Orbi compatibility with other brand access point


Orbi compatibility with other brand access point

I am a total novice and need some guidance on home networking.  Please forgive if I use incorrect terminology.


We are moving into a new home that has 2400 sq. ft. on 1st floor, 1800 sq. ft. on 2nd floor, and 1400 sq. ft. in basement.  Currently there is ethernet cable running from a basement closet to a cabinet in the family room on the 1st floor and also to an access point in the ceiling of a hallway centrally located on the 2nd floor.  I am interested in the Orbi RBK50, and thought I would put the router in the basement closet with the modem, and the satellite in the cabinet in the family room (then use the extra ports to connect the tv and a soundbar via ethernet connection).


I could buy one of the additional orbi satellites (the kind that plug into an outlet) for the 2nd floor.  However, because our electrician ran wire to the 2nd story, I hate to waste the access point in the ceiling as I've heard if you have the wiring done, access points do provide the best wifi coverage. 


My question is this - I already own a Ubiquiti networks unifi access point and am wondering if I can install that in ceiling of 2nd floor, and will it be compatible with the orbi in basement and 1st floor OR do I need to buy a Netgear ceiling mounted access point, such as the WAC720?


Thanks - any guidance is appreciated. 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 3

Re: Orbi compatibility with other brand access point

So basically, can a mesh system be paired with a wired access point?  I'm sure its a dumb question for this group, but any insight would be appreciated.

Message 2 of 3

Re: Orbi compatibility with other brand access point

You probably know this but your use case does not need Orbi.  Orbi would still work but the satellite would use wireless backhaul to the router (at least until Netgear adds ethernet backhaul support to the satellites)  No reason to necessarily place the satelite in the cabinet in the family room.


You could 3 cheaper APs (like the Ubiquti) install a $50 ERX router in the basement to connet to the modem, install a $30 switch and connect it into the drop in cabinet in the family room and connect an AP and your AV equipment to that switch.    Cost wise it may be a wash unless you already have the extra router, switch, APs.


If you were to mix Orbi and Ubiquiti APs and use the same SSID and credentials - they should work but I bet you may run into handoff issues unless you have power adjustments just right.  You may have issues with interference.   Ubiquiti controller SW will let you adjust the RSSI for each AP and Ubiquiti supports DFS channels that may help with this. 


I should add...  I had two Ubiquiti AC APs and replaced them with the Orbi because the coverage provided by the Orbi was significantly greater than the coverage with the two Ubiquiti APs.  i.e. You may find that you don't need any other APs but the Orbi.  You need to find out what works for you.


Good Luck!



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