Netgear’s Orbi RBE973 Wi-Fi Router Really Is That Good

The world of technology is constantly evolving, with new advancements and innovations being introduced regularly. One such area that has seen significant growth and improvement over the years is wireless connectivity. Despite all the hype surrounding 5G technology, Wi-Fi remains a crucial component for keeping people connected, whether at home, in the office, or on the go.

One of the latest developments in the world of Wi-Fi technology is the introduction of Wi-Fi 7. Promising unprecedented levels of speed, reliability, and efficiency, Wi-Fi 7 has the potential to revolutionize the way we connect and interact with the world around us. My 30-day experience with the new Orbi RBE973 Mesh Router, part of Netgear’s 970 series, showcased the exciting capabilities and possibilities of Wi-Fi 7.

The Orbi RBE973 Mesh Router is Netgear’s first venture into Wi-Fi 7 technology and has left a lasting impression on me. With features such as 6GHz integration, ultra-wide data channels, quad-band design, and 4K QAM operations, the Orbi RBE973 offers the latest in wireless LAN technology. The router, along with its two mesh nodes, delivers blazing-fast data transfer speeds that can rival traditional gigabit wired Ethernet connections, making it ideal for users with high-speed internet connections.

While the Orbi RBE973 excels in speed and performance at close range, it may lag behind at longer distances, making it more suitable for small- to mid-sized homes. The router’s advanced features, coupled with Netgear’s standard 90-day support policy and one-year warranty, make it a compelling choice for those looking to upgrade their home network.

One of the standout features of the Orbi RBE973 is its quad-band architecture, allowing it to transport 16 separate data streams with a 4×4 data flow. The router’s 12 amplified isotropic antennas create a spherical transmission pattern for equal range in all directions. Additionally, the router utilizes a dedicated 5GHz wireless backhaul channel for communication between the satellites and the host router, optimizing data flow.

Despite the impressive performance of the Orbi RBE973, the main limitation lies in the availability of client hardware that can fully leverage the capabilities of Wi-Fi 7. During my testing, I used a OnePlus 11 device supplied by Netgear, which performed well with Wi-Fi 7 equipment. However, mainstream Wi-Fi 7 devices may not be available until late 2024, when major PC manufacturers refresh their laptop lineups.

In terms of real-world performance, the Orbi RBE973 delivered exceptional speeds, even at a distance of 15 feet. In comparison to Wi-Fi 6E technology, the Orbi RBE973 showcased its superior capabilities, offering speeds that exceeded 2 Gbps in certain scenarios. My informal speed benchmark testing demonstrated the router’s ability to handle multiple high-bandwidth activities simultaneously without any issues.

While the Orbi RBE973 is a top-performing Wi-Fi 7 router, it does come at a premium price. With a three-pack costing $2,300, it may not be within everyone’s budget. However, for those who prioritize performance and reliability, the investment in the Orbi RBE973 may be well worth it.

In conclusion, the Orbi RBE973 Mesh Router represents a significant advancement in Wi-Fi technology, showcasing the potential of Wi-Fi 7 to transform the way we connect and communicate. With its revolutionary performance, extensive coverage, and advanced connectivity features, the Orbi RBE973 sets a new benchmark in wireless technology. While it comes at a high cost, the router’s exceptional performance and capabilities make it a worthwhile investment for users seeking top-notch wireless connectivity.


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