When a redesigned Orbi system -- and the price of that two-pack has plummeted to $149. (Earlier this week we saw that two-pack online for just $129, but it looks like the lower sale price isn't available anymore.)first launched back in 2016, a two-pack with the Orbi router and the nearly identical satellite device that relays its signal throughout your house sold for $400. Now, Netgear is back with
It's an attractive price for a mesh Wi-Fi system, and it's one that's likely aimed at staving off fresh competition in the mesh category. One such rival is, the , which just released . That system saw its price get cut in half, down from $499 to $249 for a three-pack.
Google, meanwhile, is rumored to havein the works, with a potential debut tomorrow at the company's . No word on what it'll cost if we see it, though the current, debuted at $299 for a three-pack back in 2016.
As for the specs, the new Netgear Orbi (model RBK12) promises top combined speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, along with a single gigabit Ethernet jack on the back of the router for a speedy, wired connection to your streamer, smart home hub or gaming console of choice. That's nice to have, though it's a step down from the original Orbi router, which boasted three separate Ethernet jacks on the router.
As for range, Netgear promises that its Orbi two-pack will cover homes of up to 3,000 square feet. Three- and four-packs are available for larger homes, with the four-pack promising to cover up to 6,000 square feet at an asking price of $299.
The devices support band-steering, which automatically passes you off between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands within a single network as you move about the house. They also support voice controls via Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.
They don't support a Wi-Fi 6 version of its Orbi mesh system, albeit at a very steep asking price of about $700 for a two-pack. Personally, I'd be more inclined to try , which you can currently get for about a tenth as much., though, so you'll still be connecting via 802.11ac, the current-gen, "Wi-Fi 5" standard you're probably already used to. For those early adopters looking to future-proof their home networks, Netgear will soon offer
We'll soon be testing all of the latest mesh systems to see which ones we like the best -- and you can bet that the new Orbi will be in the mix when that happens. More on the mesh front soon.
Originally published Oct. 14.
Update, Oct. 15: Clarifies pricing specifics from Netgear -- the two-pack's regular sale price is $149.