Netgear Adds Quad-Band 6E WiFi to Orbi Family of Networks

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

The San Jose, Calif.-Based networking company hopes the move will usher in a new generation of smart home Wi-Fi mesh systems for people who need longer, faster Wi-Fi networks.

The Orbi Quad-band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE960 Series) adds the new 6 GHz Wi-Fi band to deliver quad-band technology with faster internet speeds to more devices simultaneously with less interference and downtime. ‘waiting.

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

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

Image Credit: Netgear

Netgear seized the opportunity to create new WiFi products in the Orbi family, which serves to extend the range of wireless networks to cover up to 9,000 square feet of space.

Netgear Director of Product Management Ravindra Bhilave said in an interview with GamesBeat that last year home networks had pushed their limits. Average internet speeds for U.S. households have increased 30% and peak internet traffic has increased 38% from pre-pandemic levels.

Activities made necessary by the pandemic such as remote working from home, Zoom’s virtual meetings with friends and relatives, first-run movie streaming, online shopping, exercise, games and more. food ordering is becoming the norm now and moving forward. At the same time, Internet service providers are providing large-scale gigabit-plus Internet connections ranging from 1.2 gigabits per second to 2 gigabits per second and even 10 gigabits per second to homes.

High-performance WiFi based on the latest 6E standard in the 6 GHz clear band is the only way to harness such internet speed at home to handle all these applications without hindrance or buffering, Bhilave said.

“Considering the value of dedicated backhaul, we really decided to stay with the same dedicated backhaul architecture,” Bhilave said. “So with this 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 for the new available 6 GHz WiFi. This new band provides the additional WiFi spectrum needed to handle multi-gigabit WiFi speed on new smartphones and laptops, without interference from other devices on the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

And the WiFi 6E ecosystem is poised for rapid growth. Many devices already support WiFi 6E, such as Samsung Galaxy S21 and Fold 3 mobile phones, Dell Latitude 5520 and Lenovo Thinkpad T14 laptops, Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV and Intel WiFi 6E PCIe card, from others to come before Christmas.

Devices operating on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi bands will also experience improved coverage and increased speeds of up to 30% with the Orbi RBKE960 series due to the improved WiFi radio and antenna design. system compared to the previous flagship model, the Tri-band Orbi RBK850 series.

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

“The thing to note is that the upstream traffic has increased dramatically,” Bhilave said. “We’re finding that ISPs already support higher speeds if you look at all of the cable providers – Comcast, Cox, and Spectrum. All have upgraded their equipment to DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.1 is capable of providing multi-gig internet.

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

“Anyone who works from home will have this new realization that having a good WiFi router is as essential as having a higher internet speed,” Bhilave said. “This awareness has crept into the minds of people now because of the pandemic and people are ready to invest in a good router to meet this particular need.”

Additional 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports have been added on the router and satellites to provide a wired connection option for customers with the latest multi-gigabit Ethernet devices.

Orbi guarantees maximum throughput with 16 WiFi streams – the highest specification available – on the 3 bands, 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz. In addition, like previous Orbi tri-band 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 isn’t your home’s bottleneck, Bhilave said.

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

The Orbi WiFi 6E 3 Pack (RBKE963) provides fast, wall-to-wall internet access to homes up to 9,000 square feet for WiFi 6 connections and is easily expandable for larger spaces or denser coverage of WiFi connections 6E with the addition of additional satellites.

Technical specifications

Above: Netgear’s Orbi doesn’t stand out as a geek toy.

Image Credit: Netgear

The 6GHz WiFi 6E band adds more than double the 5GHz bandwidth, solving interference and congestion issues in the 5GHz WiFi band, and enables incredible 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 what you receive from your internet provider.

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 a wired connection to network storage, LAN games, home media streaming, or use it to set up a multi-gig wired connection between the router and the satellites with Ethernet cabling. structured in your home.

The 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 default WPA3 home mesh network for 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz devices and a guest network, users have the option to configure their new 6E devices on an exclusive 6E WiFi network to ensure these devices reach the best possible speeds and performance. There is also an IoT network for smart home devices like smart plugs, lights, sprinklers, etc. which only support WPA2. These discrete networks allow flexibility in network configuration, maximum performance, and separation of less secure devices from the main network.

“We have decided not to compromise and to do everything possible,” Bhilave said.

Price

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

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