Netgear Orbi mesh router gets a next-gen Wi-Fi 6 update at CES 2019

Netgear's well-regarded mesh wireless line will support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard when it launches in the second half of 2019.

Rich Brown Former Senior Editorial Director - Home and Wellness
Rich was the editorial lead for CNET's Home and Wellness sections, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Before moving to Louisville in 2013, Rich ran CNET's desktop computer review section for 10 years in New York City. He has worked as a tech journalist since 1994, covering everything from 3D printing to Z-Wave smart locks.
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Rich Brown

Netgear's Wi-Fi 6-enabled Orbi Whole Home Wireless System is coming in the second half of 2019. That makes it the second Wi-Fi 6 mesh router announced at CES 2019, following TP-Link last night.

Also called AX or 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 is the newest industry standard for wireless networking. It's faster than Wi-Fi 5 (or 802.11ac) hardware, and also promises more power efficiency and the ability to support more devices simultaneously. Those updates will be important as consumers bring more and more connected hardware products into their homes. 

Netgear's Orbi Mesh system earned great reviews, primarily for its fast networking speeds. Netgear claims the WiFi 6 iteration will be fast enough to sustain Gigabit Ethernet speeds over a wireless networking signal. Most current generation mesh wireless systems will provide around 50 to 300 megabit per second (Mbps) download speeds. That's fine for a standard cable internet subscription, but if you're paying for 1,000 Mbps fiber internet service, you end up losing a lot of performance.

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If the new Orbi can broadcast a Gigabit-strength signal, you can expect fiber internet subscribers to scoop them up quickly.

Netgear says the update will come to market with its RBK50 series hardware.

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