When I signed a contract with an internet provider in the first decade of the 21st century, it offered a 256 kbps connection. After a dozen or so years, the same operator provides 1 Gb / s internet to my apartment.
At that time, there was a technological revolution that made the smartphone one of the most important elements of our world. Today we shoot and watch video in 4K, and we play movies and music not from discs, but from streaming services. Mobile devices have become the command centers of our homes. With their help, we can preview the image from the camera during the vacation to make sure that everything is fine, lower the blinds or control the light.
Until a few years ago, there were several devices in our wireless home networks. Today we have a dozen or even several dozen of them. Smartphones (usually a few in every home), laptops, tablets, TVs, Smart TV devices, e-book readers, printers, consoles, VR goggles, robotic vacuum cleaners, smart sockets, lighting, cameras, refrigerators … You can exchange for a long time.
No wonder that the demands on the network are growing and the usual router is no longer enough. In larger apartments and houses we reach for signal amplifiers, but they rarely work perfectly. The need to switch between devices is also not very encouraging.
The mesh system is a much better solution.
I do not like the Polish term "mesh network", I use the English term mesh much more often. This solution offers a system of interconnected devices that provide one SSID. Although when moving around the house we connect to different "stations", which are components of the network, from the point of view of our smartphones or other devices, we are in one network. With a well-configured network, we will have optimal WiFi coverage in each room, no matter how far we are from the router. Satellites will provide it.
What if we have a really big house?
Netgear’s Orbi WiFi 6 System can handle large homes up to 700 m2. At the same time, it consists of only three elements – a router and two satellites. Each of the Orbi system ‘stations’ looks identical and is also visually well-designed, offering a modern and eye-catching design. I mention it because we pay more and more attention to the fact that our equipment matches the elements of the furniture, or at least we expect it to be aesthetic.
The name Orbi WiFi 6 reveals that we are dealing with the WiFi 6 standard. It is the most modern wireless WiFi system offered by the market. It offers 4 times greater bandwidth thanks to the use of a channel with a width of 160 MHz and higher by 25 to 40 percent. speed than the 802.11ac standard, less commonly referred to as WiFi 5. Up to 100 devices can work simultaneously in the Orbi WiFi 6 network.
Of course, WiFi 6 is backward compatible with earlier standards, so we don’t have to worry about any of our devices not supporting the latest incarnation of wireless networking.
Thanks to WiFi 6, our mesh will support 4K and 8K video streaming in each room.
Netgear’s Orbi WiFi 6 operates in 3 bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This is important because although the 2.4 GHz frequency offers weaker parameters than 5 GHz, many devices still support only this range. In my case, I have it with an e-book reader and a Smart TV set-top box.
I mentioned 3 ranges. The third is a type of forward link operating at 5 GHz. Its task is to ensure smooth communication between the main element of the system, i.e. the router and the satellites.
Of course, we need to "deliver" a cable connection to the router, so ports are important. The router is equipped with a 2.5 Gb / s WAN port and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. The satellites have four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Additionally, we can increase the throughput by aggregating two WAN and LAN ports.
It sounds complicated, but what does the setup look like?
It is very simple. We can conduct it using the Orbi application available on the Apple AppStore and Google Play. After starting and logging into the Netgear account, we scan the QR code on the router, connect the cables and arrange the individual elements of the system. The diode will inform us with the appropriate color if the satellites are at the correct distance from the router.
In the context of the mobile application, the protection under Netgear Armor should also be mentioned. The manufacturer cooperates with BitDefender in the field of protection against viruses and malware. From the Orbi application, we will be informed about security incidents in our network and on our devices. The system will block suspicious sites, protect against theft and phishing. Additionally, the app offers a security rating. The router and connected devices are taken into account. The higher the score, the greater the protection level. By the way, we will receive recommendations to help improve the security level of our network and devices connected to it.
The Orbi app will allow you to run network speed tests, manage devices, and display a network map. From its level, we will be able to create a network for our guests.
The text was created in cooperation with the Netgear brand.
In a large home, an ordinary router is not enough. This is the Orbi WiFi 6 RBK853 from Netgear