Question Netgear Router with a Netgear Orbi

Stuffz121

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Hello,

So recently I bought a Netgear Orbi since my old netgear router was starting to experience issues according to a technician from my ISP. The Orbi I got is:
AX4200 WiFi Mesh System (RBK752)

I have yet to set it up cause I heard that I could also instead buy a new Netgear router and set that router up with a Netgear Orbi or something along those lines? Maybe I am misunderstanding the idea here but is'nt the Orbi supposed to completely replace a router? What would be the advantages, if any, to have that kind of setup versus just having a normal Orbi mesh setup? I did not even know that a regular Netgear Router is compatible with the Orbis.

My planned setup for the Orbi is to have the main one connected to my ISP modem and then have the other one that's called a "sattelite", plugged into the wall inside my room and connect it to my computer with an ethernet cable if possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 
All depends on the vendor, you have to read the fine print. Most mesh systems are rather proprietary but you have a better chance when the same vendor make both units.

Why would you not use a WIFI card in your pc. Putting the satellite unit in your room provides no real benefit it will get the same signal as a wifi nic in your computer.

It is a much more expensive that buy a wifi nic card and works very similar to a USB cable hooked to a USB nic card just using ethernet instead. A simple wifi card may actually work better because it does not have the messy mesh software in it.

The best solution for a computer in a fixed location is going to be powerline units or MoCA if you have cable tv coax in both location.
 

Stuffz121

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All depends on the vendor, you have to read the fine print. Most mesh systems are rather proprietary but you have a better chance when the same vendor make both units.

Why would you not use a WIFI card in your pc. Putting the satellite unit in your room provides no real benefit it will get the same signal as a wifi nic in your computer.

It is a much more expensive that buy a wifi nic card and works very similar to a USB cable hooked to a USB nic card just using ethernet instead. A simple wifi card may actually work better because it does not have the messy mesh software in it.

The best solution for a computer in a fixed location is going to be powerline units or MoCA if you have cable tv coax in both location.
Thanks for your reply. I currently do use a USB Wifi dongle connected to my computer. The USB works fine so as far as I understand I should not need a wifi card. The thing is though is that I for sure need to replace my current router. The technician showed me the speed tests he ran through the router and they were really really horrible. A wifi card on my PC won't exactly address the issue since the problem is with the router according to the technician.

If I understand what you mean, I have tried those powerline adaptors that connect to the wall and then have an ethernet connect to my PC. However from my experience was not good since while I did have stable ping, there were very bad internets speeds. I am assuming that was because of the wiring in the house?

I cannot move the modem to my room since my family needs it in the office room.

I only assume now though that since Orbi satellite has an wired connectivity, I may as well take advantage of that no?
 
Even very inexpensive routers can run close to 1gbit wan/lan when you use ethernet cables. Speedtest on wifi means nothing really. It could be the router but it is much more likely the house, your neighbors wifi interfering or a bunch of other things your can't see or predict. Most routers...ignoring wifi6 stuff which is still new,...is almost exactly the same. They all pretty much use the same radio chipset and these chipset have been perfected over the years so there is very little difference even between brands.

So will a new router help, maybe if it is very old.

Hooking a ethernet cable to a wifi radio...ie orbi...is not going to be better. The interface between the computer and the electronics in the wifi radio is never the issues. The bottleneck would never be the USB or the pcie buss or even ethernet. The problem is the wifi signal must somehow make it though the walls and floors between you and the router. No matter how you connect it the signal is the same. Now if you were to run the ethernet cable out of your room and down the hall say 20ft that might help and in that case you must use ethernet because USB can't go that far.

A quality USB wifi dongle will be as good as the orbi. You have to be very careful about buying those tiny USB adapters. They have low power radios and small antenna. They trade off performance for portability, there primary use is not for a desktop machine needs.

The newer powerline units based on av2 work much better.

You have to be careful about comparing wifi to poweline. It all depends on what you are doing. If you key test metric is how fast you can download files then wifi many times is faster. If you play games then you don't care about bandwidth you care about stability. Other applications are a trade off but most even something like HD netflix does not really need a lot of bandwidth. Things like netflix and youtube can tollerate more jitter and packet loss than a game but still have issues if the wifi is very unstable.

Orbi is mostly marketing for people that want boxes with cute names and make good room decorations. The only real use would be when you get no at all in your room and powerline doesn't work at all. You would then place a orbi (ie wifi repeater) halfway between the router and your room to hopefully give coverage with the downside of 2 radio signals that can take interference and the extra bandwidth this eats.

If you are going wifi all that matter is the quality of the wifi radio you somehow hook to your pc. Some silly mesh feature on the router does not improve this connection. People just see "mesh" and think it magically solve all problems, people have stopped falling for the "new and imporved" marketing trick I guess.
 

Stuffz121

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Even very inexpensive routers can run close to 1gbit wan/lan when you use ethernet cables. Speedtest on wifi means nothing really. It could be the router but it is much more likely the house, your neighbors wifi interfering or a bunch of other things your can't see or predict. Most routers...ignoring wifi6 stuff which is still new,...is almost exactly the same. They all pretty much use the same radio chipset and these chipset have been perfected over the years so there is very little difference even between brands.

So will a new router help, maybe if it is very old.

