NETGEAR’s Orbi to Include Two New Wireless AC Networking Kits

NETGEAR's Orbi to Include Two New Wireless AC Networking Kits
This past August, we saw the release of the Orbi networking kit; and while the system is usually lumped in with mesh wireless, NETGEAR argues otherwise saying that it all comes down to how the wireless AC connection is provided. NETGEAR is now looking to expand the Orbi brand into a whole new family of wireless products.

Starting today, NETGEAR will be selling three Orbi-branded wireless AC systems: the current RBK50, the new RBK40, and the new RBK30 setup. Each of these solutions are Tri-Band devices, meaning NETGEAR included an additional 5GHz although it’s never directly accessed by the user. Even though it’s not accessed by the user, the 5GHz band is reserved for sending data between each of the Orbi units, setting the system apart from Orbi system apart from typical mesh-based networks with one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz.

NETGEAR says that the new systems are aimed at consumers hat need smaller whole-home coverage. The original Orbi system (RBK50) covers homes up to 5,000 square feet, while the newer ones cover up to 3,500 square feet (RBK30) or 4,000 square feet (RBK40). The RBK30 also introduces a new design for the satellite unit. In the new announcement, NETGEAR said “a significant percentage of consumers prefer the flexibility of a wall-plug form factor, especially when placed in common areas such as hallways and kitchens”.

The RBK 30 system (one AC2200 router and wall-plug satellite) will cost $299.99; the RBK40 system (One AC2200 router and satellite unit that looks the same) will cost $349.99. The original Orbi system includes an AC3000 router with matching satellite unit, and costs $399.99. NETGEAR also plans to sell stand-alone devices for customers who want to extend the range of an existing Orbi system. A wall-plug satellite ($149.99), as an example, adds up to 1,500 square feet of coverage; the AC2200 satellite ($199.99) will add 2,000 square-feet; and the AC3000 satellite ($249.99) will add 2,500 square feet.

Doug Atkinson
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