Netgear Orbi Tri-Band Wifi System

 Netgear Orbi Tri-Band Wifi System

Out of the box Netgear’s latest wifi system looks fantastic. It would fit into any modern surrounds with its sleek white, curved plastic covering and cool-looking veneer. There are two devices in the box – one is the Orbi itself, while the other similar-looking unit is a satellite that you set up in another part of the house so your internet wifi range is extended.

The Orbi itself has a power port, as well as three LAN and one WAN port, while the satellite device has four LAN ports. If you live in a large house and want comprehensive cover you can add up to a maximum of three satellites if necessary.

Set up is very easy. You connect the Orbi to your home router via an Ethernet cable that is part of the package. You then plug it in and synch it with the satellite device, which is plugged into another room in your house. Once completed, it connects to your computer and you follow some prompts – setting up passwords etc – and then it’s up and running.

Netgear has put in place a colour-coded LED display that shines through the top of the satellite device, which gives you an indication of signal strength between it and the Orbi. Blue means the signal is good, amber means you might need to move it closer to the router, while red means the satellite is too far away.

So, cutting to the chase, did it work? Yes. Full disclosure here – our home wifi is bad. I mean really bad. If more than one person is on a device, the speed time dies, literally. We can’t wait for the NBN to come down our street, but we’re not holding our breath. What does this have to do with the Orbi? I was concerned the new device would make our connection even more laggy. This didn’t happen. My two sons, who whine most of the time about the lag, were more than happy with the internet speed.

And the coverage? Although our house is small we live on a 1500sq m block. My laptop was still receiving a signal at the top our drive, which is about 25m from the front door. We also managed to get a clear signal about 35m from the rear of the house in the backyard. For the record, our current router can’t get a signal at these distances.

The Orbi unit has a USB port, although there have been complaints that it has been deliberately disabled by Netgear. I had no reason to utilise it, however, if this is a game changer, talk to Netgear tech support.

Cybershack Score - rating backgroundrating 4

Easy to set upA little pricey
cool designmight have USB port issues
good internet coverage

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