Netgear OrbiNetworkingRBK850RBK852ReviewsWi-Fi 6


With most flagship phones and new laptops using Wi-Fi 6, there is a growing demand for routers and mesh systems that can serve them. As seen on my router reviews, Wi-Fi 6 comes with a high early adopter tax, so then when you double up and get a mesh system, you end with the crazy-expensive Netgear Orbi WiFi6 RBK852.

The two-pack system will set you back £700, and if you need three devices to cover a large property, you will be forking out just shy of £1000!

Features & Specification

  • Ultimate Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi System–Covers large homes up to 5,000 sq. ft with fast WiFi. System includes a WiFi router and one satellite.
  • 2.4GHz (1200Mbps) + 5GHz (2400Mbps) for WiFi devices to connect to the Internet
  • Multi-Gigabit Internet Speeds Ready – 2.5Gbps Ethernet port support multigigabit Internet speeds available from service providers. Or use port aggregation to combine two Gigabit Ethernet (LAN and WAN) ports for multi-Gigabit speeds.
  • 5GHz (2400Mbps) dedicated WiFi link for faster data connections between Orbi Router and Orbi Satellite
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports on each router and satellite is ideal for home offices or home entertainment areas.
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can use voice commands to control your home WiFi network.

Multi-Gig LAN Ethernet port

At this point, I feel like it must be me that has something wrong because companies still continue the trend of putting the multi-gig port as the WAN port. Have multi-gig internet connections exploded in popularity recently? I know gigabit is growing in popularity, but multi-gig seems far less common from what I am aware.

Netgear are not the only company to do this, the TP-Link Archer AX11000 has a 2.5Gbps WAN port and the ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 also does this.

In the case of Netgear, with it being on the WAN port, only one of the devices has multi-gig, so while you can switch to AP mode, only one of the access points will be able to theoretically go over multi-gig.

Is multi-gig Wi-Fi possible? And what about 160MHz channel width?

There is no 160MHz channel width with this Orbi, so currently there will be no way to transfer data at over gigabit speeds because there are currently on 2×2 clients available which would offer 1200mbps connection rate at best.

However, you have fewer options with this because one of the 5Ghz channels is reserved for the backhaul. Netgear offers considerably fewer options compared to the AX12 RAX120.

This thread referenced to the RBR50 but the same scenario applies here I think. There seems to be limited (or no) compatibility with the DFS channels so this, therefore, leaves a very limited range of channels available to operate two 5Ghz channels running at 160MHz.

However, this is a 4×4 system, so if there was a client that could connect with 4 streams, you would get 4×600 giving you that 2400mbps.

So while 2400Mbps is theoretically possible (which then translates to around 1.5Gbps true max Wi-Fi speeds), it is highly unlikely you will be able to achieve it here any time soon.

This isn’t really Netgears fault, it is just 5Ghz is a bit of a mess with the channels you can and can’t use, nor is it there fault if no clients can make use of the hardware. It does, however, mean that marketing materials can be a little confusing with claims of 2400mbps.


Set up went relatively smoothly, I have had a few minor niggles setting up Orbi systems before but less so here. For this review, I did everything via the Orbi app, I assume you can still do everything through the web interface too.

With the app you can scan the QR code of the base of the main router, this means you don’t need to type in any passwords etc. I did have to manually select the Orbi SSID, but this is likely a combination of me still having my existing Wi-Fi in place and my Huawei phones being aggressive about their data connection management.


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Maikel Du

I worked in many technical fields, but I always resort to blogging which has become an addiction to me
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