We live in a world where your productivity, as well as entertainment, are governed by how good your WiFi connection is. WiFi issues are normal in an office or a decent sized home. They can often lead to frustrations as well as missing vital deadlines. Thankfully, NetGear’s Orbi Home WiFi system is out to get rid of all your woes. The RBK40, which we have looked at for our review (and giveaway!) offers AC2200 Tri-Band WiFi, in an area up to 4000 square feet. Almost any house will easily be covered with this, and most offices will do well too.
Ooh, I love some stats me. Here are some numbers from around the UK:
- UK makes up 13% of the population within Europe with an avg of 65k inhabitants
- 15% live in apartments
- 25% live in detached houses
- 60% live in terrace houses ( this is the worst case as your wifi is polluted )
- Avg UK house size 76m2
- We have 28m homes with the Avg size of 76m sq (800 square feet)
- The average home has over 11 devices.
Top symptons of WiFi issues around UK homes are dead zones, where your phone/device just won’t pick the signal up, or issues with too much buffering.
The Orbi RBK40
The Orbi is a Whole Home WiFi System by Netgear. It promises a stronger and faster WiFi throughout your home. The RBK40 can cover up to 4000 sq feet (372 sq meter). It features a triband configuration, meaning it can deliver speeds that are as fast as your ISP supplies them. The RBK40 comes as a router and a Satellite, replacing your personal ISP router and extenders. The best part is that it will happily work with whatever your ISP has to offer (in the UK).
Some other features of the device include:
- Single WiFi network name through out your house.
- Ability to set up a Guest WiFi network.
- Comes with an app and a browser access. Helps setup and configure anything you like within minutes.
Look and feel
You get two items, the original WiFi router as well as a Satellite unit. Think of the Satellite unit as an extender, letting you fill in any gaps or dead spots in your house. As is clear from the picture, the devices are designed to look like curved speakers.
The top features a glowing LED which tells you different things depending on what is up.
The back allows you access to Ethernet ports, as well as the ability to turn the device on or off, or the Sync button to set up between the router and the Satellite device. As can be observed, the device does feel rather tall, in case you compare it with something like Google’s equivalent offering.
The setup is reasonably simple. The app, which is encouraged by Netgear is reasonably basic, and a browser setup is a lot easier. You plug it in, you connect to the network, you configure it and it should be sorted. The Quick Start Guide talks you through the process.
The basic nature of app means that you won’t be able to achieve much with it sadly.
A different kind of WiFi system
There are a few things that set the Orbi apart from the usual WiFi router plus Extender system.
First of all, it does not rely on the user to connect to a 2.4/5 GHz connection. Instead, it chooses automatically for the user.
The second major difference is that instead of relying on a point to point WiFi, ethernet cable or signals over your power lines, it connects to the Satellite unit using a triband network. This makes it a more robust connection overall. It also means that the third band does not interfere with the data being used by your devices.
The combined beauty of it all? You are connected to one network, with one name. As you go from location to location in your house, it may shift your connection from router to satellite, but you will not know the difference. Total seamless connection.
The speed test
The test was simple. Compare some numbers between this and an ethernet cable around various locations in the house, ending in the garage (separate building, usually a deadspot).
All the numbers were within 5% of the Ethernet (wired) connection.
It was reliable, it was stable and it delivered the best possible speeds the ISP had to offer.
More information on the Netgear Orbi RBK 40 can be found on their website.
It can be bought from the likes of Amazon, where it retails for just under £300.
And now for our favourite part. Simply head to the NetGear Orbi WiFi Challenge page to enter. Don’t forget to tell them that we sent you.
All you need to do is fill in a form, tell them what frustrates you the most about your personal WiFi, what you’d like from it, and you’d be entered in the lucky draw!
You can find out more about the Orbi WiFi Challenge in the video below:
Did you enter? What was your story? Do share it with us in the comments section below too!