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General questions about RBK852 - possible first time buyer!

HI all! This is my first post! I stumbled here after reading about the RBK852 and RBK853 kits! I am in the market for a WiFi 6 mesh system, and I have had many Netgear products in my life over the years, both at work and at home. I have an old WiFi router, but my cable modem and service is now 1 GB download from XFinity, they gave a great deal in our neighborhood. I figured it was time to go WiFi 6 since I have an iPhone 11 Pro Max and another family member is getting a new iPad that supports WiFi 6. Nothing difficult about the house setup; no IoT devices; we have laptops, WiFi printers, phones/tablets, and 2 internet connected TVs - 15 in total I think. Since I am jumping in, I would like as high performance/range as possible, I am not afraid of spending a little more as I'll keep it a long time.

 

I really have three questions at the moment, after reading the data sheet, some reviews etc., plus reading through the posts on this forum:

 

1. I used to hear a lot about the Nighthawk mesh products, and without reading a lot I thought that was the top end. Now it appears to me the Orbi WiFi 6/AX6000 might be the top mesh solution. In broad terms, how do the Orbi AX 6000 and the top Nighthawk systems compare? Should I be considering a Nighthawk solution?

 

2. Is the firmware for the AX6000 series reasonably solid, bug and feature-wise? I know there will be bugs or new features always coming out, but as a new participant here I see a lot about issues and firmware uodates, so I am not sure if it's a little early to get the AX6000 or is that just the nature of a tech community forum...? Should I be worried that firmware issues will make my experience less than pleasant?

 

3. How is the AX6000 perceived - is it an excellent product? Again, from the outside it's hard to categorize problems that, if I knew the product well, I would consider a one-off, an unusual installation situation, a minor anomaly, etc. I am fearful of shelling out some pretty good $$$$ and finding it disconnects a lot or has other performance/quality problems. Like I said before, I have an old WiFi router, but it is rock solid in what it delivers. Extra speed won't be an upgrade if there are problems. What do people think overall?

 

Thank you very much in advance for your opinions and observations! I realize they will be subjective answers - please don't hesitate to tell me what you think, if you are willing to spend the time on an answer.I hope many people reply - I realize it is subjective, but I trust that there are a lot of knoweldgeable customers in this forum!

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Apprentice

Re: General questions about RBK852 - possible first time buyer!

I'd wait until you really need one and not just want one. Prices will go down as will all the "experimentation" and "Issues". And when the WiFi6 Spec is Officially Ratified and no longer in Draft.

 

IEEE 802.11ax Wiki 

 

IEEE_802.11 . . .  

Sir ORBI: Defender, Protector and Provider of WiFi to the people . . .
My setup: Calix 716GE-I R2 ONT (Gigabit Fiber ~935/935) > RBK853 > then to all corners of my property and beyond . . . with tons of toys stashed all over . . .
" . . . it's not over until the IT Guy gets the FW update to stick, then gets eaten."
Message 2 of 4
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Guru

Re: General questions about RBK852 - possible first time buyer!

Orbi RBK50 series systems have matured and would recommend looking into first.

 

What is the size of your home? Sq Ft?
What is the distance between the router and satellite(s)? 30 feet is recommended in between RBR and RBS to begin with depending upon building materials when wirelessly connected. https://kb.netgear.com/000036466/How-far-should-I-place-my-Orbi-satellite-from-my-Orbi-router


@donawalt wrote:

HI all! This is my first post! I stumbled here after reading about the RBK852 and RBK853 kits! I am in the market for a WiFi 6 mesh system, and I have had many Netgear products in my life over the years, both at work and at home. I have an old WiFi router, but my cable modem and service is now 1 GB download from XFinity, they gave a great deal in our neighborhood. I figured it was time to go WiFi 6 since I have an iPhone 11 Pro Max and another family member is getting a new iPad that supports WiFi 6. Nothing difficult about the house setup; no IoT devices; we have laptops, WiFi printers, phones/tablets, and 2 internet connected TVs - 15 in total I think. Since I am jumping in, I would like as high performance/range as possible, I am not afraid of spending a little more as I'll keep it a long time.

 

I really have three questions at the moment, after reading the data sheet, some reviews etc., plus reading through the posts on this forum:

 

1. I used to hear a lot about the Nighthawk mesh products, and without reading a lot I thought that was the top end. Now it appears to me the Orbi WiFi 6/AX6000 might be the top mesh solution. In broad terms, how do the Orbi AX 6000 and the top Nighthawk systems compare? Should I be considering a Nighthawk solution?

 

2. Is the firmware for the AX6000 series reasonably solid, bug and feature-wise? I know there will be bugs or new features always coming out, but as a new participant here I see a lot about issues and firmware uodates, so I am not sure if it's a little early to get the AX6000 or is that just the nature of a tech community forum...? Should I be worried that firmware issues will make my experience less than pleasant?

 

3. How is the AX6000 perceived - is it an excellent product? Again, from the outside it's hard to categorize problems that, if I knew the product well, I would consider a one-off, an unusual installation situation, a minor anomaly, etc. I am fearful of shelling out some pretty good $$$$ and finding it disconnects a lot or has other performance/quality problems. Like I said before, I have an old WiFi router, but it is rock solid in what it delivers. Extra speed won't be an upgrade if there are problems. What do people think overall?

 

Thank you very much in advance for your opinions and observations! I realize they will be subjective answers - please don't hesitate to tell me what you think, if you are willing to spend the time on an answer.I hope many people reply - I realize it is subjective, but I trust that there are a lot of knoweldgeable customers in this forum!


 


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80(Modem Mode)>RBK853 v3.2.16.6(Router Mode)

Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, RBK853, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 3 of 4
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Luminary

Re: General questions about RBK852 - possible first time buyer!

Here's my two cents...

 

I haven't really been following the NightHawk systems much, but my understanding is that the Orbi WiFi 6 systems are the top-of-th-line systems from Netgear.  Others may have a differing opinion.

 

I had the Orbi WiFi 5 system for a long time, but continually had a problem where throughput on the system would regularly drop to about 10% of normal until I rebooted the system.  This would happen after about three days of use.  After complaining here in the forum enough times, one of the moderators connected me to a support engineer (my 90 days of support had long ago expired) and they then started working with me to understand the issue.  After quite a few months, there was a firmware update released that finally took care of my issue.  Because I found the Orbi system to be undependable, I tried just about every other mesh system on the market, but none of them could achieve the overall throughput of the Orbi system.  They were generally half as fast and the best one was only about two-thirds as fast, so I kept coming back to the Orbi.

 

When I decided it was time to go to WiFi 6, I decided to go with the Orbi again because of the performance.  The firmware is at this point is very basic and has no extra features like parental controls or Netgear's security package, but I don't use any of those features, so they were not a concern for me.  So far, with the exception of the last firmware update, all has gone well and I have not experienced any issues with the Orbi AX system, so I'm a happy camper.  

I also had the opportunity to try the Linksys Velop WiFi 6 system and ran into bad hardware on the first set and horrible configuration/setup problems on the second one.  Once it was configured, it seemed stable and reliable, but the throughput was maybe 10% slower than the Orbi's.  Because of that as well as all of the issues I had getting them set up, I ended up returning the Velop system and will be sticking with the Orbi system.

 

As for my overall perception of the Orbi WiFi 6 system, I think it is a very good system and if it was built like the older Orbi systems, it will be the best performer for throughput on the market.  It is pricey, no doubt, but to me seems worth the extra cost for the consistent high performance.

 

Overall, I would recommend the Orbi AX system to anyone that is performance oriented.

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