Home Featured The Orbi RBE973 Wi-Fi Router Really Is That Good

The Orbi RBE973 Wi-Fi Router Really Is That Good

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The Orbi RBE973 Wi-Fi Router Really Is That Good

Despite all of the hoopla round 5G over the previous few years, Wi-Fi know-how stays important for retaining individuals linked.
Wi-Fi 7 can probably be a game-changer sooner or later, providing beforehand unheard-of ranges of pace, dependability, and effectivity.
My 30-day expertise with the brand new Orbi RBE973 Mesh Router, the three-pack from the 970 sequence, validates the explanations that make Wi-Fi 7 so thrilling and the way it may fully rework how we join and work together.
Orbi RBE973, Netgear’s first Wi-Fi 7 mesh networking package, astounded me in ways in which I didn’t anticipate based mostly on prior experiences with routers — Orbi’s earlier and extremely regarded Wi-Fi 6 and 6E routers.
With options like 6GHz integration, ultra-wide knowledge channels, quad-band design, and 4K QAM operations, the Orbi RBE973 router and two mesh nodes provide the most recent wi-fi LAN know-how. The firm additionally sells single models and two bundles, although pricing is just not for the squeamish (extra on that later).
High-speed networking that approaches 2 Gbps is the result. Indeed, its lightning-fast knowledge switch speeds could make conventional gigabit wired Ethernet seem sluggish, making it best for customers with quick web connections.
The Orbi RBE973 mesh package is the most suitable choice for a small- or mid-sized home since, regardless of being the quickest at shut vary, it lags at massive distances, which is disappointing.
In phrases of Netgear’s intensive 90-day help coverage and one-year assure, it’s mediocre. Considering that an Orbi RBE973 three-pack prices $2,300, dramatically larger than the priciest Wi-Fi 7 router at the moment in the marketplace, that pricing may very well be thought to be freeway theft.
Standout Specs of the Orbi RBE973 Router
The quad-band structure of the Orbi RBE973 permits it to move 16 separate knowledge streams with a 4×4 knowledge circulation. Its 12 amplified isotropic antennas produce its spherical transmission sample, which has an equal vary in all instructions. The RBE970 household’s communications from the satellites to the host router happen over a devoted 5GHz wi-fi backhaul channel.
The router optimizes the circulation utilizing some 6GHz bands when needed. There’s a catch, although: the 6GHz backhaul can match in additional knowledge by utilizing a proprietary 240MHz knowledge supply mechanism as an alternative of the anticipated 160MHz knowledge channels.

The Orbi RBE970 sequence can make use of a 10 Gbps wired connection for backhaul utilizing a Cat 6 or larger cable for optimum efficiency. (Photo by Author)

On the draw back, the Orbi RBE973 itself has nothing to do with the primary impediment stopping Wi-Fi 7. The actuality is that there are nonetheless few choices accessible for shopper {hardware} that may make the most of the efficiency potentialities provided by the brand new Wi-Fi specification.
During my three-week research interval, I utilized a OnePlus 11 equipped to me by Netgear, and whereas it had a minor pace drawback, it functioned nicely with Wi-Fi 7 gear.
Unfortunately, Wi-Fi 7 notebooks is probably not accessible till late 2024, when the foremost PC OEMs refresh their laptop computer lineups for the vacations.
The Orbi RBE973 proved simply as exceptional at a real-world distance of 15 ft. Data hogs needs to be cheered by this.
Wi-Fi Performance Comparison
For comparability’s sake and to exhibit Wi-Fi 6E compatibility, my iPhone 15 Pro Max was 15 ft from the Orbi RBE973 router and obtained 1.5476 Gbps of information. Although it’s a step again, the result continues to be sensational, contemplating the {hardware} is one era behind Wi-Fi 7. Here’s a breakdown of my casual pace benchmark testing versus Netgear’s RBEK960E (Wi-Fi 6E) router, which I’ve been utilizing for the previous yr:

 
SHORT RANGE (5 Feet)
LONG RANGE (30 Feet)

