Netgear's Orbi Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi Systems are now available for purchase from Apple retail stores as of July, joining the existing Linksys Velop routers that Apple has been offering ever since it discontinued its own AirPort line of router options.

Apple is selling the RBK23 three pack Orbi Mesh System for $300 and the RBK50, the higher end model, in a two pack for $329.95.

netgearorbi
These routers all work in a similar way, offering up a main Orbi router and satellite nodes to extend WiFi throughout the whole house. Maximum Wi-Fi speeds differ between the two models, as do the number of satellites, so some research is required to find the Orbi system that best fits your needs.

The RBK50, which includes one router and one satellite, covers up to 5,000 square feet of space and offers Wi-Fi speeds of up to 3Gb/s. The RBK23 triple pack with one router and two satellites covers up to 6,000 square feet and offers Wi-Fi speeds up to 2.2Gb/s.

With the Orbi system, the idea is to put a single router in a main area like a living room, outfitting other areas further in the house with their own satellite routers so all areas of the house get the same Wi-Fi coverage with no dead zones. You can add additional Orbi satellites to a home setup at any time.

Along with the RBK50 and the RBK23, Apple also sells the CBK40, an Orbi router system that has a built-in cable modem that works with Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and others. It comes in a single router version that covers 2,000 square feet or a router plus satellite version that covers up to 4,000 square feet.

All of the Orbi routers are available from Apple retail stores and the Apple online store.

Tag: Orbi

Top Rated Comments

Pujones1 Avatar
29 months ago
I hope that this means that Netgear will embrace Homekit in the router. I almost bought the Netgear Armor service last night. Please. Please. Please support Homekit.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
29 months ago
Netgear, give me an upgraded Orbi 2-pack with WiFi 6 and HomeKit integration and I'll give you $400.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MallardDuck Avatar
29 months ago
Would be nice to see some reviews comparing the two brands that Apple is selling.
I've had both. The velop is easy to setup, but dumbed down pretty bad. Won't even let you set a specific dns server to use (or rather it will, but then it ignores it). Single is better than extremes.

Orbi has both the easy and advanced setup options. It has nuclear powered signal, and blows away all of the others in terms of speed...IF you correctly place them in your home. There's a sweet spot between too close and too far. I highly recommend using something like netspot to do a layout and actually measure the signals graphically.

Downsides to orbi are 1) won't give you a syslog feed if you want to monitor the network with another tool (ok, niche case), and a massively frustrating ongoing problem with an inability to discover printers reliably. Have to power cycle the printer, then it works for a while, then stops again. I occasionally have the problem with apple TVs not connecting to the iTunes library, another reboot required situation.

But for all that, orbi is hands down the best of the mesh networks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
!!! Avatar
29 months ago
I still want new AirPort routers. They were so easy to set up, and pretty much never have any problems.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pujones1 Avatar
29 months ago
Curious how HomeKit will work with WiFi router? What features do you want?
Hi. I want whatever they talked about at the WWDC Event and whatever they are going to bring in the future. Anything from Apple that adds more security and value to my many Apple products/services..........I want that please. That's all.

Those Circle and Bit Defender type capabilities baked right into HomeKit would be nice. I have the RBK50 and two RBS50 sats and Netgear CM1150V Modem.

Here's a link:
https://www.macrumors.com/2019/06/03/homekit-secure-video-and-homekit-routers/
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
29 months ago
I hope that this means that Netgear will embrace Homekit in the router. I almost bought the Netgear Armor service last night. Please. Please. Please support Homekit.
Yeah, I won't be making a (personal) router purchase until this HomeKit integration is out.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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