band WiFi
Ports: A 2.5 Gbps WAN port and 3 LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports (2 Ethernet per satellite)
Memory: 1GB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM
Price: £599 for the 3 pack

Netgear have been working hard to expand the Orbi family, and I’m excited to be back to review another step in the line up this time round, with the Netgear Orbi 6 RBK763. Netgear have worked really hard to create 4 distinct brands in the Orbi family. We have the 3 series Orbi’s which are dual band, the 7 series which are tri band, and the 8 series from last time which are also tri band and future proofing Goliaths and now the 9 series which is Netgear’s first venture into Wifi 6E.

Old Houses Again

Our Home

So back to my house which was built in 1902 and is a good testing station for Mesh Wifi with its thick walls and lathe and plaster construction. Since our last review I’ve made my way back to using Amazon Eero as my daily mesh setup. It wasn’t because the previously reviewed Orbi’s weren’t fantastic, we just have 4 satellites for the Eero setup and that one extra access point makes a difference. The limitations are still there to be seen. A dual band setup is limiting for our needs and I’m really hoping this time around the Orbi RBK763 helps us make the giant leap forward in connectivity.

Curvier Design

I previously mentioned Dual Band and Tri Band, so lets talk through what these two options provide. As you can imagine Dual Band offers two spectrum bands for all of your wireless signals to run on. Whether that’s smart thermostats, smart doorbells, hue lights, playstation’s, xbox’s, outdoor lighting and cameras, smart TV’s and smart speakers. That’s a lot of devices and a lot of signals flying around.

Dual band routers help to order this traffic and smooth out the flow. This prevents spikes and drops in network performance. However whats the 3rd band for I hear you ask? Well the Tri Band provides a separate channel for your satellites to talk to each other. This handles the tasks such as node switching without getting in the way of the two already very busy bands. Think the benefit the third lane provides on a motorway.

Simple Setups

50% Smaller Packaging

The most shocking change offered by the RBK763 vs our previous review is the streamlined packaging and smaller design of these routers and satellites. At 21 x 17 x 6cm they are almost 1/3 smaller by design than the RBK853 which is a big thumbs up from me. Once unboxed, they were even simpler to setup this time around than the first. The box contained 1 Orbi RBK763 Router with 2 additional satellites. Also 3 pin power adaptors for each with a paper setup guide and that’s it. Once again the setup process is completed in the Orbi App, however this time around it remembered me. I simply signed back in with the Netgear account setup last time and it remembered my Wifi details and setup preferences from the previous hardware. Very slick experience.

Creative Device Placement Is a Must

I connected the Orbi router to my Plus Net Modem which was configured to bridge mode. This simply means no wifi is being broadcast. As long as during the setup you add the same Wifi Details to your Orbi, it just repeats your configuration with minimal fuss. I next needed to experiment with locations for the other two satellites. It was a little more challenging this time as the satellites in the 7 series Orbi’s only have 2 ethernet ports on the back as opposed to the 4 offered by the RBK853. What this means really is that should you wish to benefit from having your games consoles or devices connected via ethernet, you may need to get a little more creative with your device placement. One Eufy Doorbell hub relocated and we were all set.

The Benefits of Tri-Band

Since my last review we now have 58 devices on our network at home, and this is closer to the ceiling offered by 7 Series Orbi’s which by design support up to 75 devices. When we talk future proofing I think this is where the 8 series options really do excel. Not a deal breaker that’s for sure, but as more and more of your home becomes connected this list will expand every single year.

Smaller Packaging Is a Win!

Need for Speed

I am mightily impressed by the performance offered by the Netgear Orbi 6 Mesh RBK763. With around a 10% wifi speed improvement versus our Eero setup, the 3 satellite setup truly hasn’t missed a beat. Not a buffering moment. As I move around the house the satellite switching is undetectable. What’s truly surprising is the range available covers almost the entire map of my house. From front room, to back bedroom, from doorbell to rear driveway camera without a blip. This is 100% comparable to the offering provided by the RBK853, at almost 1/2 the price. Not to mention a router and satellites in a more compact design.

The App Experience

Your entire configuration experience for Netgear Orbi’s is designed around the App, and it’s certainly a basic offering this time around. The 7 series Orbi’s offer a far more stripped back design, and it’s not the most intuitive tool for navigating settings. You can see your network map, connected device and traffic meter. That’s it. Compared to the Eero it doesn’t have the same level of customisation and the UI isn’t as pretty. Its functional and basic and this is perhaps by design.

A Basic Experience

In our previous Netgear Orbi review I shared there were two product subscription features available which enhance and protect your experience for the entire household. The first of which was Netgear Armor provided by Bitdefender which utilised VPN to protect your incoming and outgoing traffic on the network. I was also a little miffed that your very expensive purchase only contained a 30-day free trial, with a further cost of £69.99 per year to subscribe. Well, it seems like Netgear were listening as this time around your Orbi purchase includes 1 full year of Netgear Armor which is a brilliant value addition for consumers.

They’ve Listened

6E or Not 6E

The world of Wi-Fi moves onwards yearly, and with the announcement of Wifi 6E in 2020, these routers are now hitting the market at affordable prices, such as the Vodafone Pro II which can be bundled with a Broadband plan. This change which offers the additions of the 6Ghz network for the first time and quad band setups will make many wonder whether £599 would be a sound investment for the Netgear Orbi 6 RBK763. A robust networking solution doesn’t come cheap, and despite cheaper offerings available, Netgear and their Orbi brand have built a reputation for reliability I cannot argue with. The design for me is significantly better this time around, and I would suggest, the importance of home broadband connectivity and trust far exceeds a gentle dabble in the 6Ghz spectrum. A great buy!

Rapid Reviews Rating

4 out of 5


You can purchase Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 Mesh RBK763 here

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