Router Throughput5GHz Band
Satellite Throughput5GHz Band
Router Throughput5GHz Band
Satellite Throughput5GHz Band

Netgear OrbiRBE973S(Wi-Fi 7)
974 Mbps
1,052 Mbps
2,225 Mbps
1,453 Mbps

Netgear OrbiRBE 960E(Wi-Fi 6E)
902 Mbps
751 Mbps
1,100 Mbps
890 Mbps

My casual community saturation take a look at, through which I streamed the CNN information feed on an iPad Pro, performed motion pictures on my new MacBook Pro and performed a number of Netflix motion pictures on a Dell XPS laptop computer, had no points. That’s a fairly onerous stress take a look at, however the audio or video had no hiccups or freezes.
The warmth by no means rose above 94 levels Fahrenheit on the Orbi RBRE973 gadgets. However, they felt heat to the contact. There isn’t any power-saving idle choice; the host router consumes about 20 watts throughout operation, whereas the satellite tv for pc nodes use roughly 11 watts every.
Assuming you pay the U.S. nationwide common of 16 cents per kilowatt hour for electrical energy, that involves a $60 annual energy invoice. Depending on the place you reside, $60 is a modest worth to pay for such a well-performing router.
Final Thoughts
Orbi’s new RBE973 is the primary router I’ve used that has come near, and in some instances fulfilled, the promise of offering tethered-like wi-fi efficiency.
Netgear signifies that its new Orbi 970 Series mesh system (three-pack) helps 200 linked gadgets — an unimaginable quantity, for my part, for even essentially the most ardent shopper techie — and covers 10,000 sq. ft, 10% greater than the 960 Series.

Satellites will be put in to extend protection. Each Orbi 970 add-on satellite tv for pc covers as much as 3,300 sq. ft and options one 10GB and two 2.5GB Ethernet connections to unlock heightened efficiency and dependability on extra linked gadgets, making true multi-gig Wi-Fi doable. However, most customers don’t make the most of it.
However, on this occasion, it offers me hope that the utmost efficiency that the Wi-Fi 7 protocol may muster was nicely definitely worth the wait, and the quickest mesh package in the marketplace proper now’s Netgear’s Orbi RBE973.
In addition to supporting 4K QAM modulation, 6GHz transmissions, and 320MHz knowledge channels, it additionally takes full benefit of those novel approaches to switch extra knowledge. It is the primary to surpass the two Gbps barrier, the wi-fi equal of placing a person on the moon.

Orbi RBE973: Key Takeaways

Revolutionary efficiency achieves near-tethered wi-fi speeds
Extensive protection helps 200 gadgets and covers 10,000 sq. ft
Advanced connectivity that includes multi-gig Wi-Fi capabilities by way of extra satellites
Breakthrough in pace: first to exceed 2 Gbps, setting a brand new benchmark in wi-fi know-how
Excellent safety overshadowed by restricted guarantee and tech help interval, given the product’s excessive price
Ideal use case: small- to medium-sized residing areas and residential workplaces regardless of intensive protection potential
Premium pricing: excessive price however unparalleled efficiency for individuals who make investments

In mild of this, the Orbi RBE973 gives an important vary of inputs, particularly for these with quick knowledge connections. Although its Armor layer of safety is among the many most interesting at retaining a community protected and safe in a world the place malware is rampant, the corporate’s guarantee and help length — particularly given the Porsche-like worth level — is extremely disappointing, and the guarantee protection solely lasts a yr.
Though removed from flawless, its short-range efficiency throughout the identical room or simply subsequent door is mind-blowing.
Home customers in an average-sized home sometimes function their laptops, smartphones, or tablets inside 20 ft of the router or add-on satellite tv for pc, in order that shouldn’t be a showstopper for most folk. Therefore, it’s extra appropriate for a modestly sized home or condominium than a big one, although the Orbi satellites will technically present 10,000 sq. ft of protection.
The $2,300 price ticket of the Orbi RBE973 is unabashedly excessive, however if you happen to can swing that, you received’t be disillusioned.