The Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a two-piece Wi-Fi 6 mesh system that delivers strong performance and solid connectivity, but its feature set is a bit lacking considering its high price tag. As with previous Orbi models such as the RBK50 and the RBK50V smart speaker, the RBK852 comes with two large nodes that use mesh technology to communicate with each other over a dedicated 5GHz radio band. To change your Wi-Fi security settings, share your credentials, and edit your network name, tap the Wi-Fi Settings tab. As for the Orbi RBK852 satellite node, it managed 639Mbps in the close proximity test compared to 667Mbps for the Linksys Velop MX10 satellite. For more information, see How is Wi-Fi 6 different from Wi-Fi 5?. When it comes to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection to the internet, there is a 200% increase for the newer models: 400 Mbps for the RBK50 vs. 1200 Mbps for the RBK852 and RBK853. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Since the Orbi RBK852 is only the second mesh system that we've tested that uses Wi-Fi 6 technology, we compared it to the Velop AX MX10 kit (also based on Wi-Fi 6) and to the Asus RT-AX88U, a standalone Wi-Fi 6 router. Whole-home Wi-Fi mesh systems based on Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology are finally beginning to hit the shelves, but you'll need deep pockets to afford them. On the other hand, although the RBK852's performance was pretty much in line with other Wi-Fi 6 routers, it's missing a few key features for such a costly system, including client- and application-specific QoS settings, age-appropriate parental controls, and anti-malware protection. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. To see a list of all connected clients, their security status, and which nodes they're connected to, tap the Device Manager tab. He then worked for the now defunct ComputerLand chain of PC dealers before joining PC Magazine in 1987. At a distance of 30 feet, the Orbi router delivered 324Mbps, once again coming in right behind the Linksys router. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. The Orbi RBK852 supports Alexa and Google voice commands that let you speak to do things such as enable guest networking or check your Wi-Fi settings or Internet speed. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Like the Velop AX, the Orbi RBK852 is a two-piece system designed for larger homes that features a mobile app that makes it a breeze to install and manage, and it delivered impressive scores in our performance tests. The router node's result of 862Mbps on the close proximity (same room) test was just a hair slower than the Linksys Velop MX10 router and 80Mbps faster than the Asus RT-AX88U. After a quick firmware update, the mesh system was up and running. NETGEAR’s Orbi WiFi 6 System (RBK852) is the first Orbi Mesh WiFi system to feature WiFi 6 technology. Using my phone's camera, I scanned the QR code on the router, rebooted my modem, and connected the Orbi router to the modem using the included LAN cable. The satellite node's LED will glow blue for three minutes when it acquires a solid connection to the router and amber when the connection is only fair. Keep an eye on your inbox! WiFi 6 provides improvements to network speed and capacity for activities like streaming, gaming, and sharing media. Tapping the Network Map tab displays the router and node components and lets you see which clients are connected to each node, as well as details such as firmware version, serial number, MAC address, and IP address. It delivered solid 802.11ac performance in our testing, comes with malware protection and parental controls, and doubles as a home automation hub. Inside are eight antennas, a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 512MB of flash memory. PCMag Digital Group. Netgear Orbi RBK752: A more affordable but stripped-down mesh. I placed the satellite node in another room about 30 feet away from the router, plugged it in, and tapped Next. The Orbi Whole Home AC3000 Tri-band WiFi System (RBK50) features WiFi 5, the predecessor to WiFi 6. Below are tabs for Device Manager, Internet Speed, Network Map, Wi-Fi Settings, Guest Wi-Fi, and Traffic Meter. I created a network name and password and an administrator name and password, answered a couple of security questions to be used in case I forgot my passwords, and waited another two minutes for the system to save my settings. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for Federated Stores, Inc. before accepting a purchasing position with Morris Decision Systems, one of New York's first value-added resellers of the original IBM PC. Your subscription has been confirmed. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. If you want to use a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection to the internet, there is a 177.136% increase for the newer models: 866 Mbps for the RBK50 vs. 2400 Mbps for the RBK852 and RBK853. The RBK852 provides better speeds when connecting to the internet with up to 1200 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 2400 Mbps at 5 GHz. That top-of-the-range performance comes with a top-of-the-range price, though, starting at $700/£710 (around AU$1,000) for this two-piece kit, which is suitable for homes up to 5,000sq.ft. It uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology to deliver faster throughput than its Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) cousins and offers the latest WPA3 encryption and OFDMA architecture. For the next five years, he was responsible for buying and configuring IBM PC, XT and AT desktops for many of New York's financial institutions.
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