Netgear adds quad-band WiFi 6E to Orbi networking family

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Netgear adds quad-band WiFi 6E wireless to its Orbi product family, which expands the range of WiFi networks.

San Jose, California-based networking company hopes the move will usher in a new generation of smart home WiFi mesh systems for people who need longer range and faster Wi-Fi networks.

The Orbi Quad-band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE960 Series) adds the newly available 6 GHz WiFi band to deliver quad-band technology with faster internet speeds to multiple devices while minimizing interference and latency.

The Federal Communications Commission decided in 2020 to open the 6GHz band for WiFi networks due to the insatiable demand for WiFi among US consumers. Before that, the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands were open to unlicensed devices such as WiFi network. This kind of change is relatively rare since the FCC expanded the 5GHz spectrum to WiFi in 2014.


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Above: Netgear’s latest Orbi WiFi 6E devices have dual bandwidth.

Image credit: Netgear

Netgear jumped at the chance to create new WiFi products in the Orbi family, which serve to expand the range of wireless networks to cover up to 9,000 square meters of space.

Netgear product management director Ravindra Bhilave said in an interview with GamesBeat that last year pushed home networks to their limits. Average U.S. household Internet speeds increased 30% and Internet top traffic increased 38% relative to prepandemia levels.

Activities required by the pandemic, such as remote work from home, virtual zoom, meeting friends and relatives, premium movie streaming, online shopping, exercise, games and ordering food will become the norm now and in the future. At the same time, ISPs provide gigabit-plus large-scale Internet connections ranging from 1.2 gigabits per second to 2 gigabits per second and even 10 gigabits per second for homes.

High-performance WiFi based on the latest 6E standard in the clear 6GHz band is the only means of utilizing such internet speed at home to handle all of these applications unhindered, unbuffed, Bhilave said.

“Given the value of the dedicated backhaul, we really decided to stay with the same architecture with dedicated backhaul,” Bhilave said. “So with the introduction of WiFi 6E, we now have the world’s first quad-band Orbi system.”

New WiFi, new Orbi

Above: Netgear’s Orbi WiFi 6E can cover 9,000 square feet of space.

Image credit: Netgear

The new Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E system builds on Netgear’s previous Orbi Tri-Band WiFi 6 system (RBK853) by adding a fourth band to the newly available 6 GHz WiFi. This new band provides the much needed extra WiFi spectrum to handle multi-gigabit WiFi speeds
new smartphones and laptops, free from interference from other devices on the existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

And the WiFi 6E ecosystem is ready for rapid growth. Many devices already support WiFi 6E, e.g. Samsung Galaxy S21 and Fold 3 mobile phones, Dell Latitude 5520 and Lenovo Thinkpad T14 laptops, Samsung Neo QLED 8K TVs and Intel WiFi 6E PCIe cards, and more to come before Christmas.

Devices running on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi bands will also experience an improvement in coverage and increased speeds of up to 30 percent with the Orbi RBKE960 series due to the system’s upgraded WiFi radio and antenna design compared to the former flagship model, the Tri-band Orbi RBK850 series.

To increase the increased WiFi speed, the internet connection has also been upgraded to support up to 10 gigabits per second, the fastest internet speed available now or in the short term. In this case, WiFi can keep up with the speed of the wired connection in your home, Bhilave said.

“What one should note is that upstream traffic has increased significantly,” Bhilave said. “We see that ISPs already support higher speeds if you look at all the cable providers – Comcast, Cox and Spectrum. All of them have upgraded their equipment to DOCSIS 3.1, and DOCSIS 3.1 is able to offer multi-gig internet. ”

These cable companies will soon be under pressure from wireless 5G networks from mobile phone providers, and it will put pressure on network prices and make faster internet available to more people.

“Everyone who works from home gets this new realization that having a good WiFi router is just as important as having a higher internet speed,” said Bhilave. “That realization has seeped into people’s minds now because of the pandemic, and people are willing to invest in a good router.
to meet the special need. ”

An additional 2.5 gigabit Ethernet ports have been added to the router and satellites to enable cable connections for customers with the latest multi-gigabit Ethernet devices.

Orbi ensures maximum capacity with 16 WiFi streams – the highest specification available – on all 3 bands, 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz. Moreover,
similar to the previous tri-band Orbi systems, the RBKE960 series uses a dedicated WiFi 6 backhaul for data exchange between the router and satellites without affecting the performance of connected devices. That means Orbi is not the bottleneck in your home, Bhilave said.

“It’s almost like having a virtual wired connection to all your devices,” Bhilave said.

The Orbi WiFi 6E 3 pack (RBKE963) provides fast, wall-to-wall Internet access to homes of up to 9,000 square feet for WiFi 6 connections and can be easily extended to larger spaces or closer coverage of WiFi 6E connections with the addition of additional satellites.

Technical specifications

Above: Netgear’s Orbi does not stand out as a nerdy toy.

Image credit: Netgear

WiFi 6E 6 GHz WiFi band adds more than twice the 5 GHz bandwidth, which resolves interference and congestion issues in the 5GHz WiFi band and enables great multi-Gigabit WiFi speed for connected WiFi 6E devices.

The new Orbi has 16 WiFi Streams – to provide the best speed, range and performance to cover your home with internet speeds similar to those you receive from your ISP.

The device has a 10-gigabit Ethernet port for internet as well as a 2.5-gigabit Ethernet port for wired connections. You can use the multi-gig Ethernet port for wired connection for network storage, LAN games, home media streaming, or use it to establish a wired multi-gig connection between the router and satellites with structured Ethernet cables in your home.

Orbi Quad-band WiFi 6E Mesh System supports the new, more secure WiFi Protected Access 3 (WPA3). With 128-bit encryption, the next generation of WPA protects against weak passwords that are easily cracked by hackers.

The new Orbi system also supports four separate WiFi networks. In addition to the standard WPA3 home network for 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz devices and a guest network, users have the option of configuring their new 6E devices on an exclusive WiFi 6E network to ensure that these devices achieve the best possible speeds and performance. There is also an IoT network for smart home appliances such as smart connectors, lights, sprinklers, etc. that only support WPA2. These discrete networks allow for flexibility in network configuration, maximum performance, and separation
less secure devices from the main network.

“We decided not to compromise and go all-out,” Bhilave said.


The Orbi Quad-band Mesh WiFi 6E System RBKE963 has a router and two Orbi satellites for $ 1,500. The RBKE963B Orbi Black Edition router and two satellites also sell for $ 1,500. And each additional Orbi satellite costs $ 600.


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