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Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?

We've been following the quick start guide and the router lights up, but does it need a satellite to send a WiFi signal? Previous HO left it behind, said it works but we can't find the satellite. Wanted to double check if I should buy a satellite or a new combo with router and satellite if this one is trash. Thanks!

Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 8

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Sensei

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?


@dgabbies wrote:

We've been following the quick start guide and the router lights up, but does it need a satellite to send a WiFi signal?


No, it does not.

 

Mesh WiFi systems (like the Netgear Orbi) are designed to cover a wider area than a single WiFi router by networking a group of devices. They ALL function perfectly well as stand-alone WiFi routers.  Can I have a football team with no wide receivers or tight ends?  Of course, as long as passing is not important.

 

So this RBR50 is a fine WiFi router, but not "special".  If you already have a WiFi router that you like and it provides enough coverage, you can put the Orbi on eBay.  On the other hand, if WiFi coverage is not great, then adding satellites to the Orbi router is one alternative.  My personal favorite right now is the RBS40V, which Amazon has been selling for $100 each, perhaps because of the included speaker and Alexa.  Two of these plus the router will cover a lot of house.

 

This is a really awkward time to be investing in WiFi systems.  The new WiFi 6E systems are starting to come out (this month!)  In a couple of years, users will have devices which support WiFi 6E (none do as yet) and the new systems will almost certainly feature 6E backhaul between the mesh units.

 

Sorry.  Not much help.

I love my Orbi.

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Message 2 of 8

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Sensei

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?


@dgabbies wrote:

We've been following the quick start guide and the router lights up, but does it need a satellite to send a WiFi signal?


No, it does not.

 

Mesh WiFi systems (like the Netgear Orbi) are designed to cover a wider area than a single WiFi router by networking a group of devices. They ALL function perfectly well as stand-alone WiFi routers.  Can I have a football team with no wide receivers or tight ends?  Of course, as long as passing is not important.

 

So this RBR50 is a fine WiFi router, but not "special".  If you already have a WiFi router that you like and it provides enough coverage, you can put the Orbi on eBay.  On the other hand, if WiFi coverage is not great, then adding satellites to the Orbi router is one alternative.  My personal favorite right now is the RBS40V, which Amazon has been selling for $100 each, perhaps because of the included speaker and Alexa.  Two of these plus the router will cover a lot of house.

 

This is a really awkward time to be investing in WiFi systems.  The new WiFi 6E systems are starting to come out (this month!)  In a couple of years, users will have devices which support WiFi 6E (none do as yet) and the new systems will almost certainly feature 6E backhaul between the mesh units.

 

Sorry.  Not much help.

I love my Orbi.

View solution in original post

Message 2 of 8
Aspirant

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?

You were actually a big help! Thank you. The Spectrum coverage in the house we bought in Nov is not great but we have no other options. Streaming skips and spins randomly. And we only get 1 to 2 bars in our backyard (it's only a 1/3 acre) where I'd like to install our Ring cameras and lighting. That and add a camera to keep an eye on our 4 chickens. In 10 days, we've trapped a racoon and oppssom and I need a better way to check on them than looking out the window 100x a night LOL. I'll order the RBS40V extender after I get the Orbi router working. I think I'll factory reset and go from there. t believe our area will be upgraded to 5G anytime soon (older area of DFW Metroplex). Thanks!

Message 3 of 8
Guru

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?

Some users over on the ORBI reddit have been able to convert RBR50s into RBSs. 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.16.22
RBK50 v2.7.2.102
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 4 of 8
Prodigy

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?


@CrimpOn wrote:

This is a really awkward time to be investing in WiFi systems.  The new WiFi 6E systems are starting to come out (this month!)  In a couple of years, users will have devices which support WiFi 6E (none do as yet) and the new systems will almost certainly feature 6E backhaul between the mesh units.

 


Agreed that faster wireless speeds are better, but these will be bleeding edge expensive devices for a couple of years. And a typical family with a couple of kids on their mobile devices don't have the need for that sustained speeds.Unless they are all streaming 4K movies at the same time. A well-configured WiFi 5 (802.11ac) system like the RBK5x will be discounted and more than sufficient for many (most)?

 

Famous last words....

Orbi RBK50v2 ver 2.7.2.102
Love my Orbi (with this firmware version).
Message 5 of 8
Prodigy

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?


@dgabbies wrote:

You were actually a big help! Thank you. The Spectrum coverage in the house we bought in Nov is not great but we have no other options. Streaming skips and spins randomly. And we only get 1 to 2 bars in our backyard (it's only a 1/3 acre) where I'd like to install our Ring cameras and lighting. That and add a camera to keep an eye on our 4 chickens. In 10 days, we've trapped a racoon and oppssom and I need a better way to check on them than looking out the window 100x a night LOL. I'll order the RBS40V extender after I get the Orbi router working. I think I'll factory reset and go from there. t believe our area will be upgraded to 5G anytime soon (older area of DFW Metroplex). Thanks!


Try to string ethernet wires as much as you can. Nothing beats the speed and reliability of wires.

 

Wired networks are great for stationary high-demand devices like streaming TV, gaming systems, and takes the load off traffic from mobile devices.

Orbi RBK50v2 ver 2.7.2.102
Love my Orbi (with this firmware version).
Message 6 of 8
Sensei

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?


@FURRYe38 wrote:

Some users over on the ORBI reddit have been able to convert RBR50s into RBSs. 


That is correct, but he has only the single RBR50. Turning it into a satellite leaves him with no Orbi router.

I love my Orbi.
Message 7 of 8
Aspirant

Re: Noob.. I have a RBR50 left by prior HO when we bought house. Does it need a satellite to work?

Makes sense, thanks! I’ll get cable to run to the extender and satellite. I ordered 2 of the $99 ones.. I read they can be used as an extender or satellite which is great and should provide all we need.

Assuming satellite creates the mesh and the extender extends reach into our backyard? Appreciate the help wrapping my brain around it!
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