Netgear doubles down on Orbi wireless gear

New Wi-Fi routers and satellites aimed at whole-home coverage for smaller homes

Netgear Orbi family of Wi-Fi routers satellites

Netgear today announced some new products in its Orbi line of wireless products – aka “whole-home coverage” or “wireless system” space. The new products – the RBK30 and RBK40 systems include routers and satellite devices to help owners cover more of their home with Wi-Fi than with a traditional router, or even a router-and-extender option. Netgear says the new systems are aimed at consumers that need smaller whole-home coverage – the original system (now called the RBK50) covers homes up to 5,000 square feet, while the newer ones cover up to 3,500 square feet (RBK30) or 4,000 square feet (RBK40).

The RBK30 also introduces a new design for its satellite unit – it’s now a wall plug unit that looks like a plug-in air freshener instead of a separate, similar-looking stand-up router unit. In its announcement, Netgear said “a significant percentage of consumers prefer the flexibility of a wall-plug form factor, especially when placed in common areas such as hallways and kitchens.”

Netgear Orbi RBK30 router wall-plug unit Netgear

That's not an air freshener, it's the new wall-plug satellite unit for Netgear's Orbi whole-home wireless system (RBK30).

Both of the new products include the company’s “Tri-Band Wi-Fi” technology, which uses the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands of the 802.11ac environment, and also creates a dedicated wireless connection between the main Orbi router (connected to a consumer’s broadband device) and the satellite device.

Other features supported on the system include 64- and 128-bit WEP, as well as WPA/WPA-2 PSK, WPA/WPA-2 Enterprise security; automatic updates of firmware, guest network creation, four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the router and satellite (no ports on the wall-plug unit); IPv6 support and parental controls.

The RBK 30 system (one AC2200 router and wall-plug satellite) will cost $299.99; the RBK 40 system (One AC2200 router and satellite unit that looks the same) will cost $349.99. The original Orbi system includes an AC3000 router with matching satellite unit, and costs $399.99. Netgear also plans to sell stand-alone devices for customers who want to extend the range of an existing Orbi system. A wall-plug satellite ($149.99), for example, adds up to 1,500 square feet of coverage; the AC2200 satellite ($199.99) will add 2,000 square-feet; and the AC3000 satellite ($249.99) will add 2,500 square feet.

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