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Mesh Mashup Redux - NETGEAR's Orbi Checks In

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    When we ran our mashup tests on NETGEAR's Orbi, the winning product was very clear.

    Read on SmallNetBuilder
     
    Hydro and RogerSC like this.
  2. Trentors

    Trentors Regular Contributor

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    Nice test and kudos for adding this. When I heard of Orbi I was really thinking Netgear was onto something with a dedicated backhaul like that. And they were right :)
    Like Tim states the wining product is indeed very clear.
     
  3. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Yes, not mesh. Just WiFi done right.

    (Still wouldn't buy or recommend one though. Just too limiting and narrowly focused, imo).
     
  4. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    if used in AP mode with your fav router there are no real limits to the orbi , i have it attached to the asus rt-ac88u and have the wifi turned of on the asus , not cause the 88u is bad , just the orbi router + sat wifi coverage is far better than even the 88u , not as fast throughput wise , but certainly better coverage as i now get my full 100/40M internet speed on any wifi device anywhere in my house and to be honest that i can say i have never had before

    pete

    i do agree with tim on the fact netgear needs to not call this a mesh system persay , as it stands its a method unused by anyone at this current point in time and im unsure weather netgear needs to do anything with mesh when it comes to the orbi as the results show its far better the way it is
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  5. phrehdd

    phrehdd Occasional Visitor

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    This item looks promising for certain types of needs. I could easily see the satellite being used by a home entertainment system via the 4 Ethernet ports and done neatly. Most know that this would probably work better than trying to go wireless directly from typical home ent. hardware such as TV, blue ray, AVR etc.

    As far as mesh goes, I admit I don't find today's offerings very appealing but some look promising or at least going in the right direction.

    Oh before I forget - for Mrs. Smallnetbuilder, pretty up the extender and tell her its an air freshener (as that is what it resembles somewhat). (grin)
     
  6. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    btw just did a quick test throughput wise

    test as follows

    ethernet wise

    synology 415+ connected to orbi router via single giga ethernet ( not link aggregated ) , orbi sat in room 10 meters away and a wall in between ( partly brick ) connect to my test comp via giga ethernet

    so testing just the throughput of the backhaul

    write speed from sat to router 73MB/s

    read speed from sat to router 63MB/s

    pete
     
  7. MMamdani

    MMamdani New Around Here

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    Hi everyone - first time on SNBForums. I'm a total newbie and can barely pronounce Wifi (seriously!!).

    I live in a 3,200 sq ft house and have never had great coverage with multiple routers including the ASUS RT-5300. I'm considering 2 products:

    1. NetGear Orbi
    2. Amplifi HD

    The two main things I'm concerned about are 1) coverage and 2) speed in that order.

    If I understand the results of the testing correctly, Orbi would be the best one to go with in terms of speed given the lack of signal loss between the base and satellite but I wasn't so sure about its range - I need the signal to be reached at maximal strength throughout the home (not just at the base or satellites - this may mean using the 2.4 GHz band for many devices far away from the base or atellite). I'm hearing from people who have used the Amplifi HD that the range is terrific and I wasn't sure how to interpret the results of the SNB test in this regard. Seamless wifi transition in terms of being able to walk around without have connection dropped because one is going from base to satellite or changing bands is very important as well.

    Any help would be very much appreciated! Thank you in advance!

    - M
     
  8. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    And, most importantly, it's made by Netgear, so there must be major defects, bad firmware, and so on. And it won't be supported for any length of time, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  9. cnowacki

    cnowacki New Around Here

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    I purchased Orbi late last week and have been extremely impressed!

    I upgraded from an Asus RT-AC66U and RT-AC68U that were connected by MOCA 2.0 Coax adapter. I was running Shibby Tomato and was very satisfied until the RT-AC66U began experiencing stability issues.

    I placed the Orbi router in my basement and the satellite on the second floor. When wired to the satellite, I am regularly getting up 65MB/sec for large file transfers and have seen transfer rates as high as 81MB/sec. I have never seen performance like this, not even with MOCA 2.0 Coax adapters.

    I have about 50 wireless devices (ex. 10 speakers, 5 cameras, 6 smoke detectors, 4 Rokus, 3 laptops, etc.) connected at any point in time and up to 100 wired/wireless devices at peak times. I go through about 400GB a month in internet. I perform nightly incremental and weekly full backups. So I move at least 30GB/day and sometimes over 1TB/day through my network. It's only been a few days, but I haven't had any stability issues yet.

