The rise in the use of streaming services and video conferencing has most likely put increased stress on home networks. The promise of 5G is great and all that but when it comes to meeting the Internet needs of all devices at home, WiFi 6 is the technology being pushed for that. Given the complexity of use cases as well as house layouts these days, a simple and single WiFi 6 router may not even be enough. Enter NETGEAR’s new Orbi WiFi 6 Tri-band AX4200 mesh system, now in a more affordable package but also with less muscle than its other Tri-band mesh system.
The NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 AX4200 Tri-band Mesh Systems share much in common with the earlier AX6000 system with model number (RBK825). It uses a dedicated WiFi 6 5GHz 4×4 backhaul to transfer data between router and satellites without using up the bandwidth on the two other bands meant for computers and mobile devices. Both systems can also operate at a max distance of 5000 square feet, ensuring that your entire house can be covered with strong WiFi signals.
Whether the two differ, however, is in the finer details. The AX4200, for example, only uses 2×2 MU-MIMO on its 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands and maxes out 600, 1200, and 2400 Mbps. It does have Gigabit LAN ports but those are also more limited, with 3 on the router itself and 2 on each satellite.
Perhaps more importantly, the Orbi WiFi 6 AX4200 can only support a little over 40 devices on the same network. Yes, that is probably a lot more than the number of your devices at home right now but the popularity of smart bulbs, smart speakers, and smart everything could one day hit the limit. Probably not in the immediate future though.
The NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 AX4200 mesh system comes in two package variants. The RBK752 pack includes a router and a single satellite for $449.99 while the RBK753 adds another satellite for a total of $599.99. The networking equipment company is also advertising its Bitdefender-powered NETGEAR Armor subscription that is free for 30 days but will require a subsequent annual subscription to keep connected devices safe and secure.