It’s 2016, and you shouldn’t have to deal with Wi-Fi dead zones in your home anymore. Netgear agrees, and the company best known for its routers is now taking a new approach to Wi-Fi. Meet the Orbi, a new device (or series of devices) that Netgear is branding as a “Wi-Fi system,” as it combines a router, range extender, and software that helps connect everything. The result? A Wi-Fi network that Netgear claims will evenly and democratically cover 4,000 square feet of space.
The standout feature of the new Orbi looks to be Netgear’s Tri-band mesh network, which the company says “has the unique capability of providing a dedicated wireless channel between the Orbi router and each Orbi satellite.” Working much like a virtual wire, this Tri-band technology promises to deliver maximum speed to an unlimited number of devices, so you don’t have to worry about disconnecting your smartphone from your network just to use your laptop. The Tri-band Wi-Fi boasts a 1.7Gbps 5GHz band for the sole purpose of extending internet speeds to Orbi satellites, which means that the other two Wi-Fi bands can be dedicated to other connected devices throughout an entire home.
The Orbi behaves as a full-featured router, and can be plugged into an existing gateway or modem. Then, Netgear says, with just a few clicks from any mobile device or browser, you should be online faster and across a wider range than ever before.
“In designing Orbi, Netgear has applied lessons learned from two decades of home Wi-Fi innovation to address the current network challenges of architectural design, dense building materials and large square footage,” said David Henry, senior vice president of home networking devices for Netgear. “Additionally, today’s home networks are now expected to support more devices all of which are competing for your bandwidth. So, the emphasis should not only be on Wi-Fi coverage itself, but also the performance at the furthest edge of that connection.”
Netgear’s newest device also boasts four gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB 2.0 port each on the router and satellite, as well as advanced router features like IPv6, Dynamic DNS, port forwarding, parental controls, and access point mode.
“Netgear Orbi delivers more high-speed Wi-Fi connections to more devices through this new advanced Wi-Fi technology that connects automatically and simultaneously to every Wi-Fi-enabled device in the home,” concluded Henry, and if you’d like to get your hands on one of these new routers, they’ll be available in September for $400.