    The only issue I've come across is that a wired device connected to the satellite with static IP address refused to get an IP at times. I deleted the static DHCP assignment and the issue hasn't reappeared. While I deeply miss the highly customizable Shibby Tomato firmware, I love the performance of the Orbi and haven't already placed an order for an extra satellite.
     
  10. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Discussion of range and throughput go hand in hand. One person's excellent range is another person's disappointment if the former is just web browsing or watching Netflix and the latter is trying to stream uncompressed Blu-ray rips.

    Look at the Kitchen results to see relative range performance. This is my normal deadspot that no routers placed in my office reach in 5 GHz. I've never had any other product, even powerline connected extenders, produce 200+ Mbps downlink throughput, in 5 GHz even, in that location. None.

    Here's an example of how a recent powerline-connected wireless extender performed.
    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...der-with-ripcurrent-reviewed?showall=&start=1

    Best it could do was ~ 100 Mbps. Orbi produced over 2X that.
     
  11. MMamdani

    MMamdani New Around Here

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    This is extremely helpful! Thank you so much!

    This basically tells me the range AND speed is considerably better on the Orbi than on the Amplifi HD. I was more concerned about the mobile devices that may be about 200 feet or so away from either the base or satellite units in terms of getting good signal (whether it be on the 2.4 GHz or on the 5 GHz band). Sounds like the Orbi should be able to handle this much better than the Amplifi HD!

    Thank you again for all of your help! If there are other considerations you feel would be important please let me know!
     
  12. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    200ft is a pretty big push unless you are talking open field, i.e. no walls or other obstructions.
    How do you get 200ft distance in a 3200 sq ft home?
     
  13. MMamdani

    MMamdani New Around Here

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    Yes - it seems like a lot - that would extend way back into the backyard (it's a big back yard!). I'm thinking I may need another satellite at that point.

    Is it safe to assume that the range (either at 5GhZ or 2.4 GHz) from a single unit (i.e. base or satellite) would be better on the Orbi vs the Amplifi HD - all things being equal?

    Thanks again!!
     
  14. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    That is what the data presented in the article says.
    If you add a second satellite, which is not supported yet, be aware you will be in a "two-hop" situation. So throughput available from the second satellite will be lower than at the first Satellite. Exact throughput depends on placement. But it will be lower.
     
  15. MMamdani

    MMamdani New Around Here

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    That's fantastic. I have to say this community is incredibly helpful. These tests are very applied for a change and I'm actually getting straight answers I can understand!

    Thank you again!!
     
  16. whsbuss

    whsbuss Senior Member

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    Great initial review but I just don't have confidence in Netgear. Had way too many best-in-class routers that turned sour in the end.
     
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  17. beq

    beq Regular Contributor

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    Wow awesome test results, thanks Tim! Must now go back and re-read all your reviews past few months as I'm in the market.

    So the Orbi is considerably bigger than the other "mesh" units? I wonder if that means stronger/higher-gain internal antennas. You mentioned being surprised that the 5Ghz backhaul could range that far?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  18. beq

    beq Regular Contributor

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    And to clarify, none of these consumer units support any of 801.11 k/v/r?

    EDIT: Nvm, the Eero review mentioned 802.11 r support, while Luma review says full k/r/v support.

    I wonder about Google Wifi, does its Network Assist incorporate the above seamless roaming standards, or something proprietary?

    I think the SNB Eero review mentioned that iPhones/iPads fully support k/r/v (but I guess not Android?).

    So if Google Wifi's Network Assist uses something different (akin to Ubiquiti's Zero Handoff?), it might be something that doesn't require explicit support in the clients?

    Anyways, just wondering if I should take the plunge on Orbi now, or wait for SNB's full Orbi review and Google Wifi testing...


    Edit: Early on I was most intrigued by Plume's mesh wall-warts, seems the most convenient to plug in hidden dongles straight into the wall sockets. But I'm not even sure when they will ship...
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  19. beq

    beq Regular Contributor

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    Sorry to keep posting, a family member is upgrading her Internet to gigabit fiber (AT&T GigaPower).

    In terms of the internal routing speed, can the Orbi and other consumer mesh units handle symmetrical gigabit WAN without throttling?

    EDIT: I really should read the SNB reviews more before posting, I just saw the WAN/LAN throughputs on the reviewed units.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  20. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    simple answer here is no and tbh no domestic router can , we see lots posting here because even the latest and greatest asus rt-ac88u and linksys ea9500 can go those speeds over wan - lan , so in reality no one needs or can use that fast internet speed anyway and nether can the routers at this stage , get her to save money and get a lower speed internet plan
     

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