Hooking a ethernet cable to a wifi radio...ie orbi...is not going to be better. The interface between the computer and the electronics in the wifi radio is never the issues. The bottleneck would never be the USB or the pcie buss or even ethernet. The problem is the wifi signal must somehow make it though the walls and floors between you and the router. No matter how you connect it the signal is the same. Now if you were to run the ethernet cable out of your room and down the hall say 20ft that might help and in that case you must use ethernet because USB can't go that far.

A quality USB wifi dongle will be as good as the orbi. You have to be very careful about buying those tiny USB adapters. They have low power radios and small antenna. They trade off performance for portability, there primary use is not for a desktop machine needs.

The newer powerline units based on av2 work much better.

You have to be careful about comparing wifi to poweline. It all depends on what you are doing. If you key test metric is how fast you can download files then wifi many times is faster. If you play games then you don't care about bandwidth you care about stability. Other applications are a trade off but most even something like HD netflix does not really need a lot of bandwidth. Things like netflix and youtube can tollerate more jitter and packet loss than a game but still have issues if the wifi is very unstable.

Orbi is mostly marketing for people that want boxes with cute names and make good room decorations. The only real use would be when you get no at all in your room and powerline doesn't work at all. You would then place a orbi (ie wifi repeater) halfway between the router and your room to hopefully give coverage with the downside of 2 radio signals that can take interference and the extra bandwidth this eats.

If you are going wifi all that matter is the quality of the wifi radio you somehow hook to your pc. Some silly mesh feature on the router does not improve this connection. People just see "mesh" and think it magically solve all problems, people have stopped falling for the "new and imporved" marketing trick I guess.
Thank you for the explanations, I tested the orbi out today and according to speedtest.net I am now getting 300-400Mbps download which was much better than the 50-80Mbps I was getting on my previous router. My old router is not very old I think, it's a Netgear Nighthawk from 2017 that cost me $130 at the time, so its pretty decent I think. Maybe because the Orbi is Wifi 6?

Yesterday I also ran a speedtest and the Orbi gave me 470Mbps out of the 500Mbps that we are paying for which was very shocking to me.

As much as I would like to have an ethernet cable running through the house, family wont exactly be fond of that.

If you dont mind me asking, what is your setup? Are you also on wifi or wired instead? I am still testing things and maybe I return the orbi for a new cheaper router or something. Still hard to say.
 
If your end devices use wifi6 it could be faster. It is funny wifi6 is just starting to be rather common on new phones etc just as wifi6e is coming on the market. You just think they plan these things so people replace perfectly good equipment.

I am pretty good at fixing walls and painting so I can get ethernet to almost anyplace I would need.

I only use wifi on things that do not actually need hi speed performance. If you really think about it what can you possibly do on a phone that can use even 100mbps. Most people run speedtest get their big number and then go back and at most watch hd netflix. Surf the web and playing most mobile games can run with speeds less than 10mbps easily.

Was thinking about this the last time the cable company raised the rates. Why do I even need more than say 100mbps on my desktop. The only time it really matters is if I download a large game. Is it really going to matter if the game takes say 30 minutes to download rather than say 10. Its not like I am doing this once a day even. This comes down to resisting the marketing guys and their constant push that bigger numbers is better.....when what it really means is bigger dollar numbers for them is better.
 

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Why would you not use a WIFI card in your pc. Putting the satellite unit in your room provides no real benefit it will get the same signal as a wifi nic in your computer.
That's not necessarily true. It really depends on how many antenna's the Orbi system uses for backhaul. Most laptops only have a 2x2 antenna system. I found that using my asus 86U router in media bridge mode gave me full gigabit speeds because it used all 4 antenna's to connect to the main router, instead of 2 in my laptop. The Orbi has 6 antenna's total, so it may be possible to get better bandwidth than the laptop could get on it's own. Only way to know is to try it out, because I don't know how many of those antenna's are used for backhaul and how many are used for the access point.

The other issue is whether or not the 5ghz reaches the bedroom where you want to put it. If the 5ghz signal is too far away, then you're relying on 2.4ghz for backhaul and performance won't be very good. You may be better off with a POWERLINE or MOCA setup in this case.
 
Those particular orbi devices are garbage. They only support 80mhz channels, it is the 160mhz of bandwidth that is the primary factor that make wifi6 much faster. Other things like QAM1024 don't work very well unless you have perfect signals and it has even more issues trying to run both qam1024 and 4x4. These orbi devices also only support 2x2 running in mesh mode. Not sure why they support 4x4 to clients unless you run them as cabled AP. You can not make them run as a 4x4 client they only run 4x4 in server mode.

What tends to get the best performance on wifi6 is 160mhz channels running 2x2 with qam256. These tend to get real world numbers in the 600-700mbps range. It is almost exactly the 2 times bandwdith you would expect comparing it to 802.11ac since it is limited to 80mhz channels. I am going to bet the orbi can't run any faster unless you get lucky and can get qam1024 running.

Now I suppose you could use something like the $500 asus ax11000 that support 4x4 and qam1024 on 160mhz.

Orbi has a bunch of crap product in their lineup. They do have some more advanced models but I can never keep track of there product numbers. When I get confused by this stuff I feel for the poor non technical customers.
 

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