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Virtuoso

Is Google afraid of Orbi?

I ran across this article today, and was quite amused that Google entertains going head-to-head with eero and Luma, but not a single mention of Orbi.  Granted, Orbi isn't "mesh" (yet?) as these three are...but given the performance benchmarks, I'd wager Orbi would have laid waste to the others under the same conditions.

 

Rodney

Message 1 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

how i see it is orbi does not compare to any of those mesh system as they work on a totally different platform , they are all mesh type systems and so all compare to each other 

 

Atm the orbi system stands alone as a platform as no other model or manufactures currently employs the same connectivity and or setup as orbi , once the other manufactures switch on and realize that the orbi approach works better than mesh we may see more models on the market to compete with orbi and then we can compair the equally 

 

pete

Message 2 of 13
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Virtuoso

Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

At a strictly technical level, I agree.

 

However, they are all designed to solve the same "business problem" and are marketed to the same user segments - the "fire and forget" less-technical crowd who want wireless to "just work".  In that sense, with identical target markets, I think they are absolutely comparable.

 

Besides that, without Orbi being considered a part of that market, they are going to wither on the vine of obscurity - by now, many have heard of eero and Google Wifi.  How many have even -heard- of Orbi?  As a company, does Netgear really _want_ to distinguish themselves as being a "sole player"?  Does the average consumer give a flip if the underlying technology is mesh or star topology, so long as it solves their problems?

 

The thing about wifi is - geeks aside - nobody wants to think about wifi.  It's still regarded as something akin to magic by the masses, and noticed only when it *doesn't* function properly.  Orbi seems to fulfill that mission better than any other product to date, and it's not because of Elfin magic - it's wide wireless backhaul, period (which is why the Ethernet-backhaul haters both amuse and confuse me - do they not get this?).  If they want to take the marketing approach of "like eero and Google Wifi, only better - higher speed, and no wires!  The mesh thing is SO yesterday!", fine - but they NEED to be considered a part of that crowd to be relevant.  [Note: I doubt they will say that, and they probably shouldn't - at least the last part.  There's no technical hurdle to providing the best of all worlds...star and mesh over wireless backhaul *and* Ethernet backhaul, but these things do take time.  I'd personally prefer they keep their options open in that regard.]

 

Just my $0.02.  Smiley Happy

 

Rodney

Message 3 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

i can assure you that the netgear orbi has made many stand up and paying attention , even those that just hate the netgear brand , was recently at a synology conference and all the geek talk and buzz from those attending was about the orbi , the orbi system isnt going to fade away 

 

i can actually see most of these mesh systems fading away as they compete with each other and produce average results as a consequence of the approach they have taken in the mesh topology  , while those that go the orbi system will just ignore it and enjoy its wifi Smiley Happy

 

 

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Guru

Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

At the risk of jumping into an unresolvable debate, I will say that while the average consumer will only care about what works and not care about the technical differences between mesh and star topologies, there are differences.  A star topology requires on the signal emitted by the base station to reach all satellites.  If multiple satellites are used, then the base station will have to be centrally placed.  While the Orbi is innovative in having a very fast, dedicated wireless backhaul, it is still limited by government regulations on Wi-Fi transmission power.  

 

By contrast, in a mesh topology the satellites can relay data through each other.  In certain situations, this could result in better performance.  A distant satellite need only relay data through a nearby satellite instead of the base station.

 

Whether there will be real world performance differences between these two technologies will be entirely dependent on the environment, as it always is with Wi-Fi.   As if to confuse things further, Netgear markets the Orbi as a mesh networking device.  AFAIK, the Orbi is not a 802.11s mesh networking device, which is what Google Wi-Fi is.

 

Having said all this, I do think Orbi will find a spot in the marketplace.  From the looks of it, many people who have bought it are happy and that's great.  I do think it's a little expensive.

Message 5 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

the issue with mesh systems is loss between hops , to the point that the loss give less usable signal at distance 

 

yes i do wish netgear would remove any reference to mesh and just say wifi done the right way 

Message 6 of 13
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Guru

Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

Can you cite a source?  Mesh systems use standard 802.11 b/g/n/ac protocols for delivering payloads, so it cannot be any lossier.  Mesh systems are differentiated from standard Wi-Fi by running a routing protocol, HWMP, to route traffic through the mesh.

Message 7 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?


@TheEther wrote:

Can you cite a source?  Mesh systems use standard 802.11 b/g/n/ac protocols for delivering payloads, so it cannot be any lossier.  Mesh systems are differentiated from standard Wi-Fi by running a routing protocol, HWMP, to route traffic through the mesh.


 

 

sorry are you asking me that ?

Message 8 of 13
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Guru

Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

Yes.  I would like to know where you read that there is loss between mesh hops.

Message 9 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

see

 

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/33022-mesh-mashup-redux-netgear-s-orbi-chec...

 

tim has done some pretty indepth  testing and the results clearly show the loss across multiple hops , it also shows how much better orbi is

 

he is also going to redo the tests and include google wifi when he gets it

 

pete

Message 10 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

Here's a paper that describes the signal loss between mesh hops.

 

http://www.strixsystems.com/products/datasheets/StrixWhitepaper_Multihop.pdf

 

This is the reason google wifi, Eero, luma, etc will never beat netgears system of a dedicated backhaul.  I wonder if netgear has a patent on this idea.  If not, I would expect others to follow suite in the near future. 

Message 11 of 13
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Guru

Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

Thanks for the paper.  It's important to put what it says in the proper perspective.  It's a white paper published in 2005 by a manufacturer of mesh networking gear.  It's not a scientific, peer-reviewed paper.  The paper's main point, actually, is that a properly designed, multi-radio network can operate with only 4% loss.  So, not all mesh networks are the same.  

 

The paper does paint a rather dire picture for single and dual-radio, multi-hop mesh networks (aka Eero, Luma, Google Wi-Fi).  Interestingly, the Orbi would be classified as a dual radio, single hop mesh network.  While it is 100% efficient in this configuration, if Netgear does add multi-hop support, as rumored, it will suffer equally the same loss in efficiency as the other systems.  

 

There are posts where the Orbi did not provide the expected performance.  This is not a criticism of the Orbi.  The Orbi has a specific target in mind (likely a 2 story, medium to largish, drywall on woodframe structure) and it could be argued that in this setting, the Orbi will always outperform a mesh network.  That could be true.  But there are situations where a multi-hop mesh network can reach that the Orbi can't.

 

Message 12 of 13
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Re: Is Google afraid of Orbi?

certainly agree orbi has its place and usage pattern and for those in dwellings as you say ( would be most of us ) the orbi is a great solution , these other mesh systems also will have their place but i dont  see a great usage as most are wanting these where ethernet is already in place 

 

with ethernet in place there is no usage case for ether the orbi or mesh systems as standard AP's can be used , just think ppl may be getting blind sided by what all of these systems can achieve and how they will and would work 

 

pete

Message 13 of 13
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